Never had a pu-erh toucha before. At first I wasn’t sure if I should steep it as it was or if I should break it to bits first, but I decided to go for the former after having looked it up at the seller’s website. I figured that it was little difference from various pearl teas and that if I was supposed to break it to bits, they would have said so.
Turns out I think I did it the right way this way. I could see it in the pot in the beginning of the steep and it disintegrated pretty quickly. I can’t say anything about how it smelled because although I tried, I had just handled salmon so I couldn’t really smell anything other than fish. And I was pretty certain that it wasn’t supposed to smell like smoked fish.
A normal length steep for me gave me a very dark brew. It’s as black as coffee and it’s only when I hold it up to the light that I can spot any sort of transparency. I think maybe I’ve steeped it to death here, and I’m belatedly reminded of Carolyn’s method of many very ultra short steeps. Maybe that’s the way I should go with the other toucha.
It doesn’t, however, taste in anyway ruined. It’s actually very nice. A bit mild for a pu-erh possibly, but it’s not bitter at all. It just has that hint of astringency that tells me that I’ve used too much leaf for this length of steeping. There should be loads of steeps left in this one though. Shorter ones, mind.
There’s nothing to report on the taste otherwise though. It just tastes like pu-erh. Fairly standard. Default pu-erh. I got a sample of a plain loose pu-erh too from this company, and if they turn out to be similar (which I suspect they will) then this will likely be the one of the two I’ll prefer, simply because this is easier to deal with. It’s always good, I think, to have a solid plain pu-erh around in the cupboard and that’s something I’ve been missing for a long time.
Bit like a teabag actually, just without the actual bag.