Okay. I’ve calmed down with half a bar of chocolate yogic breathing. Ahem.
I’m definately going into this with high hopes. Tao’s Rose black tuocha is a lot to live up to a mere week later.
The presteep smell is certainly not diappointing me; I almost tried to crawl into the jar at the store! It has that refreshing dried grass clippings background with a good pile of timothy hay to make it extra nostaglic and invigorating. Some peat moss too and what is definately the “pu-erh” smell. It’s becoming as comforting as timothy hay.
10 Second rinse with 170 F/75 C water. Just to be safe.
First steep: 2 min 45 sec with 5 oz 175 F/79 C water
Light yellow orange liquor. The teapot leaves smell wonderfully like well, green tea leaves. A blend of Chinese sencha and medium quality jasmine pearls. Now drum roll…
Huh. That’s good. Oh, re~ally good. Goooooood. Mmm. Not swoon or shriek good like, but nod and sigh good.
For starters: timothy hay. Surprise! This pure umami with smoked, grassy edges. Definately mushroom: sauteed portobella and shiitake. Too earthy for chantarelle. Maitake? I haven’t had some in so long. A tinge of lemon or maybe that’s the strong pucker. Odd given how thin this feels.
Steep two: 2 min 55 seconds with the same water
Okay open mind, recognition that this is a different sort of pu-erh, so who are you, Lu Tuocha-san?
Hmm, duller scents in the teapot…Tastes toned down from before with less mushroom and more straw and-hello!
Jasmine?! Wow. Oh wow. A whole soft floral carpet rolled itsef out. It harmonizes after a few sips into one. But it’s very astringant. Adding some lemon juice to the last couple sips fixes this and boost the jasmine an timothy notesMaybe 170 F water? Or are green pu-erhs as astringant as strong Assam? I don’t care, I am HOARDING this tea for this steep alone.
Third steep: 3 min 175 F water
A bit weaker but there’s still some notes of jasmine and hay but it’s not smoky, it’s all sunshine and yeah, astringancy. Definately lower the temp to 170 next time. The umami is going out and it feels thicker.
The fourth steep will have to wat because the gas guy just came! Yes!