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My stomach still hurts this morning so I’m having a pu-erh which is supposedly known for its’ stomach soothing properties. This is one my boyfriend picked up in London. Rest assured it looks like most other mini touchas you have seen and it appears to be a shu.

I steeped this for around 3 minutes in the western style this morning. It is very dark, earthy and brothy now. I might try to do this one day with shorter infusions. It has a lot of camphor in it which makes me wonder. I hear often times it is put there artifically with shus. It does obscure the taste of the tea a bit for me. I am not a huge fan of the camphor.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

I would be shocked if anyone was producing mini tuocha sheng.

TeaBrat

I just had a green tuo cha from Arbor teas. would this be considered a sheng? It definitely was not a shu. Also I just googled sheng mini tuo cha and came up with a lot. :)

Jim Marks

Hmmm… are any of them any good? Aging that rapid with a sheng seems completely contrary to the whole point of sheng. I mean, there’s a reason why they pack good pu-erh into much larger shapes.

As an aside, yes, sheng, raw and green are the same thing. By contrast, shu, fermented and ripe are the same thing.

TeaBrat

The one I had was more like a sweet green tea than anything else, it’s in my tea log. It wasn’t too bad. I can’t speak to any of the others.

Spoonvonstup

Yes- people do make mini tuocha sheng. Rishi has one that quite a metallic/dry kick in the teeth for me, but I’m spoiled, so there you go. I also have a bunch of sheng tuocha’s (not mini) from China that I’m aging that are very juicy and yummy- so the form of the leaves is always indicator of quality.

I haven’t heard of people putting camphor flavor in artificially. Most of the time, I’ve come across it in bricks (disclaimer.. I am terrible at tasting camphor, but my husband is a fiend for it.. “zhang” flavor in Chinese). I think naturally it often comes from wild-picked leaves that are grown near cedars/pines and other evergreens.

Jim Marks

Non-mini tuocha sheng doesn’t surprise me.

Spoonvonstup

Whoops! I meant to say “the form of the leaves is NOT always an indicator of quality.” Talk about a typo. :/

Ninavampi

Hope your tummy is better! : )

Jim Marks

While I’d agree that the form of the leaves is not always an indicator of quality, I think in the case of a mini tuocha specifically, if one is talking about sheng, it is unlikely that you’re looking at a high quality pu-erh. There’s just too much surface area to allow a sheng to age at a slow enough rate.

teawing

Yes, get well soon.

Spoonvonstup

@ Amy – My husband’s stomach was hurting last night, too, so I made him shu pu’er with a healthy pinch of cinnamon bark and a dash of mint/spearmint. If you’re still feeling unwell, I recommend it.. it’s a nice grounding mix, and the mint helps lift things up and keep the shu from being too heavy to be helpful.

@Jim – Interesting thought about surface area / volume ratios for aging. What benefits do you get by having your shengs age very slowly? I feel actually the opposite. Not by artificially aging them or anything crazy. Many of my favorite bricks are loosely compacted, which actually allows more airflow and seems to help them age faster. It might explain why some of my three and four year old bricks are already drinkable, and taste more like they are 6-8 rs old. I also break up my bricks once I’m about a quarter through and keep them in jars or canisters (with a cloth between the lid and the body to allow airflow). This keeps it better protected than the wrappers when all those pointy edges are created, and also helps it age a tiny bit faster.
But then again, I’ve never been a huge fan of early, rambunctious sheng flavors (dryness and overly metallic were never my things)- I gravitate towards shengs that have mellowed. If you like the grassy astringency (my Japanese green fanatics do), then a slower aging would certainly be beneficial.

Hmm.. this aging discussion might need it’s own thread to keep from completely hijacking Amy’s own note! Amy- have you tried any shu’s from Garret at Mandala? I’ve found he prefers a maltier, breakfast pastry, sweet and caramelly kind of taste from his shu.. especially his old tea nuggets. You might like them if you’re not a fan of camphor.

TeaBrat

Spoon – thanks I will check it out!
Jim – stop hijacking my threads… lol j/k

Jim Marks

As I always say, aging in your house and “aged” pu-erh which has undergone oxidation and fermentation are not the same thing. All I’m trying to say is that it seems unlikely that a tea which can oxidize and ferment very rapidly (because of a high surface area to volume ratio, like a mini tuocha) is going to result in a high quality product. The whole reason shu was developed was because it takes a long time to make good sheng. Maybe I’m completely wrong about all this, but as I understand the processing, speed is not something you want when producing sheng — regardless of how rapidly a consumer may want secondary aging to occur at home (which is more like keeping wine in your basement and has nothing to do with how long the wine was aged in the barrels at the vintner).

