Fantastic. So good, earthy, smooth. Not fishy at 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
“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
“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
“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
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.
Company description not available.
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I received this and four other teas from TeaVivre for sampling, so I will use my faded journalistic integrity to provide a bias-free review ;)
Taking the advise of Jim Marks, I did not rinse this lovely little tuocha. 45 seconds for first steep in a 250ml gaiwan, there is a tiny bit of fishy smell emanating from my mug. I thought I would be turned off by it, but I don’t mind it actually. It’s really mellow and blends nicely with the additional scents of hay in this tea.
As this is my first tuocha, I didn’t want to steep it for very long during the first run. That turned out to be a good idea; this tastes smooth and light! There is a little bit of hay on the tip of the tongue, and I can tell there is going to be some additional sweetness in subsequent steeps.
Gonna play more Skyrim and have a few more cups of this!
EDIT: Second steep was 30 seconds, and it’s way darker than the first. Stronger, more pronounced flavours. Still quite nice!
I love drinking and reviewing pu’erh. Something about the earthiness in the flavor strikes me as absolutely delicious, clean even in a murky way.
Having been provided with several pu’erh samples by Teavivre, I chose to begin with this one. As I prepared my teaware for a gaiwan session, I read a bit of the background of this tea. Teavivre’s website lists this pu’erh as having been harvested in the year 2007. Since it was probably not aged all of the time since then, these tuocha (the name for the small, bird’s nest-shaped compression of tea) were probably aged for five or six years. Many times, but not always, a lengthier aging will mellow out a ripe pu’erh (as opposed to raw pu’erh, which is another story entirely). One fact on their website about which I wondered was the statement “Low caffeine (less than 10% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee).”
Please indulge some flimsy science, here. If an 8 ounce cup of coffee has somewhere between 100 and 200mg of caffeine in it (very, very rough estimate, based on numbers taken from around the internet – not decaf coffee), then it would follow that this pu’erh has less than 10 to 20mg of caffeine. While the caffeine content in tea varies, based on the variety of tea and which part of the tea plant is being used (bud versus two leaves and a bud, for example), there is no realistic way in which an 8 ounce cup of pu’erh will have that little amount of caffeine, short of being commercially decaffeinated.
Discussion of tea caffeine levels aside, this tea was ready to go! Gaiwan…hot water…mini tuocha…rinse the leaves and begin the first steep! Thirty seconds later, the steep was done, the tea had been decanted, and I was on my way to tea-drinking enjoyment. I may have over-brewed this first steep, as it resulted in a very dark cup. My taste buds did not care one bit.
The deep, dark cup is full of flavor. As is standard for shou (ripe) pu’erh, it tastes as though you are drinking the smell of a forest, wet soil and all, in the best way possible. For as little aging as this pu’erh has undergone, I am surprised at how smooth it is. Other shou pu’erh of this age tend to have rougher edges. That said, what this tea lacks, being young, is complexity. The impression this first steeping gives is that of a straightforward, tasty, ripe pu’erh. Period. There is some interesting sweetness to the edges, but those flavor tones are a part of the whole and not nuances to be followed down rabbit holes of tasting.
Despite what I just said, I am enjoyed my cup immensely, and the soon the second steeping followed…and then the third… Thus far, the tea had maintained a consistent flavor, and I would have been disappointed, had this pu’erh not been able to withstand three solid steepings. By the fourth steeping, the flavor had begun to wane, but I pushed the leaves through two more, just to extract as much pu’erh goodness as possible.
Teavivre’s Ripened Aged Pu-erh Mini Tuocha make for great daily-drinking-pu’erh, as they are quite affordable and a good value for the flavor. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate these tuocha at 80/100.
And I get to end the day with a sipdown!
This one is from my steep sister, Sil, & I have no idea what my current tea count is, probably 320 or something absurd like that (better that 400 + that it was a month ago!)
Confession: I really like tuochas. They are adorable & I’m a fan of things that are cute sized/shaped. So there!
Although this is not a bad puerh, as in fishy or ammonia-like, it does have a strong peat moss kind of quality, & is rather woodsy. I’m not complaining, but it’s certainly not as sweet as smooth as some of the Shu’s I’ve tried. The 2nd steeping is definitely nice & more developed than the first, & if I wasn’t heading out the door in a minute, I’d go for a third.
Maybe when I get home…