Here’s another sample that was in my SF Tea Fest freebie bag. I was happy to see not one, but two of these 4.5g mini tuocha in the pouch. I did three-8oz steeps based on color using boiling water. The liquor is very dark brown verging on black and smells like my average experience with shou puer – barnyard, fermentation but not fishy, chocolate. In the mouth, I taste wet earth and barnyard, with minerals that quickly turn salty/briny. It is a fairly clean and light- to medium-bodied shou despite its color and scent. There is no bitterness and only a hint of astringency biting in my throat. It is not a sweet tea. I am pleased to be salivating. The spent material is finely chopped and surprisingly doesn’t contain much fannings – only a fine layer of dust settled in my mug after pouring through a strainer.

Overall, I find this mini tuocha to be a nice change of pace with its strong briny quality. The barnyard aroma and taste I find pleasant and not gamey. This is something that could be kept on hand but I wouldn’t be springing for it often. It didn’t pull me in.

Boiling 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Always open to gifting or swapping teas. I do send international when feasible. Please follow and send a message if you see a tea in my notes or cupboard that piques your interest.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng puer, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently.

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes. I might have attention issues. One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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