Ripened Aged Pu-erh Mini Tuocha

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Pu Erh Tea
Flavors
Earth, Leather, Mushrooms
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Medium
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Scott
Average preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec 6 g 7 oz / 221 ml

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90 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Mini tuocha, please help a fairy in needs of relief! I ate too much. When I do, puerh always comes to rescue. I don't know how it can be so soothing, but it just is. I don't have digestion problems...” Read full tasting note
    88
    TheTeaFairy 343 tasting notes
  • “I has a happy! Tomorrow is a birthday in the family, so my son and his girlfriend, and my godson are all staying here for a few days. Today we had the birthday pizza, and my son told me to make...” Read full tasting note
    ashmanra 1796 tasting notes
  • “For part of my Christmas my son put a program on my computer called Kerbal Space Program. You design and launch spacecraft. So far I been able to attain a good circular orbit and today I even made...” Read full tasting note
    85
    ks6 1249 tasting notes
  • “And there we go. The second steep completely opened up the leaves and a much better cup results. Why do tuocha get packed so tightly? Are they "superior" in some way to fermented pu-erh which isn't...” Read full tasting note
    93
    jimmarks 323 tasting notes

From Teavivre

Origin: Pu’er, Yunnan, China

Ingredients: Shredded leaves compressed into birds nest shape and individually wrapped

Harvest time: Made in May 2007

Taste: A complex mellow and rich flavour

Brew: One tuocha for 8oz of water. Brew at 212 ºF (100 ºC) for 1 to 2 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)

Health Benefits: Pu-erh tea is a great fat busting weight loss product. It is known for centuries for its ability to help digest fatty foods, increase the metabolism and reduce cholesterol levels. This tea is also good for those who are looking for long term weight maintenance. Eating healthier foods and drinking this wonderful tea, especially after meals is the key to a successful diet. It also contains polyphones which attacks free radicals, which protects you from various diseases.

About Teavivre View company

Company description not available.

90 Tasting Notes

88
343 tasting notes

Mini tuocha, please help a fairy in needs of relief! I ate too much. When I do, puerh always comes to rescue. I don’t know how it can be so soothing, but it just is. I don’t have digestion problems at all. Usually. But…from time to time, things happen.

Oh, I was a bad, bad, fairy tonight, yes I was…

If you’ve been reading my notes for a while, you know I’m some kind of a health freak. Proud Vitamix owner for many years, name any fruit/veggie combination, I have had it. I don’t care much for sugar, eat lots of fish, love quinoa and leafy greens.

Having said that, I do like me some piece of meat every now and then, and I have been known for eating anything dark chocolate in excess…

But I have another flaw…( wine doesn’t count, it’s a fruit portion, Roughage said it, and he’s very smart and knowlegable) It’s a big flaw…to this day, a secret one. I’m willing to share with you Steepster friends, but husssssh, please keep it quiet: I’m a sucker for boxed KD mac & cheese. I know, I know, its no good…but I like it. There. It’s out.

Today being a migraine day (all gone now, thanks to a friend who kept my mind busy in the right way!), I needed something to indulge for dinner. After a lot of consideration, I’ve decided to open THE cupboard, the one locked under a secret code and pulled out an «in case of emergency» KD box.

I crushed some Herbes de Provence and parmesan cheese to make it «gourmet» (yes, there is such a thing as Gourmet KD in my kitchen!) and put the dish under broil for a few minutes. Needless to say, I ate the whole thing. No veggies. Just 100% pure carbs. I’m full. Burp. (Oops!!!)

Thanks mini Tuocha for supporting me.

Steepster fellows, please don’t judge me…

(See previous note)

Nxtdoor

Oh god. This is too funny. I laughed at the Mac & cheese first. Then at the herbs de Provence on it. Not having grown up in North America I don’t get the Mac & cheese. But My common law spouse is born and raised Canadian. I tried making gourmet Mac n cheese from scratch and don’t you know it, it ain’t as good as the boxed shit. I guess unless it’s glowing orange it just don’t cut it.

