Ripened Aged Pu-erh Mini Tuocha by Teavivre

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Pu-erh Tea
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Autumn Leaf Pile, Earth, Mushrooms
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200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 3 oz / 100 ml

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From Teavivre

Tea leaves harvested in April 2007 in Simao, Pu’er, Yunnan, China

Flaked Pu-erh tea leaves compressed into birds nest shape and individually wrapped

Tea brews up a rich mahogany color

A complex mellow earthy flavor with a comforting woodsy aroma

Low caffeine (less than 10% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee)

Ripened Age Pu-erh Mini Tuocha by Teavivre
Ingredients: Pure tea leaves

Brew guide: One Tuocha brew at 212 Fahrenheit for 1-2 minutes

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8 Tasting Notes

600 tasting notes

A review of Ripened Age Pu-erh Mini Tuocha (sample) by Teavivre

Date: 11/16/2012
Company: Teavivre
Tea Name: Ripened Age Pu-erh Mini Tuocha
Tea Type/Varietal: Pu-erh
Region: Yunnan China
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ mini Tuocha
Plucking Season:
Liquor Color: dark cranberry
Leaf Characteristics: Small coin like Tuocha

  1. Steepings

1st Steeping:
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 2 minutes

Note: This is another sample sent to me from Teavivre and I am looking forward to trying this Tuocha. I cut open the sample pack and take out one of the individually wrapped Tuocha and remove the covering from it. It is semi-soft and rolled like a little weaved basket/ resembling a small bird’s nest, I take this and put it in my tea mug and pour the already boiled water into the mug, I place the saucer on the cup and leave to steep for two minutes.

When I remove the saucer/lid from my mug, the aroma starts to permeates the air around me; smelling of dampen earth, it is very noticeable smell (dampness in towels, basements, moisten soil) all images that I am conceiving as I breath in and out. The tea’s color is a lovely dark cranberry; more like dark cherries.

I take a sip and swallow and another sip yet again I swallow; there is that dryness effect on the palette and back of throat when I swallow. This pu-erh is somewhat like pu-erh I have had from Stash Teas, yet they were loose leaves. Anyhow, there a dryness and raw cacao nibs taste to this Tuocha and it is not bitter, in fact it is quite smooth and fuller in the body. I think I mean to say that the taste of this pu-erh is consistent throughout.

Upon first sip I am met with a dryness effect and very light on the palette, this tea is not heavy at all. It is very smooth and I definitely taste something of the cacao nibs…aspect of this tea. Or perhaps best to say that darken chocolate taste of both bitter/sweet chocolate when raw, unprocessed.

Do I like this tea? Yes. Do I like the tea’s color? Yes. And of the smell/aroma, is the teas’ bouquet to your expectation? Yes, I expected it to smell of dampened earth…a dewy, wet odor left from moisture permeating in the air. It smells as if something was not properly dried.

In all this is a good cup of tea for this inexperience palette.

2nd Steeping:
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 2 minutes

Note: With this second steep and continuing to drink this tea for the remainder of the day I find the tea’s color to remain like that of cranberry or darken cherry and the tea is smoother and richer with more infusions. It is just a nice cup of tea, it has substance and one an experience palette would be able to place quite readily since nothing is hidden with this tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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171 tasting notes

This is the 3rd pu-erh toucha I have tried over the last two days.

Age of leaf: May 2007.

Brewing guidelines:
Ceramic 4 cup teapot, no sweetener, 5 gram toucha, ~1 cup of water. I did a 5 second wash this time.
……….1st: Just under boiling, 2.5’
……….2nd: Boiling. 5’

Aroma of tea liquor: About the same as yesterdays touchas, but a little more, eh, ripe?

Flavor of tea liquor: definitely stronger than the other 2 touchas: like mulch, perhaps woodsy, and a little bitter.

Appearance of wet leaf: Like the SpecialTeas toucha, tiny little dark bits of tea.

Overall: The first steeping was not exactly to my liking. After reading one review on Teavivre’s website stating you need to keep the steeping times short, I thought maybe the 2.5 min. steeping time was the problem. Still, for comparison purposes, I decided to follow the advice of the ‘scientist’ in me and stick to using consistent parameters for comparison purposes and so did the second steeping time ~5 mins. Generally speaking, not much of a change from the first steeping.

There seemed to be lots of good reviews about the tea, and, although that doesn’t change my own personal experience with it, the reviews do indicate that I may have done something ‘wrong’ in brewing it. It may also be my tastes don’t match the reviewers’ tastes, but I doubt it. I have lots of respect for the quality of tea that Teavivre sells (having had at least 20 teas of theirs). So I will try brewing this one again sometime (I have three more ‘pieces’ of it) with the shorter steeping times: a wash, 20-30 seconds, adding 10 seconds for every steep after that. So, I’m leaving off the numeric rating for now.

