Imperial Shou Puerh Toucha

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Not available
Cocoa, Earth, Leather, Vanilla, Wood
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Edit tea info Last updated by Tea Pet
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 oz / 103 ml

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11 Tasting Notes View all

From Whispering Pines Tea Company

About the Tea
A most supreme puerh toucha from Yunnan, China. This tea is just something you have to taste to believe. Truly amazing!

Damp Earth
Sweet leather
Black Cherry

How to brew the perfect cup:
Steep one piece of tea leaves
in 8 ounces of boiling water
for 2 minutes.

2nd infusion: 3 minutes
3rd infusion: 4 minutes

Puerh Tea

Caffeine Content

About Whispering Pines Tea Company View company

Whispering Pines Tea Company is dedicated to bringing you the most original, pure, beautiful tea blends. We use only the highest quality ingredients available to create additive-free teas teas inspired by the pristine wilderness of Northern Michigan. Our main focus is on customer satisfaction and quality.

11 Tasting Notes

676 tasting notes

Thank-you to Whispering Pines for this Pu’erh sample!

Sunday afternoon I was ready for my second session on a live Google+ video chat with my new ‘teageek’ group. Our discussion was set for a Liu An Basket-aged heicha tea (which I had never heard of before).

One by one members joined in from Canada, Australia, Seattle, California, New York, Oregon and Eric (Happy Luckys) and I in Colorado. (There are others in other locations who come and go). It’s so much fun!

The reason I’ve been mentioning this group is that so many people have said, "I wish I had a place like Happy Lucky’s to go and drink tea!

“Bonnie is so fortunate to have a tea pub in her town!”

True, True.

So why couldn’t a few Steepsters get together now and then to drink tea on a google+ video chat?
It’s so easy to do! Pick a common tea, discuss it and enjoy each other’s company! Think about it!

Back to this tea!

I didn’t have one of the basket tea’s to taste for the meeting so I began about an hour earlier with some Imperial Shou to get myself in
a proper fine state of mind.

I had been reading about several methods that two very different
experts use to prepare Pu-erh . One is more geared to hospitality and ritual, going to great lengths to preserve multiple steeping’s over a long time period.
The second method is faster, poking the leaves during steeping to release more flavor, and keeping the steep time at about 30 seconds.

I chose the second method.

I used a 4oz. Gaiwan and I understand that this Pu-erh is from the Menghai factory.

1. The wet leaves had the scent of sweet leather, mushrooms and vanilla and the liquor was golden brown.
This first cup tasted smooth and sweet with no earthiness. There was a little cedar flavor but not much. I felt a mulch, fuzz texture and sensed that this was going to be a special tea.

2. I picked at the Toucha while it was steeping then poured the tea through a strainer. The wet leaves smelled like black cherry,
and liquor looked like very dark drippings from a pot-roast.

I was stunned at how exquisite the taste was. The mouth-feel was smooth and silky like a placid lake. The flavor was close to a pot of creamy bitter hardly sweet chocolate still warm on a spoon, being licked off and melting in my mouth.

There was a very light cedar flavor at the finish but not much.

It was the silkiness that impressed me so much.

3. The leaves were now completely disintegrated from the little Tuocha and they looked black, holding a light leather aroma.
The liquor was still deep espresso brown.

I can’t remember ever tasting a Pu-erh that tasted like CAKE but this one did! How? I dunno! This was good! How interesting and continuing to be very smooth!

(I noticed that the water had been a little cooler, and maybe it had been a factor. I don’t know.) This was so delicious that I was impressed. Most Toucha’s are just not this complex!

Because of the cake taste, I added a little sweetening to the last of my cup which made the tea very caramel, creme brulee tasting.
A nice little dessert flavor.

I went one more steep, still finding the leaves full bodied, rich and smooth. Filling my cup again, which I took to my desk for my ‘teageek’ discussion group.

My vote on this Pu-erh is a big thumbs up! Whispering Pines picked up a fine quality Toucha!