Fjellrev

Haha way to be making it super gourmet.

TheTeaFairy

Nxdoor, I think KF is engraved in us North Americans, it’s in our DNA, lol!

Fjellrev, it’s still crap, but I’d rather have gourmet crap than just plain crap, don’t you agree?

Fjellrev

You’re right about that! I never thought about sprucing up KD like that.

TheTeaFairy

OMG, just noticed I wrote KF instead of KD, lol! Corrected, must be my dyslexia, KF as in Kraft probably?
I pimp my food all the time, it’s my creative side :-)

cryptickoi

I love my vitamix,it gets used every morning…everyone has a weakness…haha

TheTeaFairy

Aw, thanks cryptickoi, glad to know I’m not the only one enjoying my green morning juice! Isn’t it a life changer? How long have you been using yours?

Kamyria

LOL Oh no! Not boxed KD! I’m not judging, I swear I’m not judging… lol I’m not much better myself lately.. I’m a fellow health freak currently on a massive comfort food binge… I really want to eat more veggies, I really do, it’s just that my hands are doing what they want and not picking them out of the fridge lately!

TheTeaFairy

Kamyria, don’t be too hard on yourself, we all need some comfort binging. Fruits and veggies will still be there when your hands return,haha!

cryptickoi

I’ve only had mine for about 6mos. but I’ve been doing protein/superfood smoothies every morning for 3 years I guess…

ashmanra

LOL! Same dirty secret here, but with Penzey’s Sunny Paris or Ruth Ann’s Muskegon Avenue spices added! The gooier it is, the better it tastes. Al dente, of course!

cryptickoi

I’m sort of a health nut too…I really wish there were a lot more organic choices when it came to teas…

TheTeaFairy

Ashmanra, listen to us, who are we kidding? gourmet al dente KD really? lol, as if it’s some kind of delicatessen. Oh well, I guess it is to us! Thanks for also sharing your secret! (Now gotta look for those spice blends!)

Dexter

Closet KD lover as well. I like garlic sausage, onion, and tomato added. Al dente? sorry nope – over cooked and mushy for me. KD isn’t real pasta. LOL

cryptickoi

now I’m thinking dark chocolate with berries and ripe pu…mmm…

MissLena

Another KD lover here! Only time I got tired of it was when I ate a lot of it as a first year student lol, now I’m back to loving it :) dill, garlic/garlic powder, salt and pepper for me on it, in various combinations of the 4. :)

TheTeaFairy

Cryptickoi, me too for 3 years, but luckily, I started with the Vitamix. Wow, it must have made a huge difference for you, after 2.5 years with a regular blender! It’s a leap of faith financially but it is worth every penny. I don’t always add protein powder (the vegetal kind) cause most of the time I add whole almonds, hemp and chia seeds, and greek yogurt. So delicious!

cryptickoi

yeah,regular blenders suck…haha

TheTeaFairy

OMG, people, I think we all came out at the same time, lol, Dexter, leave the closet open!!!
Had no clue there were so many KD lovers here :-)

Miss Lena, sounds delicious!

TheTeaFairy

Dexter sausages for real??? Not judging, but, you know…

Dexter

LOL garlic sausage isn’t the same as breakfast sausage, but yes I KNOW. It’s ok, ham works well too….

__Morgana__

It’s hard not to love mac and cheese. It’s such a pure comfort food. And the Kraft version is sort of the gold standard. I’m so glad my kids have graduated from mac and cheese every other night or so as it keeps me out of trouble! I like the gussied up versions too, though I can do without the breadcrumbs that seem to be de rigueur for the gourmet types. I have to confess that we like Annie’s shells also, though I try to limit myself to just a taste!

TheTeaFairy

Morgana, yes I can imagine how being exposed to it every other night is a bad, bad thing for mom, lol! Not much of a breadcrumbs fan either…

MissLena

Mmm all this KD talk is making me want to make some..too bad we don’t have any in the house at the moment! Popcorn it is :)

TheTeaFairy

You get my seal of approval, MissLena!

