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Recent Tasting Notes
Just got my TuochaTea order and this was the first tea that I tried. I love the silver bud pu-erh teas, as they are very approachable: almost like a white tea with added depth. Probably a good tea for someone who wants to gradually ease into sheng.
Things started out badly. The photo on the website shows a perfectly silver beeng, but what I got was more like salt and pepper. Also, the tea came in an original wrapper that was all Chinese (Greek to me) and an outer wrapper that had a sticker saying 2008 silver buds, rather than the 2011 on the website. I’m not going to complain, since one normally pays a premium for older tea. I noticed that once I steeped the tea, the volume of buds vs non-bud was about 10 to 1 so can’t really complain about the non-bud leaves either.
My first cup was wonderful: exactly what I was hoping for from this tea. It was very light, with a sort of honeysuckle aroma and a taste of raw cane sugar (we used to buy sugar cane as a treat when I was a kid). The finish was wonderful. In the second cup, the cha qi became very noticeable, putting me an in excellent mood. The third pot was also great, but the fourth was noticeably weaker, with a woody flavor replacing the sugar and honeysuckle. I was able to get a couple more pots out of it by using longer steeps, but they lacked the finesse of the first 3 pots. I use 2 grams per 2 oz water and 10, 20, 30 s steeps, so typically get fewer steeps than those who use more tea. Still, I usually get more than this.
This was a great value at $26 per beeng. My only complaint is that I ordered it two days after Thanksgiving and it arrived 3 days after Valentine’s day. Next time I’ll pay (through the nose) for air mail.
There are at least three listings for Tuocha Tea, so I just chose one and went with it. I actually started this yesterday and I am still drinking it but thought I would post. This is less than half the price on Tuocha Tea as it is elsewhere.
I kind of messed up the first mug. I used boiling and a 45 second steep with no wash. The leaf smelled like wet carpet and the cup was very bitter and drying. My fault. Beyond the eeewww, this is a little sweet, and a little woodsy.
The second 10 oz mug at 10 seconds is pretty good. The wet leaf is a pleasant woodsy mushroom with a hint of smoke. This is sweet. It feels a bit syrupy. The taste is of stone and mushroom. This is a very enjoyable cup with nothing off-tasting.
The third mug at 20 seconds is stone and mushroom, and I detect a light smoke late in the sip. This is the best cup yet.
This is a raw puerh, and it still has some of that sheng brightness, but it is aging nicely and seems pretty decent.
I have been drinking the 2005 Six Famous Tea Mountain Jia Ji Raw Pu-erh Tuocha from Mengla in Xishuangbanna for the last three days. (Purchased here: http://www.tuochatea.com/6ftm-jia-ji-pu-erh-tuocha-p2/). It is quite interesting as it has changed each time I’ve tried it over several days. I brews to a light orange color, and at first was rich, mouthfilling, smoky, and citric. Later steepings have been “younger” tasting to me and current steep #11 is back to alfalfa, green, and mouth watering. It isn’t the most intense tuo I’ve had, but it holds my interest, and I keep coming back to it for the taste and experience. Quite nice all in all.
Quite a treat, this beautiful 2011 silver melon raw pu-erh brews a light orange color at this writing (03/2014), with a light sweet lasting taste, with hints of oat straw, and a depth of persistent flavor that bodes well for aging. I suggested putting it away for a few years, but my partner objected saying she liked it right now. Luckily it is a 500 gram melon so we can both have it the way we would like.