Invader Zim

I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who pokes at my puerh to make it fall apart faster for more flavor!


If you’re following the notes on the China trip on Verdant, it talks about two Pu’erh ‘experts’ and the two methods they prefer for serving which I compared to my own. I like this method because unless I have a guest or intend to steep all day, this is very effective.


i break it up into small pieces on the breaking board before it hits the yixing.


We could use a tea pub in our area too. I really like that concept! You could have Happy Hour and two-for-one drink specials without the repercussions that occur with OTHER pubs. Hmmmm…here’s something else to add to my list of things to do when I win the lottery!

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169 tasting notes

Oh, Boy.
This is a long one, folks. So grab a big cuppa:)
Okay, I got this tea from Brenden at Whispering Pines Tea clear before Christmas with the rest of my order.
I had never tried Puerh tea and decided that with my next hundred tea notes I was educated enough in tea to start on something anew.
I was still secretly quite intimated, so I waited until a day when I knew I would be around most of the day to play with it.
So one day a bit before Christmas, I decided that I wanted to try it.
Set the kettle to boil, got out my little bodum infuser cup (8 oz), got the kettle up to a boil, performed a 15 second rinse and then infused the tea for 2 minutes and 30 seconds, per instruction on little tea packet.
The smell after this infusion was so strong.
I have cleaned a lot of barns in my day and this smelled exactly like that.
A deep manure and hay smell.
I tried not to let it deter me from tasting this, I had read enough of Puerh teas to know that it is common for these to scents to emerge, I just had no idea it was going to be so strong.
Then I grew brave enough to take a sip.
GAG! Oh my land! It seriously tasted like strong bitter manure (don’t ask…but yes, I do actually know how that tastes, growing up on a farm and then being a Vet Assistant for years,sometimes your mouth is just open at the very very wrong time)
I felt tears of disappointment prick my eyes.
NO! I must like this tea. I am supposed to be improving my taste in tea!
I gagged down the rest of the cup, determined not to waste.
I felt sick to my stomach, but still plowed forward and messed with the tea the rest of the day, shorter steepings and such, but every time I tasted it from that point on it just tasted so bitter and nasty, it was like that first tasting never left my tongue.
It did not help me when I read the previous tasting note on the tea is was from Bonnie my tea and life idol, giving this tea high ratings.
That was it. It certainly was not the tea, it was me.
By the time my Hubby came home, I was so irritated and angry and I hadn’t gotten half of what I had wanted to do that day done and he kept asking me why I was so upset.
So…I told him. He listened and gave sympathetic nods, then broke in and said “You don’t have to like this type of tea just because everyone else does” to which I responded like a 13 year old girl throwing a fit “Yes! Yes I do!” but I was seeing I was starting to lose him.
He spotted his new Diesel Power magazine he got in the mail and was browsing through it.
I started to walk away mumbling to myself when I heard the words “Make me some” I turned around “what?” and he said “yeah, make me some of this Poo-poo tea that ruined your day, I wanna taste it”
Okay… I was slightly shocked.
Starting with a new piece, I took a new look on preparing the tea.
I took a deep breath.
I was going to start with tiny, tiny steepings.
So, I did. I started with just a 15 second steeping. no rinse.
The water had barely even turned color.
It was so much better.
From there I would go up to like 25 seconds, then 30 and so forth.
This was so much more delightful of a experience.
And sharing it with someone too, we both held cups and talked about what we smelled and tasted.
It still has some barnyard notes to it, also deep woody notes.
But, I find it intriguing.not bitter at all.
I am not going to rate this tea yet, because I am still so new and still experimenting.
This was just a beginner at Puerh point of view.
For a expert review please read Bonnie’s review on this tea, it does it so much more justice.
But for me…
So, begins my journey with Puerh.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

LOL! My hubby drinks puerh with me just because it is good for him. The last time I handed him a cup, he sniffed and said, “Yep! There’s the horsey!” There is almost no horsey in Mengku Palace, mostly a cedar oil flavor.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Oh my goodness, did I really write 2m 30s on it?! :O I probably meant to write 30 seconds, like on the site. Sorry for the bad first impression but glad it came out okay! :D


Love, love, love, this review!


