I received this little toucha as a sample with my Teaware House order over a year ago and it had been buried beneath a pile of teas in my drawer for months. In the mood for something different yesterday, I dug it out and steeped the entire sample in my 120ml shiboridashi.
Upon unwrapping, I found inside a handsome silver dollar sized cake with dark camouflage colors and auburn streaks. The tea cake itself had no aroma until hit with hot water and then I was greeted by familiar puerh aromas of leather, smoke, and hay. It was pretty tightly compressed and took about 3 steeps before it began to unravel. The taste was true to the aroma. It began with the smokey, wet forest notes of sheng but unlike sheng, there was no heavy bitterness that followed. In fact there was virtually no bitterness to speak of. As the steeps progressed, I picked up pleasant tobacco/cigar notes, hints of incense, ash, and autumn leaves type woodsiness.
This is technically a white tea but has the profile of raw puerh minus the bitterness. As someone who tends to shy away from sheng due to it’s bitterness, I found this to be a great alternative and can see myself reaching for this once in a while.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Forest Floor, Leather, Smoke, Tobacco