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 tried this in the gaiwan. 1 tuocha, 3-4oz water (which started out boiling and cooled off a bit as I went along – I reheated it a couple of times). I went with the Teavivre recommended: rinse(10s),10s,10s,10s,15s,20s,30s. Then I tacked a 1min and 2min steep on the end for good measure. :)
The flavour is earthy, woody, a bit leathery. It reminds me of walking in the woods after the rain, when everything is damp. I was surprised by the thick, almost oily mouthfeel, and the sweetness at the end of the sip, that lingered. Very pleasant, no bitterness or astringency. I sometimes get a bit of a fishy odour off the leaves, but never in the cup. I didn’t perceive much difference from one steeping to the next – the colour was probably darkest in steepings 2-4, but I found the flavour pretty consistent.
This isn’t blowing me away or anything, but I’m happy to have it in my cupboard. I can see myself reaching for it when I’m in the mood for a straight shou pu-erh.
Flavors: Leather, Sweet, Wet Earth, Wood
A sample from KittyLovesTea. Pu-erh still scares me, but I’m determined to keep trying until I understand it. I think I’m making progress with that, slowly but surely! I used 1 tuocha, and gave it 1 minute in boiling water. The liquor is surprisingly light in colour – a golden orange. Many of the pu-erh touchas I’ve tried thus far have verged on dark brown/black even when brewed for a very short time. This makes an encouraging change.
The scent is probably, for me, the worst thing about pu-erh. This one is no exception. The whiff of farmyard at 11 o’clock in the morning is never going to be particularly welcome. Still, I can get past that.
For good reason, it turns out. This is a pu-erh I could actually say that I…like. It tastes fairly mild, but has a warm, earthy, slightly dank flavour, a little like compost mixed with wet mud. I’m not screwing my face up, and I can actually sip this one happily and think about the flavour without wishing I really wasn’t. I guess this is called progress?
Aroma: Earthy, wet soil
Liquor Color: Deep rusty red
Liquor Flavor: Full bodied, earthy, damp, smooth, slight sweetness
Notes: Unwrapping these reminded me of little chocolate truffles. I placed one in a small tea pot, did a rinse, and brewed this western style for 3 minutes. Once I opened the tea pot, the leaves were loosened up in a way that reminded me of upturned soil. Even though the flavor didn’t appeal to me too much, I have to say, it was interesting and unique. Sip by sip I was transported to a forest, early in the morning with dew still on the ground. I could smell the earthy dampness, and felt the soil beneath my feet. Mushrooms were spread all over the ground. The air was crisp and refreshing. This tuocha was a very visual experience for me. I’m excited to try others to see if I can really take in the whole experience.
Thank you Teavivre for the free sample!
Flavors: Earth, Leather, Mushrooms
The amazing TheTeaFairy sent me this one in a box awhile ago. Thank you so much.
This is a really nice everyday pu’erh. It’s everything that I think a pu’erh should be – a little musty and a little earthy. There isn’t anything offensive here, just a nice shu. I like it’s simplicity. Some of my absolute favorite pu’erh is more complex than this, but sometimes you just want something nice and easy. This works for those situations.
Thanks TheTeaFairy for sending this one my way – I didn’t find the leather, but was nice to spend a couple of hours with this one today.
I have to offer my sincere thanks to Angel at Teavivre for offering me this low risk opportunity to educate myself about puerh’s by sending me some wonderful samples.
Puerh have many attributes I should appreciate, a rich coffee like texture and in this case mouth feel, spice, long lasting leaves ( I tend to resteep), and interesting and evolving flavour profiles. I enjoy the cheap flavoured one I have on occasion, but I have been hesitant to experiment because I don’t know enough about them and I am afraid of fishy flavours ( this goes to a long standing dislike of fish since early childhood).
I am pleased to say that I need not of worried this tea is quite pleasant and reminds me of the spicy, leathery Yunnan’s I’ve got from a Polish company with the added tingle of a drawn espresso. I steeped this tea 15 times to this point and it still has a pleasant flavour. I found notes of leather, spice sandalwood, cocoa, tangy fruit settling into creamy papaya cream, coffee, charcoal, eucalyptus, earth, and vanilla. I quite enjoyed this tea and it has opened up in me an interest in exploring puerhs further. So thanks for the opportunity Angel!