Hesper June, did you get the box I sent?

Hesper June

Ashmanra: Ha! well, I guess it could be a worse smell, especially since I am a farm kid:) AND YES! I did get your AWESOME box. Thank you! I am so behind on tea reviews due to holidays. thanks again, look for reviews coming soon!
Brenden: Thats okay…it all worked out, I should do more research next time;)
KS: Thank you!


Hahah! Hesper that was a priceless moment! Thanks for sharing your first true puerh experience with us! I’m sure there are better ones ahead of you :-) And tell your husband he rocks! « Hey poo-poo, so I’ve heard you’ve been givin’ my woman a hard time?? Come to papa and see how brave you are now!!»

Hesper June

Hehe! thats is exactly like my Hubby:)

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1015 tasting notes

I’m back!!! I’ve been lurking for awhile, but it is finally getting to be tea weather again down here in Texas. I went home early from work today almost doubled over in pain because of some stomach bug I probably caught from my students. If I hadn’t made up this tea earlier I’d probably still be in pain and having to call in to work tomorrow – but pu-erh to the rescue! I seem to be getting everything the kids have this year which is strange because after teaching for a few years your immune system is usually pretty strong. It was strong last year at least. So glad I got a flu shot because otherwise I’d probably get the flu also.

Anyways, on to the tea. After a thorough 30 sec rinse in boiling water, I steeped it for 3 min 30 sec. I added a little sugar (just a tad) and this lovely, earthy tea was ready. I don’t crave pu-erh super often, but I’m always asking myself why I haven’t had it in so long once I get around to making it. Unfortunately, I only have one cute little bird’s nest left so I’ll probably be saving it for another bad tummy day. This stuff is a miracle when it comes to that.

3 min, 30 sec

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288 tasting notes

This tea sums up why I don’t buy much shou, but why I still keep trying it.

After two rinses, the tea smelled wonderful. In fact I wanted to go back and drink the rinses. There was a lovely black raspberry aroma, with a hint of chocolate. While this flavor carried into the taste, it was accompanied by an underlying bitterness that I didn’t care for. I found myself dumping the tea because the bitterness overwhelmed the fruit. I kept steeping and while the fruit faded the bitterness faded much faster.

I’m on about my 9th steep now and it is really pleasant. Next time I’ll try 3 rinses.

200 °F / 93 °C

Glen’s wife Lamu doesn’t start drinking a shou until the 5th steep.

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72 tasting notes

Awesome little toucha. Earthy taste with a cocoa, woody aroma. The dry leaves have a leathery scent. This is a bargain for the amount of flavour and steeps this little toucha offers.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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278 tasting notes

Method: super shou, 10-10-15-20 second rinses. Then brew for 20-20-25

I tasted each rinse until I got to one I could drink without tasting so much earthiness. Now it’s pretty nice. It’s a little sweet and I can taste some vanilla. It’s still a little cavey, but not insanely so.

Don’t tell boychik that I threw all those steeps away… ssshhh

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

i saw it:)


well damn! I usually feed it to my tea pet or use it to bathe my yixing. Does that make you feel any better? :)


yes. in this case its not wasted:)


I want a tea pet! And a tea tray…and a yixing pot, LOL


Don’t start Stephanie…. too easy to be addicted!!! :)

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1779 tasting notes

This tea smelled so strongly of earth that I had to let it cool a bit before I was brave enough to try it. Now that it’s a nicer temperature I am enjoying the damp earthy notes I am getting from it. I think there’s a little bit of cocoa wavering in the background, as well as possibly vanilla? Interesting! I’m looking forward to steeping this again!

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540 tasting notes

This one is very smooth, slightly sweet and has many different notes, earthy, smooth, sweet, cocoa and vanilla notes and presence of a slight leather type notes that is rather pleasant.
Nice solid puerh :)

Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Leather, Vanilla, Wood

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