Thank you to Amariel for sharing this tuocha with me! I was excited to see this arrive as part of Amariel’s package because I’ve tried puerh before and really liked it. The only thing is that the puerh teas I’ve tried before were either flavored or part of a blend so this will be my first time to try it on its own. I’ve also never done anything with a tuocha so this will be a learning process all the way around.

I opened the silver pouch and out slides the cutest little disc of tea. It’s wrapped in paper covered in what appear to be Chinese characters. I so wish I could read them! It is just so beautiful. The tea itself smells very good, no hint of fishiness here. I have to say that I’m a little nervous about the flavor after seeing another note say that this tastes like mushrooms. I’m not a fan so I hope I don’t pick up any of that.

I stepped away from my desk so I steeped this far too long, close to 10 minutes when the recommended time was 4-6 minutes. The leaves did break up on their own as I had read they would and they are now a dull green in the bottom of my basket. Both the leaves and the liquid have a savory aroma. Unfortunately, this is very, very bitter, no doubt because I over-steeped it. It also has some astringency to it. I’m sorry that I wasn’t paying closer attention to this one since it’s the only tuocha I have. Maybe the leaves will still be okay for another cup or two.

I can really feel the effects from the caffeine in this one. Or maybe it was all the sugar in the Pop Tart I just ate.? :)

Boiling 8 min or more 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Lifetime student. Lover of books and paper and ink. Kitchen dweller. Aspiring tea fanatic.

I should start by saying that I’m still quite new to this great, big world of tea. Until a couple of years ago, my experience was limited to Twinings Earl Grey and tea lattes at Starbucks. One weekend, my husband and I happened upon a Teavana at our local mall and there discovered loose leaf teas. He jumped in with both feet, but it admittedly took me a while longer before I fully embraced tea the way that he had. Now that I’ve found Steepster, I’m amazed at the vast variety of teas. It’s an exciting place to be and I cannot wait to learn from each of you the ins and outs of this limitless brew.

I enjoy all different types of tea though I admit I haven’t tried a great deal. I love flavored black teas most of all, often with cream and always with honey. I prefer to sweeten my tea as it seems to bring out the flavor, much the way salt enhances certain foods. I enjoy floral and fruity teas, as well as flavored or scented ones. I’m not overly fond of mint or white teas, but I’ve found a few that I enjoy. I would like to branch out and try straight teas at some point as well.

Regarding tasting notes – I’m not always able to complete my reviews the moment I drink a tea (if I’m at work, for example) so I keep a written log in a little Moleskine notebook to be added to Steepster later. This way, I’m able to write a review while the tea is still fresh in my mind and still make note of the exact time I had my cup. If you notice that I’ve logged a tea without writing a note, I will likely add it later.

After seeing others on Steepster with a rating scale, I thought it would be best to create my own so that others can see how I feel about my personal ratings. It may change at some point, but this is how I’ve been rating my teas as of late.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Currently reading:
The Fiery Cross
by Diana Gabaldon

Updated September 2017.


Birmingham, Alabama


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