Thanks to Stephanie for sending me a mini tuocha in her swap!
Had a gongfu session with my ceramic gaiwan. I pried the tuocha apart. About half went in the bowl. Gave it a ten-second rinse. Let it sit for ten minutes. Steeping times: 10 seconds, 10, 15, 20, 30, 60; 6 minutes.
After sitting in the heated bowl, the dry leaf smells of earth, then leather, then chocolate. The rinse aroma is delicious: chocolate-covered coffee beans! I mostly smell leather thereafter.
The soup is dark, clear and full-bodied. Flavor fills the mouth. The texture is creamy most of the time (smooth in the middle of the session). It begins with sweet earth and a hint of chocolate. From the second infusion to the last, I taste black coffee and a bit of old leather. The bitterness from the coffee is not off-putting – it reminds me of higher quality coffee. In the back of the throat, during the aftertaste, there are notes of dark fruit (raisins, acai berry) and dark chocolate.
I thought this was alright. I enjoyed the creamy texture and the intense flavor, but I learned I’m not keen on black coffee in my shou. Glad I got an opportunity to sample this!