OMGsrsly

I love browning some butter in a pan and adding the cheese sauce mixed with a bit of milk to cook and melt it before adding the noodles back. That’s how I ‘gourmet it up’!

TheTeaFairy

OMGsrsly, welcome to our KD outing then, sounds great :-)

K S

We saw an episode of Diners Driveins and Dives where they made a fancy smancy mac & cheese with a ton of different cheeses. We went to the trouble of finding them all and trying it. Ehh. We are back to the good stuff made with Velveeta instead of water is in that pouch and throw in some hot dogs. I can almost hear my arteries snapping shut.

TheTeaFairy

Yes bad for the arteries, but so good for the soul :-) KS, doesn’t it feel good to embrace this decadent habit of ours?

OMGsrsly

I got a case of Annie’s gluten free. So tempting to go home and make it, but I’m off grains until the end of the month! This is the first time I’ve actually been tempted. KD is miracle comfort food for sure. :)

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1796 tasting notes

I has a happy! Tomorrow is a birthday in the family, so my son and his girlfriend, and my godson are all staying here for a few days. Today we had the birthday pizza, and my son told me to make some puer so he wouldn’t feel bad from all the fat!

His girlfriend, though she is Asian, doesn’t drink tea, but she told me she likes coffee. (Does that sound bad? I don’t mean it in a bad way, just surprised that so many of the Asian people I know are coffee drinkers, not tea drinkers, even though they cook primarily Asian food at home.) Today when I made this I offered her some but she said, “no, thanks!”. But I thought, hmmm, she likes coffee, so…I told her she might like this if she liked coffee. And guess what? She did! We have now had ten cups of puer, all made gong fu style. She really, really likes it. We had two different kinds and this was their favorite. They said the one from another company we tried was too weak for them.

I would never have guessed that these young college kids who totally nix tea would go for puer, but I am delighted!

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85
1249 tasting notes

For part of my Christmas my son put a program on my computer called Kerbal Space Program. You design and launch spacecraft. So far I been able to attain a good circular orbit and today I even made it to the planet’s moon and returned safely. The learning curve is very steep. I have blown several craft up while launching. I have much to learn. I think my son is almost tired of answering questions.

Any way I thought this flavorful tea would go well with amateur rocket science. I brewed 4oz for the first cup. It was light and sweet. The next three steeps I have dumped together and it is much darker and leather. A nice enjoyable toucha.

Anna

Haha, this post cracked me up – I was skimming my way down the dash, and my eyes landed on, “So far I been able to attain a good circular orbit…” and I was just… Wait, WHAT?

K S

:) Except for solitaire type games I haven’t played a computer game in ever – I’m a little hooked on this at the moment.

Anna

As a not-so-reformed born gamer, I am so excited to hear that! There are so, so many good ones to be had now, too.

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93
323 tasting notes

And there we go. The second steep completely opened up the leaves and a much better cup results. Why do tuocha get packed so tightly? Are they “superior” in some way to fermented pu-erh which isn’t pressed?

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
Spoonvonstup

I don’t think it’s about superiority. It all comes down to storage and trying to preserve the leaves for as long as possible. If you’re not going to drink a piece of pu’er for years and years, it might as well be packed tightly. This way, even if you move it around over decades, it won’t be as easily damaged. However, it’ll also age more slowly (less leaves exposed to less oxygen).
Loose pu’er is easy for ready drinking and ages faster. However, if it’s not going to be used for years, you’re likely going to end up with a good portion of your stock turning to dust and fannings at the bottom of your jar/what-have-you. The leaves are more exposed, more delicate, more easily damaged.

Pressed pu’er is more traditional just because it was meant to be traded..traveling over long distances in journeys that could take years. Also, the more tightly packed, the less volume the cargo takes up.. the more you can pack on your bags. Tea isn’t traveling by horseback anymore, but it still has a long international journey to get from Yunnan to North America.

