1893 Tasting Notes
Another Christmas present!
I want some tea before driving up to Raleigh to pick up my daughter at the airport. She has been in a bit of a white tea kick, so I guess that is why this one was on my mind.
I checked out the recommended steeping instructions on the tin. Thank you, thank you, Hugo Tea, for putting those on there. It gives us a starting place to find our own favorite way. It calls for one tablespoon of leaf to eight ounces of water and when I open the tin I see why. These are big leaves! They don’t look like typical tea, but more like what you pick out of your socks after raking the yard. All that fluffy means you need more leaf! It reminds me in appearance of a Shou Mei (SooMe) white tea I had a while back.
Oh my gosh! This is fantastic! Reading their description of the tea made me think I was going to have to hunt for flavor unless I wanted to pretend I was having a nice cuppa hot water, but this is so flavorful and good. It is sweet and smooth, a little bit creamy, a little mineral, a little tiny bit buttery, a bit floral, a lot good.
Hubby downed his cup before I could sip mine once and he asked for another, so I immediately went in and made a second steep.
Home run, Hugo Tea. Home run.
This is one of my Christmas present cakes from hubby! We drank it tonight while playing Star Trek Settlers of Catan with my son and godson.
First of all, I have had loose puerh and mini Tuocha in the past. I liked puerh right from the first time I tried it, even though the first ones I bought at A Southern Season were really fishy smelling. (Not fishy tasting, though.)
Tuocha are easy! Just drop it in! Getting the amount you need detached from the cake is a challenge and I don’t have a puerh pick or knife. I had read that a butter knife would do and that is what I used last night but it didn’t work so well.
Tonight I tried Granny Stella’s tomato knife, a cheap little white knife my husband got when his granny died. It has a serrated edge and a very pointy tip for piercing.
Now I don’t know if this cake is not as compact and hard as the other one, but that knife worked a treat and in no time I had pried off what I needed for steeping.
I am not an experienced and learned puerh drinker, though I hope to be some day, but I can give my impression of this. It was not fishy at all. It was rather mild and the liquor lighter than others I have tried. I used only a little leaf in an eight ounce pot and we got about six steeps that were pretty good strength from it. I was keeping it around thirty seconds per steep. A final steep was really pale but still tasted nice.
This is very good, and I think it would be a great unflavored puerh to start the fearful on the path.
Many thanks to mrmopar and Garret for their help in choosing my Christmas teas!
This is one of the teas I received for Christmas from my eldest daughter. She must have heard us throwing around the words Lapsang Souchong back when her youngest sibling was having withdrawals from it when we briefly ran out and the Steepster community pitched in and sent her lots of samples so she could choose a favorite to order!
Well, with “Crocodile” in the name, I was a leetle bit scared! I looked it up to see if there was some special reason for the name and the only explanation I found was that Crocodile usually comes from Taiwan instead of China, is the most heavily smoked, and that explorers and adventurers found it tasty. I guess they must be the sort of people most likely to run into a crocodile?
I never considered myself an explorer or an adventurer but I guess would fit right in with them because this is great stuff! I do not find it significantly smokier than Black Dragon. The tea base is nice, the tea overall is smooth, and there is a fresh, clean taste.
The smoke is…tarry? There are a couple of teas that I will drink but truthfully they smell like ashtray to me. Not this one. This smells like you have been grilling food that is marinated with a sweet sauce, like ham glaze and brown sugar, and part of it got overdone. This is that blackened edge – a little crispy but oh so good and still sweet to the taste, with chargrilled flavor mixed with the blackened, thick sugar sauce.
Doulton would love this. I miss her! Hey, maybe Hesper June should try it!
My first puerh cake! I have been really excited about getting these for Christmas. I knew in advance because hubby had me pick the tea I wanted and he did offer to let me try it early, but I waited!
I wasn’t sure how good this first try would be because I took the wrapper and shook off the loose leaf. Then I struggled to pry off a bit of leaf but was really bad at it! I did manage to get about a teaspoon loose and started steeping in my smallest pot.
