Monday, October 29, 2007

Ancient Green Tuo Cha

A final addition to sheng week, this sample came to me from Rishi; my rep was kind enough to honor my precocious request.

Ancient Green Tuo Cha
Origin: Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China
Year: ?
Vendor: Rishi-Tea
Price: $22/4 Tuo Cha
Organic, Fair Trade Certified

This is a rather unique puerh, completely unlike any other that I have tried. The tuo cha is comprised completely of buds, something I have heard about but have not seen before. The aroma is free of the typical smokiness that I've experienced in other young sheng. There was a bit of ambe-rish honey that was very familiar, but I couldn't place it.

I'm still trying to get the hang of gong fu-ing tuo cha. I rinsed twice, 10 s each and steeped for a minute.

This was more similar to a white tea than a puerh, very mild, a tad sweet; a bit of astringency creeps up in later infusions. What interested me the most was the amber-ish honey. As soon as I tasted it, I knew what it reminded me of, a very high grade of dian hong, like the golden needle. I very much enjoy dian hong cha, so it was a nice surprise.

This is an odd tea. Had I not known what it was, I would never have guessed puerh. I am very curious what this would be like after several years. I am not sure what benefits it would gain from aging, but interesting as it was, I don't think its ready yet.


Garrett said...

Curious. Seems like more research is in order.

MarshalN said...

That's a ridiculous price for something like this.

There's a very good chance this is just some regular yunkang #10 or some such pressed into a mini-tuo. The dianhong note you're getting could be because this is also stuff that usually is used to make dianhong with.

Space Samurai said...

I completely agree about the price, which is why I asked for a sample. I had been kind of curious, but I wasn't going to pay that much money satiate that curiosity.

Yes, I imagine its the same stuff they make dian hong with. It came from the same Fair Trade project (I think) as the dian hong I regularly drink, so I wouldn't be surprised at all.

I'm not expereinced enough to say there aren't other puerhs like this, but it definitely didn't feel like a regular puerh.

I wouldn't pay that much money, as I said, but now that I have some, I'm going to see what a little aging will do to it. I'll come back to it after a few years.

MarshalN said...

If this is like the other silver buds "puerh" I've tried.... it won't age very well, and can be kinda nasty in a few years.

There's always the possibility that this will be an exception, but don't get your hopes up :)