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Bought from Dragon Tea House ebay store, Sept 17, 2012 and it arrived on Oct 5, 2012 (18 days). {ebay item 270977374375} The 18 compressed puerh mini tuos (ok, one is square) are in a sealed dark plastic pouch. It takes scissors to open it.

That was nice, I had expected something much more casual, like just a baggie with hand-picked sampler inside. Considering how this is packaged, it would make an excellent stocking stuffer, and it would keep well in a vacation home or RV. The fragrance of puerh upon opening the sealed pouch is just lovely, even my DH liked it, and he’s not a puerh fan. The scent of the tea is not compromised by the selection of various herbal additives.

There is no ‘color coded flavor guide’ or anything like that, I’ll have to refer back to the product photo to know which tuo I’m using. I think if you were going to go ‘stocking stuffer’ route, then printing that out for the recipient might be a nice idea, otherwise what’s the point in tasting different flavors? Once again, wishing I knew a bit of Chinese, and quickly dismissing that idea due to the level of technical difficulty ! LOL

Since this is a multi-flavor item, I’ll have to post a few flavor reviews as I consume them. I have been told that mini tuos are sort of the remnants and leftovers of the tea processing, the way sausage is to meat packing, or teabags compared to whole leaf or….. you get the idea. So one should probably not expect heart-rending-splendour from a mini tuo. I’ve also picked up that westerners are somewhat enamored of them due to price and ease. I could agree with that. That’s why I like them :)

1. So, first up, I’m trying Coffee flavor. I’ll brew in my zisha pot for shou/ripe tea. I am using a finum filter to control the amount of steep time. About 12 oz of boiling water to 1 tuo. I carefully checked the color of the wrapper and the tiny characters on it, I’m 98% certain I have the right one :) Pre-steep, dry tuo does not smell of coffee. But the liquid is interesting, it has the smell of cooked pu-erh and just a touch of coffee, but it lacks in the weight on my tongue, and the after-flavor. It’s like the second half of the sip is missing. It’s kinda like maybe instead of pouring boiling water to make the tea, I poured re-heated and very diluted coffee to make the tea. Sorta. It does not have overwhelming coffee flavor, and I don’t need to buy a whole order of these. But I don’t hate it—just MEH
2. Lavender ooh, now, I like this one. I grow lavender, and I’ve had straight lavender tisane, so this flavored tuo is pretty mild, still tastes unmistakably like puerh, with just a top note of lavender. This one is interesting, and I kinda wish I’d poured less water to make a bit thicker tea, I thought my zisha pot was 12 oz, then I measured, it’s 14. I think maybe for a thick cup I should have done 10 oz to 1 tuo. Bummer. Wish there was another lavender in this group, I’ll have to settle for a re-steep.
3. Jasmine Black – pleased to see white little pieces of what is presumably jasmine flower. Using a finum filter and half liter of water. I am also using my polish pottery daily teapot, because this is my first pot of tea for the day, and I don’t feel like fiddling around. Must also confess, I don’t like cloying perfumy floral tea. Not at all sure why jasmine was my first pick of the day. Simply could not explain that one! So, a sip. Pleasant surprise! My eyebrows are at their most elevated state. This is Jasmine in black tea, and it seems that jasmine is most often blended with green, which would give me something else to dislike, as I am not fond of the astringency of green. And that’s how you know it MUST be good for you, right? If that’s the one you don’t prefer? LOL. Back to this little tuo, I have to say, I am liking it, and I’m impressed that the jasmine is unmistakable, when the tuo broke apart, the little bits are visually evident. But it’s GOOD. I proudly and amazingly proclaim that I LIKE IT! And my eyebrows are once again, just about off the top of my face, it’s a STRONG jasmine taste, but I would actually BUY some of this. !?!?!!! Wow
4. Jasmine Raw Well, I figured, since I’m awake now, that I may as well do these back to back. I did rinse the pot with hot water. This also has the bits of flora and the jasmine fragrance, but there is that green astringency in it too. Not bad, as far as that goes. This does not taste like cheap grocery store green with cloying fake jasmine—we all know THAT tea, don’t we? This is a sheng, which is essentially aged green, and thus the muted astringency is there, but does not make your tongue curl up and become brittle. This is very pleasing, even considering my previously stated prejudice against green teas. This is the jasmine you WISH the chinese take-out would serve. The color is beautiful too. This cup is golden like apple cider. A very enjoyable cup. I would drink this again, without hesitation.
5. Special Brick – aka ‘the square one’… I just plopped it in the finum basket and poured boiling water over it like I would any other black tea, boy, it brews up a beautiful color. Amber-brown like cognac. I’m drinking it out of my russian crystal tea glass, no particular reason except it was on the countertop… and I like it. This has a good aged puerh taste, mellow and the smell is mustier than the flavor, it’s in the flavor, but gently. Nice. I would order a whole package of just these square bricks. This is a definite YUM *just found item 270977325224 on ebay, and it’s on my list. Notice the wrapper is actually wrapped then sealed with a round sticker!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Azzrian

Love how you listed the Ebay Item number! Thank you! I have seen these and considered trying them … this review helps!

Babble

A nearby shop of mine sells tons of puerh flavors. Maybe I’ll give them a try.

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Comments

Azzrian

Love how you listed the Ebay Item number! Thank you! I have seen these and considered trying them … this review helps!

Babble

A nearby shop of mine sells tons of puerh flavors. Maybe I’ll give them a try.

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WARNING: OPINIONATED

I take my tea plain, no sugar, no milk. I don’t think I should have to wheedle nudge or cadjole the flavor to reconcile it to the name on the label. If it’s good, it should stand up by itself.

Excellent Video on how to prepare matcha http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NRB93In-rE

Favourites—Chinese tea. European blends. Black, puerh, oolong, spiced and Guayusa. Kusmi, Butiki
Meh to Ick—White tea, Indian tea then green is pretty far down on my list.
Dislikes—Rooibos. Matcha. Anything with hibiscus. Lipton. Celestial Seasonings. Bigelow. Red Rose. Red Leaf Tea.


I just love my camelia. Even if I hate a certain kind of tea, I still find it’s provenance interesting. The cultural aspects are every bit as fascinating as the flavor aspects, or maybe more so. Empires have been built and bankrupted over the humble tea leaf.


Becomming cynical about tea companies that are too hyped. Certain tea companies that use candy in their blend, certain tea companies that give away free tea for reviews posted all over the internet with links back to their store. Once someone has posted that kind of review, I tend to discredit their objectivity. I’m no longer interested in reading their reviews. sorry.


FYI—female—married— to a coffee drinker (but he is willing to try my exotic teas, bless him)

Location

oregon, but forget what you’re thinking, this is the dry side

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