drank Pu'erh Tuo-Cha by Teas Etc
2036 tasting notes

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


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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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