So in part tradition, in part practicality, with a healthy does of global trade.
A big sack of toucha is probably a pretty good balance of the benefits of loose vs bings. They’re not going to fall apart, but you can also just take a little bit at a time (just one head) without damaging the integrity of the whole.
Then again, they don’t need to be so tightly packed. That really only comes from hydrolic presses. Toucha’s generally only come from bigger, more industrialized factories, since a smaller traditional one would probably prefer to put their leaves in a more traditional brick.

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90
467 tasting notes

While I’m intrigued by puerh and the fact that the tea has aged, I’m always a little apprehensive when trying one. I tend to shy away from teas with even a hint of fishiness, and puerh is notorious for it.

The cute little cake itself smells great, though it definitely smells different from fresh black tea. It smells like dried grass and promising maltiness, but with a hint of that aged flavor. Before I made this tea, I read that it only needs about a minute to two minutes to steep. I didn’t believe it, but I went with what the professionals said. By the end of the first minute, the tea was darker than a seven-minute-chai. I panicked and decided to stop it at 1:30.

It smells like sour honey and wood. But the taste is like something I’ve never had before with a puerh. I definitely taste leather, like others have said, but it’s a good thing. It’s incredibly smooth and flavorful, and like many Teavivre teas I’ve had, it’s naturally a little sweet. I can taste the same sort of flavor that I associated with fish, but it’s different in this blend. I’m glad I still have one cake left.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

Pu-erhs are an adventure. When you get a really super one you will not turn back.

Kaliska

I thought you’d like this one, I have one little brick left I’m going to make it tonight and write a final review.

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80
4322 tasting notes

OK… this was the Pu-erh I was a little afraid to try, because I had a feeling it would end up being a very earthy tasting tea. I think it was the “Ripened Aged” part of it, because the tuocha itself doesn’t have that strong, earthy smell to it.

Yes, it is earthy, but, it has a really nice sweetness to it too and that makes it very enjoyable. My first couple of sips I tried without any sweetener and it had a nice, caramel-y kind of sweetness to it, then I tried it with a little turbinado sugar and found that this addition gave the sweetness a molasses-y kind of taste. Very nice.

Amariel

Did you use the whole tuocha? I did with my ripened rose one, though I think some people have been splitting it.

LiberTEAS

yes, I used the whole nest. I probably could have split it, but, I usually don’t.

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90
88 tasting notes

I really do enjoy pu-erh teas and this one is pretty high on my list. Especially of the ones that I can identify, seeing as I have a few at home I just can’t figure out what company made them!

In any case, it’s been another long, stressful day at work and I felt the need to relax. I had just eaten a large lunch and clocked back in when it became eminently clear that I needed some nice pu-erh to help keep my stomach settled and my senses alert.

Once it was brewed, I smelled the tea and actually said out loud, “Yes! This is exactly what I need!” It was sort of silly. I guess it’s a good thing there aren’t too many people near my desk.

What I love most about a good pu-erh like this is how it transports me. I smell the tea and have a sip and I’m camping in the woods, huddled in a warm sleeping bag as a fallen tree falls apart eaten by termites next to my tent. * sigh * This is where I want to be right now. And this is where I feel like I am when I enjoy this tea.

Delicious!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

Oh I know what you mean…when you are transported and have a mini-vacation and your soul is rested for a moment. It is a practice that is important. Being in the moment lets us be calm and content.

Dinah Saur

Exactly, Bonnie! I’ve also recently picked up my yoga practice again (after a number of months “off”) and it’s helping me in the exact same way that a fine tea like this does. I had never thought of it like that until just now and I have to say THANKS for helping me see it from another (awesome) point of view!

SimpliciTEA

What a great review! I sometimes say things out loud and feel a little self conscious about it. Being silly is a good thing!

I’m with you on wanting to be camping in the woods, too.

And the Yoga! My wife and I both practice daily now, and I agree that the calming feeling I get from my practice is similar to the feeling when drinking a quality tea.

