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.