Monday, December 10, 2007

2004 Puerh Tuo Cha

Just4Tea is a new and small tea company operated by June Lao, a very nice person who sent me her tea. Her family opened a tea shop in Chaozhou, China during the 1930's. She grew up in her parent's shop, but has now settled in San Francisco, importing her family's teas and selling them here. Each day this week I will post a different review of one of the seven teas she sent me.

The thing I like most about pu erh is that I feel completely neutral about it. I enjoy it well enough, but I have no expectations. I am completely detached from the experience and free to fully enjoy even the humblest cup of pu. Because of this I have better luck with tasting notes, identifying different nuances. Its good practice.

Its a mini tuo cha of some shu pu, and my experience tells me that no one seems to waste quality tea on these things. When I first opened the package there was a stronger aroma that's gone now, but I can't remember it.

Each piece is about 4 grams. I use one in a 150 ml pot, rinse twice for 20 seconds each, and steep for a minute. Its a thin brew, a faint hint of camphor, and the finish has a whisper of astringency that threatens to turn harsh. As it cools I can pick up a smidgen of cacao.

In the second infusion I can taste the chocolate now that I know its there. One piece was only good for two infusions. I doubled the steep time for the third and doubled it again for the fourth, up to 6 minutes, but the liquor was fainter, and the tea a bit watery.

The wet leaves are standard bits and pieces.

My over all impressions are for an average tuo cha, this was an enjoyable tea while it lasted.

4 comments:

Trey said...

Forgive a pu-erh ignoramus, but wouldn't the tea have a stronger flavor if you used more than one piece?

You take very good pictures, by the way. They enrich the posts a lot.

Space Samurai said...

Trey,

Thanks for the compliment

Yes, using more than one piece will make it stonger, but this time it would've meant using 8 grams or so, and I didn't feel like using that much leaf. But I have used two mini tuo cha several times before. Just depends.

Bret said...

You guys ever try PurePuer.com? I'm not a real die hard Pu-head or anything but I like their teas a lot. And they're organic. Ive tried the 2006 Jin Yu Yuan Black Cake, Delicate for a puer. Slightly earthy and slightly sweet. And Ive also tried the 2007 Thousand Year Wild Tree Green Cake, Very nice, No bitterness at all, again earthy, a little smokey, vegetal and sweet. The tea ware is beautifull. The owners Larry and Yang Su are very nice people. They actually follow up w/ you to make sure you liked your purchase.

Space Samurai said...

I've not had the pleasure yet, but thanks for the recomendation.