Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mini Pu'erh Toucha - Ripe

 I was contacted by the wonderful folks at Teavivre about sampling some of their tea offerings. The representative was very nice and their teas looked like pretty quality stuff.
But, the key is in the leaf right?
So onto tasting.

 What I really want you to notice about the bag is all the information. It is almost crowded with it. For a tea enthusiast, having this much information about what is in the package is great. I have almost no questions for the company.
All their teas are labelled like this, so I will have great insight into each one!

These little touchas look good! They are tippy, uniform for the most part, and they don't smell awkward like some cheap pu'erh touchas.

The dry leaf actually doesn't have too much of a smell to it, but I can sense a light earthiness with some mushroom scents coming off it as well.
Not surprising.

The brewed tea is dark, as you can obviously see above.
It looks like the coffee I was tasting last weekend.
The liquor is not dense, though. It is light, flavorful, and well balanced.

It has quite a clean taste, and there is more of a leather quality to it than a mushroom/rotting leaf taste.
The artificial aging process has not negatively impacted the flavor and left some strange taste as with other pu'erh touchas I have sampled in the past.

What really surprised me was the lack of endurance. Granted, I drink my shu'pu strong, but even still most shu'pu will last me a good 10 infusions. I gave up on this one at about 6.
The one quality I really enjoyed was a wonderful pine taste on the last 2 infusions. I guess I could have stretched out the brews and got some more of the pine, but hey, I still have 3 more touchas of this tea that will definitely not go to waste!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

BuLangShan Sheng Pu'erh 2008

Thanks to the folks at Chan Teas for this sample!

I broke up the sample, which was in a few small chunks. The leaves look great! Right when I opened the bag I was ready for a long session.
The dry leaf has some bitter herb notes, as well as cooked vegetables. It has that typical sheng earthiness to it.

I started with lots of leaf, and hot hot water.
First, the rinse. 3 seconds.
Second, the smell. The wet leaf had notes of hay, tobacco, and a soybean-esque trait. I have not had pu'erh in a while so I was ready for this tea to really knock me out.

The liquor was fantastic. It was not as assertive as I had suspected (could be its age). The lingering finish really set this tea apart. The astringency was well received and expected. It brought out some of the great flavors of the cooked veggies and tobacco.

This tea definitely deserves focus. I sipped with a good friend of mine who commented on the tea occasionally. He noted a farm taste, which is a fairly decent description of the tea.

I felt the tea pretty hard, as I was on an empty stomach. It really went to my head quick (as I was told!). Drinking pu'erh either makes me very happy, or very quiet and serene. This tea was a good mix of both feelings.

As the brews went on, there was a punchy citrus quality that really turned this tea on its head. I enjoyed the variety and complexity. I would recommend this tea, even for the feeling. It is an experience to say the least! Thank you again to the guys at Chan Teas!