I seem to have collected Tuo-Cha from a number of different companies, so I’ll be talking about them a fair amount between now and when I finish writing notes about everything in the cupboard.
These came in a packet with a ziplock closure for after it is opened. There are a number of individually wrapped nests inside. They smell just slightly fishy, a little leathery, and even have a chocolate note.
I weighed one. It was about 3.3g, which is about .8g more than I’d usually put into the gaiwan if I were measuring sheng (which this isn’t). I usually just put shu in until it covers the bottom with a nice layer, but because this is a nest I couldn’t do that.
I rinsed, and the nest completely fell apart after the rinse. I then steeped 10/10/20/30/40/60/120/240/300/360
The first few steeps made a very, very dark brown, coffee colored liquor that was basically opaque. The primary note was of mushroom, no fishiness, and the tea had a sweet smoothness to it that was very welcome after my earlier tasting (Canton Vietnamese Pu Erh, which tasted like dirt through 10 steeps).
By steep four, the color became amber, and from then on it faded with each steep until it was a very light amber at the last. I was kind of suprised by the rather dramatic drop off in color. I haven’t really seen that before.
The tea continued to be smooth and sweet, even as it became a lighter and less intense version of itself. As it faded, it became a bit more leathery.
Smoother and mellower than I recall the Rishi being and in general seems a good representative of its type.
Flavors: Chocolate, Fishy, Leather, Mushrooms