From the Puerh TTB #2

I have a terrible habit of hoarding the last few grams of a tea, and when I participate in a TTB, that’s often all that I get. So I have a box of about 30 samples I’ve taken from the TTBs over the past year that I haven’t tried. Kind of dumb. Yesterday I polished off the last 2 grams of an EoT sample and enjoyed it so much I decided to try this tea today.

It started out really well with a sweet straw flavor with very long strong finish. Good mouth-feel. Hint of caramel. Strong cha qi. Very approachable, but fairly complex and interesting. The 2nd steep smelled a bit like damp ashes but that quickly went away. Mild taste builds power in the mouth leading to a big finish. Taste is damp straw with no sign of the caramel, but a hint of ashes. Becomes astringent as it cools. The 3rd steep again gave me a hint of ashes in the nose, but they again dissipated quickly. The taste is stronger, with wood as well as straw flavor. Astringent but not bitter; the astringency builds in the finish to the point that it is too much.

In both the second and third steeps, the finish is stronger than the taste, and the flavor increases dramatically if I aerate the tea while it’s in my mouth. If this were a wine, I would say that it is “closed-in” and together with the tannin I would suggest that it needs age to come together. I’m not sure if it works that way with tea, but suspect this is a tea that would age.

The fourth steep is ca return to the first steep: no ashes in the nose, but a rich clean flavor. Like it finally woke up. Shows a hint of tart bitterness at the finish. The cha qi is still very strong. Overall a good tea; I wish I could try it again in 10 years.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 g 2 OZ / 59 ML

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Retired engineer/physicist.
My ratings will usually be based on multiple tastings. Oolong teas are generally 3 grams of tea in 6 oz water for 1 minute. Black teas are 1.5 grams of tea in 6 oz water for 3-4 minutes. Pu-erh is 3 grams in 2.5 oz, generally 10, 10, 20, 30, 60 sec. Since I use less tea, 6 sessions is equivalent to twice that many for people who use 7 grams of tea.

My numerical ratings are all based on how much enjoyment I took from the tea. Since I prefer blacks and oolongs, they will receive higher scores. I also give a couple of extra points to decafs, just because I can drink them in the evening without staying up half the night. I don’t dislike flavored teas, but find that they lack the complexity of finer teas.

90-100 = superior, worth a high price
80-89 = Excellent. Will buy again
70-79 = Good tea, but probably won’t buy
60-69 = Nothing really wrong, but…
Below 60 = Wouldn’t drink again. Probably didn’t finish

I am having computer problems and my password is lost. If my computer dies, I won’t be able to access my account, so will need to start a new account as Dr_Jim. This statement vouches for my new identity.



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