Jim Marks

/me points at yesterday’s Pine Breeze thread on my note. :P~

ScottTeaMan

Good points Jim. Yeah, the Pine Breeze discussion was possibly one of the longest (and best) threads IMHO. :))

ScottTeaMan

I’ve also seen mini tuo cha sheng.

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Jim Marks

I would be shocked if anyone was producing mini tuocha sheng.

TeaBrat

I just had a green tuo cha from Arbor teas. would this be considered a sheng? It definitely was not a shu. Also I just googled sheng mini tuo cha and came up with a lot. :)

Jim Marks

Hmmm… are any of them any good? Aging that rapid with a sheng seems completely contrary to the whole point of sheng. I mean, there’s a reason why they pack good pu-erh into much larger shapes.

As an aside, yes, sheng, raw and green are the same thing. By contrast, shu, fermented and ripe are the same thing.

TeaBrat

The one I had was more like a sweet green tea than anything else, it’s in my tea log. It wasn’t too bad. I can’t speak to any of the others.

Spoonvonstup

Yes- people do make mini tuocha sheng. Rishi has one that quite a metallic/dry kick in the teeth for me, but I’m spoiled, so there you go. I also have a bunch of sheng tuocha’s (not mini) from China that I’m aging that are very juicy and yummy- so the form of the leaves is always indicator of quality.

I haven’t heard of people putting camphor flavor in artificially. Most of the time, I’ve come across it in bricks (disclaimer.. I am terrible at tasting camphor, but my husband is a fiend for it.. “zhang” flavor in Chinese). I think naturally it often comes from wild-picked leaves that are grown near cedars/pines and other evergreens.

Jim Marks

Non-mini tuocha sheng doesn’t surprise me.

Spoonvonstup

Whoops! I meant to say “the form of the leaves is NOT always an indicator of quality.” Talk about a typo. :/

Ninavampi

Hope your tummy is better! : )

Jim Marks

While I’d agree that the form of the leaves is not always an indicator of quality, I think in the case of a mini tuocha specifically, if one is talking about sheng, it is unlikely that you’re looking at a high quality pu-erh. There’s just too much surface area to allow a sheng to age at a slow enough rate.

teawing

Yes, get well soon.

Spoonvonstup

@ Amy – My husband’s stomach was hurting last night, too, so I made him shu pu’er with a healthy pinch of cinnamon bark and a dash of mint/spearmint. If you’re still feeling unwell, I recommend it.. it’s a nice grounding mix, and the mint helps lift things up and keep the shu from being too heavy to be helpful.

@Jim – Interesting thought about surface area / volume ratios for aging. What benefits do you get by having your shengs age very slowly? I feel actually the opposite. Not by artificially aging them or anything crazy. Many of my favorite bricks are loosely compacted, which actually allows more airflow and seems to help them age faster. It might explain why some of my three and four year old bricks are already drinkable, and taste more like they are 6-8 rs old. I also break up my bricks once I’m about a quarter through and keep them in jars or canisters (with a cloth between the lid and the body to allow airflow). This keeps it better protected than the wrappers when all those pointy edges are created, and also helps it age a tiny bit faster.
But then again, I’ve never been a huge fan of early, rambunctious sheng flavors (dryness and overly metallic were never my things)- I gravitate towards shengs that have mellowed. If you like the grassy astringency (my Japanese green fanatics do), then a slower aging would certainly be beneficial.

Hmm.. this aging discussion might need it’s own thread to keep from completely hijacking Amy’s own note! Amy- have you tried any shu’s from Garret at Mandala? I’ve found he prefers a maltier, breakfast pastry, sweet and caramelly kind of taste from his shu.. especially his old tea nuggets. You might like them if you’re not a fan of camphor.

TeaBrat

Spoon – thanks I will check it out!
Jim – stop hijacking my threads… lol j/k

Jim Marks

As I always say, aging in your house and “aged” pu-erh which has undergone oxidation and fermentation are not the same thing. All I’m trying to say is that it seems unlikely that a tea which can oxidize and ferment very rapidly (because of a high surface area to volume ratio, like a mini tuocha) is going to result in a high quality product. The whole reason shu was developed was because it takes a long time to make good sheng. Maybe I’m completely wrong about all this, but as I understand the processing, speed is not something you want when producing sheng — regardless of how rapidly a consumer may want secondary aging to occur at home (which is more like keeping wine in your basement and has nothing to do with how long the wine was aged in the barrels at the vintner).

Jim Marks

/me points at yesterday’s Pine Breeze thread on my note. :P~

ScottTeaMan

Good points Jim. Yeah, the Pine Breeze discussion was possibly one of the longest (and best) threads IMHO. :))

ScottTeaMan

I’ve also seen mini tuo cha sheng.

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My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty

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http://sanfrantea.teatra.de

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