This past Saturday I made this my afternoon tea. It had been years since I had Tou Cha, and for some reason I thought the “teabowl” stayed intact. So I put it in a porcelain cup without a strainer, added nearly boiling water and POOF the tea leaves scattered. What were they afraid of?? Surely not hot water!
I had wanted to brew shorter steeps, but after rescuing my tea leaves with my glass press, the first steep was around 1.5 minutes. Dark color & a muddy, earthy, mushroom aroma greeted me. There was also a sweetness in the aroma. Full mouth feel, full of earthy mushroom sweetness I really enjoyed. At 1.5 minutes the 2nd cup was dark and deeper in flavor. Flavors and aromas waned in the 3rd cup (5 min), but it was still sweet, dark, earthy, and quite enjoyable. Always a smooth cup, and one more Tuo Cha for a future brew.
For lunch today I decided to steep my last Tuo Cha longer to intensify more of the flavors. My first steep was 3 min at 205 degrees. Cup was extremely dark, almost black; in fact, around the edges where the tea meets the cup, the tea seemed to have a purple hue. All aromas & flavors were intensified with the longer steep. More earth, mushrooms, and sweetness with no bitterness!
I forgot my second cup and let it steep for 7 minutes at 212 degrees. Flavors were still intensified-although less so than the previous cup. The sweetness in the second cup surprised me. I knew it would be there, but I said, “WOAH”, and couldn’t believe the sweetness that hit my tongue. This was the sweetest of all the cups I drank!
I find this Tuo Cha extremely drinkable, smooth, yet full flavored, sweet and delicious! Its unique qualities make it special. I’m going to experiment with more Tuo Cha teas in the future. Thank you kind Amy for this great sample. :))
Cupped: Saturday & Tuesday, 12-03 & 06-2011. Reviewed: Tue, 12-06-2011.