The dry tuo cha smells of a smooth, cooked pu-er, but after rinsing this mini tuo in my gaiwan, the aromas of rice start to come out. Using just-boiled water, I prepare the first steeping. Light, golden-brown, the liquor is a bit cloudy and mingles a faint hint of rice with tea. The taste of this first steeping is not a flavourful as the aroma would suggest.

The second steeping gives off a darker brown infusion. This time it is hard to distinguish whether the tea is just very smooth or whether it lacks a lot of flavour. I suspect this is on account of the intense rice flavour, which seems to camouflage a lot of the pu-er nuances. Hopefully the rice flavours will give way soon and let the tea itself shine through.

Finally, with this third steeping, I am getting more of the flavour of the shou pu on which this tea is built. It is good, though perhaps not as amazing as I had hoped. I go ahead and put this tea through a couple more infusions. It is good, but I am left with the impression that it is lacking something. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would give it a 75/100.

205 °F / 96 °C

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“I love trading tea and trying new teas. My favourites are oolong (mainly Chinese) and pu’erh.
Will gladly talk all day about tea.”

The above was my bio when I joined five years ago, and I felt it needed to be updated. I still love pu’erh, though I have begun to take preference toward cooked, shou. Oolongs are certainly still a go-to tea for me, but I have expanded my horizons to begin including greens and blacks based upon the weather and how I am feeling.

Still more than glad to talk about tea – anytime, anywhere, anyplace.
Additionally, if fountain pens, books, music, or computers are on the discussion list…

My ratings, this “personal enjoyment scale” about which I talk, are just that – based on how much I enjoyed the tea. I might have enjoyed it immensely, yet do not keep it stocked for various reasons. On the flip side, I have a few teas that are “good” but not “great,” which I keep stocked for various reasons.



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