Today’s tuo cha is black tea and ripe puerh (红茶熟沱). Within the first two cups, I’m left feeling underwhelmed. The next two were a bit better, but I’m mostly tasting the ripe puerh (slight bitterness, pungent). I let the fifth and sixth steep for a long time (2 and 4 mins respectively), because I thought the black tea might be hiding in there. ;) To my surprise, it wasn’t entirely horrible at 4 mins (6th steep), but it still mostly tastes of ripe puerh. I can kinda get that “tea” flavour coming out, but it is very subtle. This assortment comes with 2 tuos for each flavour, so I may try longer steeps when I get to its twin.

Individual rating: 60 (Adequate). I would rate it lower (due to my disappointment), but it is still very drinkable.

Side note: all of these tuos are brewed in my 100ml gaiwan. I really enjoy the visual presentation of the leaves when you brew with it, and the ease of resteeping. (Plus it was really cheap! lol)

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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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