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68
682 tasting notes

Okay, finally trying my puerh sample from Teavivre. Thank you Angel! I have only encountered puerh a few times before and I didn’t like it – the aroma was always fishy and I couldn’t get over it. I understand that to mean that the puerh was of low quality and lately I’ve been wanting to try some better stuff, so here I am. I also have one from Peony Tea that I hope to try soon. The tuocha (henceforth to be known as the bird’s nest) is adorable and has an aroma that reminds me of hamster cages – not pee or poo but sawdust and maybe the grains that I used to feed Jake. (We had a hamster who died a few years ago, he has a very fond place in my heart. The smell of this actually makes me miss him).

I did a thirty second rinse to awaken the leaves, and hopefully rinse away anything that I might find particularly yucky. :) Surprisingly, the bird’s nest basically crumbled. My gaiwan is full of small pieces of tea leaves, it almost looks like ground coffee. I didn’t really expect that.

First official steep went for 1 minute and yielded a DARK liquor. It truly puts me in mind of coffee, that is not something I’ve had in tea before. I am predominantly a black tea drinker and puerh seemed like the next step for me. My tea pet (a pair of feet) are getting a really good bath today! Anyway, the first steep smells like a barn to me, old wet wood and damp hay/sawdust. It smells like cows and horses coming in from the rain with damp hides – while this description may sound unappealing, there is something comforting about it too. I don’t necessarily want to drink it, but the aroma is very familiar. There is no fish at all, but just damp nature – wood, earth, animals, cloth. Interesting. The taste matches the smell astonishingly closely. Still no fish, but strong earthiness, very natural and organic. Strong without being bitter, and not like any tea I have had before. I like this, but it’s way out of my comfort zone. It doesn’t even taste like tea as I know it. I would like a bit of sweetness here, a honey note to offset the earthiness. I don’t even know if puerh HAS honey notes!

Second steep went for 1.5 minutes, yielding an even darker brew than the first time. it’s almost black! Are we sure this isn’t coffee? The leaves are so small that a bunch escaped the lid of my gaiwan. It may be silly, but I hate leaves in my cup. The aroma this time is very similar than the first. Initially it seemed a bit muted but then I got a strong hit of leather, like I’m in a shop filled with freshly worked boots. While I LOVE the smell of leather (I was a biker baby, I had leather jacket, chaps, all that good stuff) I feel a little weird about drinking it. Bravely, I persevere and am rewarded with a better brew than before. The taste is very similar to the first steep but more palatable. The edga has been taken off the earthiness and I am getting something more like the tea I know and love. There is some sweetness here that I appreciate, though there is also a hint of bitterness. It’s strange that both of those notes can be present where they weren’t before. I’ll finish this one quickly, I fear it may be becoming bitter because of the leaves that slipped into my cup. I almost expect a bit of spice, cinnamon or nutmeg but I get nothing like that. This remains very organic, tasting entirely of the earth. This is definitely better than the first, for me.

Third steep went for 2.5 minutes (whoops!) and yielded a much lighter cup. This time I am enjoying a deep amber. maybe the extra time was a wise accident. The aroma has gone back to hamster cage, wet sawdust and maybe even garden mulch. As I’ve said before, very earthy. The taste is a muted version of the aroma, no bitterness but not any sweetness either. I think I am getting close to the end of my run with this bird’s nest. The beau says this one is by far the best, while I am not sure. The boldness of the second steep was remarkable, but this one comes across as drinkable. I am starting to get a cumulative hint of bitterness which is clouding my judgment of this one.

I’m going for a fourth steep of 3 minutes. I’m too lazy to get up and re-heat the water so it has probably cooled quite a bit at this point, but the extra time seems to balance that out. This liquor is considerably lighter than the others and has very little aroma. There is a whiff of barn animals, but that’s about it. The flavour is similarly weakened. I’ve reached the end, I think. I do prefer my pu a little lighter (for now) so the second and third steeps were the best for me, but they were all enjoyable.

All in all, puerh is definitely not an everyday tea for me, but this bird’s nest has taken away a lot of my fear. There is hope for me in the world of pu! : ) As for the rating, since I have little experience with puerh, I will just go with how drinkable it is for me and perhaps adjust up or down as I try more. Since previous puerh blends were undrinkable for me, this rating is actually really high!

