Mini Toucha


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Mini Toucha

Postby evilive » Dec 6th, '07, 20:10

Mini Toucha being these small mushroom-ish balls of what I'm told is Pu-Erh tea...I've had such mixed results with them and was wondering if someone could tell me the best way to brew them?
Much thanks in advance :D
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Postby Space Samurai » Dec 6th, '07, 22:00

You can either brew them regularly for about 3-5 minutes or so, depending on your taste.

For gong fu brewing, I rinse the tuo cha thoroughly, twice, 15-20 seconds each, and go from there.

The puerh used for those mini tuo cha never seem to be good quality, so I wouldn't expect too much.
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Postby hop_goblin » Dec 7th, '07, 02:29

Yes, I would use space's advice. However, if you are having mixed reviews, it may not be your brewing methods, it may be the tuocha itself. It has been my experience that mini tuos really do not offer much in quaility. I would hate for someone to get turned off from puerh because of a bad experience with inferior puerh. ;)
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Postby evilive » Dec 7th, '07, 07:28

Thanks a lot ot both of you. I'll be sure to rinse it twice next time I have some. And Goblin, thanks for reassuring me that not all Pu-Erh tastes as...unpleasant (for lack of a better word) as what I've experienced so far. I really would like to try some high quality stuff
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Postby Wesli » Dec 7th, '07, 12:07

Yes, I've barely begun to venture into pu-erh, but already my mini-tuochas are stuffed into a box somewhere collecting dust. The hard-packed ones don't seem to steep very well, so some effort is required to break them up (usually post-rinse).
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Postby hop_goblin » Dec 7th, '07, 17:46

No problem evil... Puerh is certainly a wonderful thing. The more you learn and the more you taste, you will see that it opens an entire different world for you. It wonderful to have something change in your closest year after year.
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Postby Antony » Dec 17th, '07, 06:39

I got some of those mini toucha pu-erh cakes (black) from Wholes Foods loose tea section. I forgot what brand it was, but it was the only non-boxed or tinned pu-erh available there. They are wrapped in white tissure papper and are hard little bird nest shapes. I broke one apart in a mortar and pestle, it was much harder than i thought it would be, almost stone like. I then put the smashed pieces in my metal mesh ball shaped infuser, steeped for 5 min in my coffe cup. (and two subsequent re-steeps)

The result was a very dark and yet unflavorable beverage. It was indeed earthy, but I didn't think the flavor was that strong. The smell was kinda like this loose tabbaco i bought once, and also like yerba mate. Overall, it tasted like old tea without flavor, mixed with ginseng root, like a lighter tasting ginseng tea.
The second and third brews had less flavor than the first, the third i believe is the end of flavor.

overall, im not too impressed.

Now say i had some good quality pu-erh (black), how would this differ from my description above?

more earthy flavor? or some other flavor I didn't get in my Whole Foods pu-erh?

also, does green pu-erh taste better?
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Postby hop_goblin » Dec 17th, '07, 13:18

Antony wrote:I got some of those mini toucha pu-erh cakes (black) from Wholes Foods loose tea section. I forgot what brand it was, but it was the only non-boxed or tinned pu-erh available there. They are wrapped in white tissure papper and are hard little bird nest shapes. I broke one apart in a mortar and pestle, it was much harder than i thought it would be, almost stone like. I then put the smashed pieces in my metal mesh ball shaped infuser, steeped for 5 min in my coffe cup. (and two subsequent re-steeps)

The result was a very dark and yet unflavorable beverage. It was indeed earthy, but I didn't think the flavor was that strong. The smell was kinda like this loose tabbaco i bought once, and also like yerba mate. Overall, it tasted like old tea without flavor, mixed with ginseng root, like a lighter tasting ginseng tea.
The second and third brews had less flavor than the first, the third i believe is the end of flavor.

overall, im not too impressed.

Now say i had some good quality pu-erh (black), how would this differ from my description above?

more earthy flavor? or some other flavor I didn't get in my Whole Foods pu-erh?

also, does green pu-erh taste better?


Yes, it certainly sounds like it was inferior tuocha. I would really recommend you buy from a vendor who specializes in puerh tea. I will make a world of difference!

Cheers
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Postby Space Samurai » Dec 17th, '07, 17:54

Just a few sugestions that might help you brew a better cup:

1) By grinding the tuo cha with a mortar and pestle, you most likely break up the leaves, which can lead to a more astringent brew.

2) Tea balls rarely do a tea justice.

3) I tuo cha is good for about 8 oz of water, so if you used a large cup that may also yeild an inferior cup.
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Postby t4texas » Sep 22nd, '08, 11:59

Bumping this up to mention that I have tried two mini tuos from Puershop that are decent. The ripe one I have brewed both Euro style (one tuo/8-9 ounces water for 5" first infusion after 20" rinse) and found it more than drinkable for several infusions. Similar good result when done gong fu style.

The green mini I have done only gong fu and was pleased enough with it, too.

Not saying these are great, must-have Pu, but I don't think either of these would put off most who are new to Pu, and I find the shu brewed Euro style to be practical when I don't have a lot of time to play with my teas.

Has anyone else tried these? Maybe I just have defective taste buds!

2006 Xiaguan Mini Tuocha (Ripe): http://www.puerhshop.com/index.php?main ... cts_id=543

2005 Mini Green Pu-erh Tuocha: http://www.puerhshop.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=105&products_id=265
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Postby Salsero » Sep 22nd, '08, 14:42

t4texas wrote: Has anyone else tried these? Maybe I just have defective taste buds!
Does the shu one brew up to a dark, opaque tea?

I have had the Puerhshop 2000 CNNP Bulk Mini Bricks, which are OK if you give them a solid rinse first, but I will not reorder them. I have been looking to replace some very nice mini tuos that I got a couple years ago from China Gifts but which are no longer in their stock, so I am excited about these.
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Postby t4texas » Sep 22nd, '08, 15:00

Salsero wrote:
t4texas wrote: Has anyone else tried these? Maybe I just have defective taste buds!
Does the shu one brew up to a dark, opaque tea?

I have had the Puerhshop 2000 CNNP Bulk Mini Bricks, which are OK if you give them a solid rinse first, but I will not reorder them. I have been looking to replace some very nice mini tuos that I got a couple years ago from China Gifts but which are no longer in their stock, so I am excited about these.


Yes, at 5 minutes Euro style it is pretty dark. I did a second infusion today also at 5 and it was almost as dark and tasty. The third one I increased to 8 minutes and it's okay, but I probably should have gone to 10 - 12. As I recall I did a 4th infusion for 20 minutes the other day and it was still drinkable. Gong fu style it is very, very dark and opaque.

Your Pu tastes, however, may be too developed to find this mini acceptable. But it's a cheap one to test out for yourself.

I considered getting the mini brick, but went with these two instead. From your comment I'll pass on it next time, too.

As I recall, YSL has a couple of mini's he thinks well of. Has anyone tried them?
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Postby Salsero » Sep 22nd, '08, 15:25

t4texas wrote: Your Pu tastes, however, may be too developed to find this mini acceptable.
My sheng tastes might be over-developed, but shu is often a more reptilian-brain thing for me.
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Postby edkrueger » Sep 22nd, '08, 17:47

explain.
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Postby Salsero » Sep 22nd, '08, 19:53

edkrueger wrote: explain.
If that imperative is directed to me, I mean that I like to pick out nuance from sheng, but from shu I am mostly looking for something thick, muddy, rich, and black: subtlety be damned!
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