I was going to rinse but I tasted the rinse and it was good, so I drank it! I did thirty second steeps at first and then increased by just a little for number four. The first steeps are fresh, clean, bright, and horsey, just how I like it. Steep four had chocolate notes! Steep five…oops. I was cooking and doing other things and there is no telling how long it steeped. Several minutes at the very least. But it is still drinkable, and not just drinkable but good!
I am really looking forward to drinking all these puerhs with friends and family for a long time.
Merry Christmas, everyone! It has been a very tea-full Christmas for me! One of my gifts from hubby was this tea, so among the many new teas I thought I should choose this one, just because of the name, as the first. I will continue to take tea journeys throughout the day.
On opening the tin I gave the leaves a good sniff. The aroma wasn’t powerful, but it was the kind that makes you growl jus’ a lil’ bit. Kind of like when you see George Clooney in a tux. Niiiice.
I thought I detected Assam in this, and sometimes Assam doesn’t like me. I kept a close eye on the steeping and checked it at 3 minutes. Nope. Needs more time. I gave it a minute and a half more.
Aaaahh. This is a bright cup of tea. It is really hard to describe. It isn’t strong like the Assams that give me tummy ache, those sharp teas that make my tongue curl up and try to hide. It is fresh and clean, there is a nice pure metallic taste – that melting frost taste I usually may find in green or white tea. And malt. And…muscat grape?
I don’t pick up any puerh taste like Azzrian. The fruitiness makes me wonder if there is some Darjeeling in here?
This is a great wake up cup, civilized, smooth, and the drying effect on the tongue builds gradually as you drink instead of assaulting you. (I guess you can tell I have been traumatized by Yorkshire Gold and the like.) It did not need milk and sugar for me. I did try it that way just so I could report the effect but I preferred it plain. A little milk was fine, but sugar did nothing to add to it for me. I generally don’t put sugar in my tea so those who do might prefer it that way. This is sweet enough for me as is!
A very nice offering, Hugo Tea!
I bought these to use for special occasions. There isn’t a lot that is more special than Christmas Eve in this house! I had hoped to entice some of the kids into trying it since it is so unusual, but the diehard puerh drinkers didn’t budge. They DID watch it bloom and appreciate it. No one else wanted tea.
So I ended up drinking three steeps of this myself! This is my favorite blooming tea so far. The flavor is light and smooth and the flowers add a delicate touch, but not so much flavor that you would dislike it if you are averse to floral teas.
I am going to have to label this as a favorite of hubby soon. We had it with Asian buffet take out again last night and he emptied the pot before I hardly had any! Then he….yes, HE….resteeped. I don’t know if he has ever made loose leaf tea by himself, but he went in the kitchen and made another pot. He was being sweet to me so I could have seem more, and of course he sat down and had more as well.
It is hard to describe how good this is with food. I am surprised I like it so well with food because it is a mild tea that you would think would get lost under the flavors, but instead it swirls across your palate and tastes so fresh and sweet, like sweet well water. I think this would have to go on the “if I could only have ten teas” list!
Last night I asked my son who is here for the holidays if he would like some tea. He said sure! I asked what kind and he replied that he would like the usual. The usual means Teavivre Puerh, usually ripened Tuocha.
This is the final Tuocha that was sent by AmyOh. Thank you, Amy!
This Tuocha is larger than the ones I bought at A Southern Season. I put it in an eight ounce glass pot and gave it a thirty second rinse because I couldn’t remember how well this one breaks up. The rinse was fine, because the next steep, also thirty seconds, was inky black. I made three steeps in rapid succession and combined them in one larger pot.
Great as always. I confess I still do not detect much if any rose flavor, though the pink bud is very pretty in the Tuocha and in the pot! This is a stronger puerh than Mengku Palace. It is not fishy but strongly horsey. Very good, and very soothing for tummies. That is a good thing with all the holiday cooking.