Monday, October 20, 2014

Teavivre, Jasmine Raw Pu-erh Mini Tuocha

Teavivre Description:
TeaVivre introduces you this carefully selected Raw Pu-erh Mini Tuocha. It is from one of the four famous tea producing area of Yunnan, Lincang, made of Yunnan large leaf species, are covered with large quantity of soft golden pekoe.

Harvest Time: 2014
Production Date: 2014

My Review:
This was purchased earlier this year during a sale. I've been trying to work it in to my review schedule for awhile now. This weekend I attended a wedding where smoked pulled pork was served at the reception. I had way too much of it. A little self restraint would have been nice but it is a little late for that. I am hoping a session of raw pu-erh will help.

I have always liked mini touchas. They are the perfect size for mug, gaiwan, or yixing brewing. This one looks dense and slightly shiny up close. Some of the leaf crumbled into dust as I unwrapped. The aroma is fresh field with lovely light jasmine flowers.

I preheated my large yixing pot and added 5 oz of boiling water. Teavivre says to steep this between 3 and 5 minutes with 100 C (212 F) water. With yixing I usually go 30-45 seconds on the first steep. I decided to compromise and go one minute.

As you can see the toucha turned fresh and green. It plumped up nicely but has barely begun to relax.

The brew is a light caramel color. It is orange on Teavivre's website. I did not use a strainer so there is some small amount of debris in the cup. There is not a lot of aroma from the cup. I probably should have listened on the steeping time.

I am not getting a lot of flavor. It has a sticky lip feel. It has a slight stone taste, like sipping water flowing over rocks. I do get a very light floral at the front of the sip.

I know this will do better. For the second cup I am increasing the steep time to two minutes.

Now the brew is a hearty orange color. With this being a raw pu-erh, I would not have considered it turning this dark. The cup has a light jasmine aroma. The toucha in the pot has completely fallen apart covering the bottom in a blanket of leaf pieces. I even see a few jasmine petals.

Wow, two minutes has brought out a lot of young raw pu-erh bite. I decided to calm it with a little sweetener. That really helped. This is almost syrupy feeling. The taste is nutty, and vegetal, with a nice light jasmine floral that is more scent than taste. I am also getting a throat warming sensation. It is not the heat of the liquid and it is not a spiciness. I really don't know how to better describe it. It just is. The aftertaste is kind of tingly and almost like a mild tiequanyin. The initial bitterness aside, this is a really neat cup.

Immediately, I heated more water for round three, also at two minutes. The brew is again deep orange. The wet leaf has taken on a fresh pond water and jasmine aroma. The cup scent is jasmine. The taste is very similar to cup two. I once again added sweetener. I notice a dryness and cheek tingle with this cup. This is way better than I am making it sound.

After my session with this toucha, I read a review by Stephanie on Steepster. She did not encounter the bitterness and found this to be sweet on its own. The big difference is she used cooler water at 180 F. My next time out I will do the same. This is too good not to keep working on the parameters to get it right.

You can find Jasmine Raw Pu-erh Mini Toucha here.

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