This mini toucha was my first ripe puerh and a nice intro to shou. I used half of the 5-6g cake in a 110ml shibo. Following a rinse, I steeped the first infusion for 20s. Subsequent steeps were between 10-30s. The initial steeps had a bit of fermentation flavor to it. Once it cleared, the tea had a dried prune like fruity flavor and some black tea malt. I was pleasantly surprised by the clean flavor. There was no bitterness like some of the shengs I’ve had recently. For a less than $1 little tea disc, the taste certainly exceeded my expectations.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Earth, Malt, Plum

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My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea many years ago and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and flavored Teavana teas. My tea epiphany happened when I discovered jade oolongs. That was my gateway drug to the world of high quality tea and teaware.

For the most part, I drink straight tea but do appreciate a good flavored tea on occasion. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks have started to grow on me. I’m less enthusiastic about puerh though. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, philosophy, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky


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