Today’s tuo cha turned out be more ripe puerh, this time with chrysanthemum (菊花熟沱). One lesson I learned about this one, even before drinking it is to use a tea strainer (the sort you place over the teacup, not to be confused with an infuser). The little bits of flower petals sneak their way out of my gaiwan :|

First steep was ok, a bit light since the tuo cha didn’t break apart.
Second steep is much stronger (yeah it finally broke apart), the ripe puerh and chrysanthemum kinda blend into a coffee like flavour. I noticed this before when I had a similar tuo cha from DAVIDsTEA (which was raw puerh, with bad instructions).
Third steep had a really strong flavour, and was a little bitter (I don’t mind this with puerh). I’m still going at :30 intervals, because the liquor is so dark LOL
Fourth steep, same strong flavour but a bit smoother.
Five and six, I don’t think the tea is awful but I am sure getting sick of chrysanthemum.

About this assortment, through a few ebay postings and another online tea store I can kinda tell by the wrapper colour which one I’m getting. I say kind of because the hue is VERY important. There are quite a few places that sell these assortments of tuo cha.

Including this post, I’ve had 2 tuo cha and they’re both shu. Can’t say I love drinking ripe puerh, but these were enjoyable. Also, I have these little guys inside 2 ziplock bags, and it still has a strong scent. I recommend keeping these away from other tea or scent-sensitive food.

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I don’t log tea every time I drink it. Tasting notes tend to be about either one style of brewing or a new experience. It is helpful for me to look back on my notes and see what a tea tasted like or which steeping parameter worked best for me. I try to mostly short steep tea unless it only tastes better with a long steep. I’d rather experience what a tea tastes like over 3 or 12 steeps than just 1 to 3 long steeps.

When I write “tsp”, the measurement I use is a regular western teaspoon. Not a tea scoop

How I rate tea:

99-100: Teas that blow my mind! An unforgettable experience. Savoured to the last drop. I felt privileged to drink this.

90-98: Extraordinary, highly recommended, try it and you won’t be disappointed (and if you are, mail me the tea!)

85-89: Wonderful, couldn’t expect more but not a favourite.

80-84: Excellent, a treasured experience but not a favourite.

70-79: Good but could be better. Above average.

60-69: Average, unexceptional, not something I would buy again. Slightly disappointed. I’d rather drink water.

50-0: Varying degrees of sadness

No rating: Mixed feelings, can’t decide whether I like it or not, not enough experience with that sort of tea to rate it. A dramatic change of heart.


Ontario, Canada

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