Faint smokeyleathery note of some Yunnan’s mixed with a hint of hay.broken but tight packed leaves. 2 rinses, 5 second brew
Spicy, with a tangy fruity , note, hint of leather, settled ssmokey scent, like a town where wood smoke is the dominant fuel and has settled in the air, cocoa.
Taste rich and thick, herbaceous bitter note, hint of charcoal, over leather, hint of coffee, powdery spicy note, tingling on the tongue. Sensation of cocoa powder on tongue but not a strong cocoa taste., hint of sweet and tangy fruit..
Need a sieve because tea is very fine and broken leaves.
No astringency, smooth. feeling of cream on tongue. Reminds me of a sunny fall brisk day
5s. Sweeter, with fruitier tones of malt, stronger hint of cocoa, spice and leather, hint of aged straw, spicy fallen fall leaves.
Smooth powdered cocoa, spice and leather, coffee notes on tongue, earthy note with hints of sandalwood. Smooth, sweeter in scent than taste, but hint of creamy sweet fruit, almost papaya like.
7s. Slightly lighter peach tinged colour liquid dark but clear.
Scent similar to aabove.
Leather spice, hint of earth and eucalyptus, fruity slightly tart tone , espresso, slightly sweeter, tint of cocoa.
10s. Scent similar, colour similar to a strongly brewed full leaf Assam.
Hints of malt, eearth/seaweed, leather, spice euca!yptus, malt cocoa, slight hint of tartness and bubly sensation of espresso dissipating.
15s seaweed, tart currant, leather,malt, spice
Eucalyptus, leather, espresso sensation, hint of cocoa, touch of malt and ccurrant, spice.
20s. Malt, leather, spice,cocoa
Earth,spice,cocoa,leather, creamy fruit, touch of sweetness.
Cream,leather,spice, malt, cocoa, a bit of papaya. Espresso tones on tongue.
40s peach coloured same
Same as above but more fruit tinged cream and less espresso.
60s similar sscent with a stronger seaweed note.
Similar ttaste, bright eucalyptus note and slightly weaker.
120s. Peach tinged sepia.
Stronger malt and spicy leather.
Soft leather,spice, eucalyptus, cream, touch of oatmeal, finished by malt, tangy fruit, and a tingling sensation at front of mouth
180 s. Soft cream, leather fruit, spice, tingling.
240s. Sweet cream, leather, cocoa note papaya tinged with vanilla tingling dissipating.
300s. Sweet cream, fruit, malt, leather tingling
360. Cream sweet fruit leather tingling.
My Teavivre pu-erh order FINALLY arrived today!
I got the sampler that has 5 different pu-erhs. What I know about pu-erhs you can fit into a thimble, so tonight after work, I reached into the bag and went with the first sample I grabbed. It was this one.
There’s two little mini-cakes per sample bag. I love the mini tuochas, they’re kind of adorable. They smell great, too – a bit of a black-tea-like sweetness, but the main tone is a misty wood-like smell. Tree bark comes to mind. I did not do a rinse on this one. The steeping instructions said boiling water, 3 to 10 minutes. Excellent!
Twenty or so minutes later, I decided to get off the couch and finally take a sip. Next time I do a first steep on this, I am going to stick to the parameters Teavivre recommended. It’s still really cool tasting: that thick, earthy flavor, tempted to be fishy but not quite there. However, it’s a little on the astringent side, and I’ve got a feeling that’s because of how long I steeped it. Pu-erhs are generally considered forgiving, but some things do have their limits. I’m looking forward to trying the second infusion.
I got this sampler because I’ve been curious about the potential of pu-erhs. To the casual tea drinker, a lot of the adjectives used to describe pu-erh teas sound absolutely outlandish, but they’ve always seemed like the great ones could be so intriguing, complex, evocative, and (god I hate this adjective) grown-up. A little too much time in the teapot aside, this one did not disappoint. Give me a couple of times with this and it could very easily become a favorite.
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…