Bonnie

You’ve turned down the right road for sure, but the longish steeps might have been a bit much. I mostly stick to 30 second to 1 minute steeps myself now although after 5 or 6 steeps I’ll let it sit for awhile. The coffee analogy wasn’t lost on me either. I used to be a big coffee drinker. Sometimes I make a pu-erh latte with sweetening (never honey though) and half and half. Usually the pu-erh makes a caramel tasting latte. If you’re game, drink it straight, sweeten then add milk and see how you like it.

Uniquity

I also thought the times seemed long as well, but I was working off of Teavivre’s suggestions and then adding for each infusion. I still have three more nests, perhaps I’ll do the next for 30 second and then add 15 seconds per steep (or so) and see how it goes. I’m just so happy to not have any fishiness! Thanks for the advice Bonnie, it’s much appreciated!

Bonnie

I’ve learned a lot from other people and from playing with the pu-erh without being afraid of it. One collector told me he always steeped 30 seconds and when I tried that, it seemed to work for me most of the time. I watched the video on Verdant too and sometimes, poke my pu-erh with something small like a toothpick if it’s hard to get it started…breaking it up.

Uniquity

I actually expected it to be hard to break up because of things I’ve seen from Verdant, but the little nest just fell apart. Likely because it is smaller, the water got in the cracks more easily. Despite not loving puerh (yet) I frequently want to buy a cake from Verdant. I may have a problem. :)

K S

I greatly enjoyed reading your review of this tea. I have had this one before and understood just what you meant every step of the way. Do you also have the rose toucha? You can’t – or at least I can’t – taste the rose exactly but it takes that sharp edge off the cup. How can something described as hamster cage and damp horse barn keep you wanting to try it again? As you said there is something comforting about it – exactly.

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80
807 tasting notes

Free Sample from Teavivre.
First steep I decided to drink instead of use as rinse – leathery, not fishy at all other than slightly very slightly in aroma and if you can get past that which I did easily it is quite rich and lovely!
Tastes of wood, sandalwood specifically come out.
Slightly perfume like flavor.

The following steeps still tasted dark, chocolate notes come out, the leather like flavors still present and I am feeling very relaxed!

Pu-erh is a very lovely special tea which I always throughly enjoy.
Thank you Teavivre for this sample!

Scott B

I have this at home, but have been a little nervous about trying a Pu-erh.

Azzrian

Go for it! I would recommend a rinse – about 30 seconds or full steep time – dump then steep again. Now I did drink my “rinse” steep but I love Pu-erh and this was not my first time. I would only suggest this to mellow you into the idea of pu-erh but you CAN drink it by all means. I will say this is not my all time FAVORITE pu-erh but it is nice a good place to begin!

Scott B

Thanks for the tips. I’m not as worried about the taste as much as whether any mold or yeast in the tea will give my allergy problems.

TeaBrat

Scott – I have allergies too and have not had any problems with pu-erh that i know of…

Scott B

Thanks, Amy. I’ll get to it eventually. Think I will try Verdant’s Imperial Breakfast first-it has a little bit of Pu-erh in it.

Azzrian

Ah yes sorry Scott that is a whole different animal!

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71
4673 tasting notes

sipdown! (back to 160) This is not the tea for me. It’s not a bad little puerh, but there’s a peat sort of taste hanging about this one that i don’t much enjoy. I like the format of this one, and the scent is really nice. As i sip it, i find that the initial sips are tasty, but it’s the after taste that i’m not a fan of. While not quite the mini tucho for me, i wouldn’t turn it down if it was offered to me in the future. There’s no fishiness to this one either, for those that are worried about that :)

Stephanie

I am thinking about trying some of their flavored mini-touchas

Sil

i’ll keep an eye out for your tasting notes. :) I think on the whole i prefer garet for all my puerh, though there are a few loose puerhs that teavivre has that are really nice. Mandala has made me spoiled though. Teavivre is good for my black teas though :)

Stephanie

I agree about Mandala’s puerhs being SO GOOD! :D

Terri HarpLady

What Sil said :)

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