I wish I knew if the SpecialTeas toucha was ripe or raw, but my guess is it is raw; if it is, I realize comparing a ripe toucha to a raw toucha is not the best comparison. Still, I like SpecialTeas toucha the best so far of the three.

What really strikes me most about this experience is what a difference adding a little sweetener did to the taste; on the second steeping after trying it without sweetener I added a touch of Stevia extract to it, and it seemed to smooth out the edges very nicely. I was astonished at the difference: it was barely drinkable without sweetener, and yet much more drinkable with it. I still hold to the philosophy, or general guideline, that it is best to try the tea first w/o sweetener; yet, this experience also emphasizes how easily sweetener can transform the taste.

On to the forth toucha.

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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116 tasting notes

Got this as one of the free samples from my Teavivre shipment, I’ve never tried a straight Pu’erh before and thought this would be a good chance to give it a shot. I actually got three different samplings of Pu’erh tea from Teavivre but read somewhere on their site that this is the one to try first. So here it goes.

Dry the tea is compressed into a tiny birds nest of dark brown leaves, and there was a small amount of powdered leaf left in the wrapper. I also found very little scent to the dried leaf, what little there was smelled of loam and old leather, a few hits of mushrooms too.

After a good rinse my first steeping was for 15seconds and left me with a dark brown liquor that had a bit of particulate settled at the bottom. The aroma was of leather, loam and a dark woodsy scent. As for the flavor, there was definite smokey favors mixed into the wood/loam base. I also noticed a certain astringency that started mid sip but by the time I noticed it it had already been replaced by a heavier sweetness; that said it’s quite a smooth drink. I don’t enjoy the flavors much once the tea has cooled though.

The second steeping was for 10sec and wow did that ever give me a dark brown-black liquor, it made me feel like I was going to be drinking coffee. The leather scent was more predominant now, though there was still the dark woodsy notes in there. Flavor wise, the earthy loam notes were lighter and with less smoke this steeping, plus I got a few more mushroom favors.

A third steeping of 10 seconds gave me a dark brown liquor that smelled of wood, loam and a bit of smoke. The dark loam flavor was lightened slightly by the woodsy taste and the mouthful ended off on a somewhat astringently sweet note.

I did one last steeping of 15seconds (this certainly could have stood up for further steepings but I had to head out for the day.). The medium-dark brown liquor smelled of loam and mushrooms with just a touch of smoke. The flavor was probably the mildest of all the steepings, earthy but sweet at the same time. The flavor lingered a bit after each sip as well, compared to the previous cups where the flavors just sat on your tongue.

For my first straight Pu’erh I think this went well, I’m not a huge fan but it could grow on me. I’ll definitely have to try the other samples and see how they sit before I make any sweeping statements (or even rate this one specifically. ) After that I’ll try this again and see if anything has changed.

200 °F / 93 °C

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867 tasting notes

I’m pretty sure Teavivre sent me this as a sample a while ago. Using my gaiwan to do a few steeps. This stays rich in a reddish brown color through every steep. The flavor is pretty strong for only steeping it for 10 seconds at a time. The flavors are earthy, a touch of leather, and a touch of sweetness with hints of mushroom.

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1928 tasting notes

This looks like coffee.

But does NOT taste good with eggnog.

I did 2 short rinses, and now I’m doing few-second steeps. So far they are all REALLY strong. It’s like I’m digging through a decomposting tree but it’s hot. Mulch, earth, and autumn leaf pile are good descriptions.

So far it’s tasting too much like tree and bitter for me. I’ll come back in a few steeps.

4 (shorter): Fishy. Hmm.

5: More earthy and mulch like. Wet forest is here too.

6: A little sweeter? Interesting. Still earthy and wet foresty though.

7: I think this is it. I steeped a couple minutes this time, and it’s significantly lighter in colour and flavour.

OMG, I could not imagine steeping this for one to two minutes straight up!


LOL! I gave my son a big bag of this for Christmas and he was so happy! It is his favorite. To each his own is grandly apparent in tea tastes! :)


It’s not bad, it’s just REALLY STRONG (and not so great with eggnog!). :) I have a forest floor puerh I love, but it’s a lot lighter.

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5 tasting notes

This is a great all around Pu-erh. If you are strictly a Pu-erh drinker i would not recommend this simply because the full sized cakes are better. That being said, if you like Pu-erh here and there i would say this is the one for you. They are individually wrapped so its very convenient to store, and you use one tuocha per pot. Overall it’s a very tasty tea with a classic ripe Pu-erh taste.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Earth, Mushrooms

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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1794 tasting notes

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