Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teavivre, Ripened Aged Pu-erh Mini Tuocha

This sample is one of 15 provided by Teavivre, a tea distributor located in China.

I steeped this for one minute with boiling water. The toucha remains mostly intact. The brew is dark with a light musty aroma. The wet leaf reminds me of wet musty hay. The first sip is much sweeter than expected. I happily notice the leather notes I got from the rose toucha only much lighter. May be imagination but I pick up just the tiniest hint of smoke. I am also getting that slick slightly tacky lip feel that appealed to me in the China Cha Dao puerhs. No astringency, or fishiness and I don’t find it heavily earthy.

On the second cup, the toucha completely crumbled. Has a bit more leather and as it cools a bit of bitterness moves in with a heavy dose of hay. Third cup I added a couple small leaves of chocolate mint. Not enough to really flavor it but added a cool mouth feel and evened out the bitterness. I loved the rose toucha. This one I like. Definitely better than meh, but not a wow.

I decided to revisit this one a second day with a new mini toucha. Steeped 1m in boiling water.

I have loved every sheng I have tried. They just speak to me. Shu, like this, I am working on. They are just so unlike anything else. Cheap grocery store cooked puerh can be really bad - fishy or moldy smelling, and the bagged stuff can be a bit one dimensional. These are not like that. They are fresh and complex. I am enjoying this much more the second time around. The taste is peaty, mildly saddle leather, followed by fruity and spicy notes. There is also a heavier flavor I can’t quite place, woodsy maybe?

2nd cup, 30 second steep. Very dark. Similar taste profile but a bit too light in flavor.

3rd cup, back to 1 minute. The extra time gave back that fuller flavor of the first cup. Didn’t have time today to go further. It’s no sheng but I like it.

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