Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.


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Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby JeffMI » Jan 7th, '13, 21:08

So, I am totally new to Pu-erh tea and I decided to order some for the first time from Yunnan Sourcing U.S. I decided to go with ripe Mini Tuo Cha's from 2005. I also purchased an inexpensive Gaiwan to get started because I wasn't sure if it was okay to use my Japanese Kyusu for brewing this tea since I have used that for brewing only green teas at this point. Here are the links to what I purchased for reference...

I have no idea why this won't allow me to hyperlink URLs but I can't figure out how to turn the function on. Here are the links anyways.

http://www.yunnansourcing.us/store/product.php?id_product=99

http://www.yunnansourcing.us/store/product.php?id_product=132

So, I am trying to figure out the proper way to brew this tea. I can't find too much info on brewing the Mini Tuo Chas. I know I need very hot water but how much water exactly do I need and what are the steep times? I am also not sure how big these Mini Tuo Chas are, as I am guessing that makes a difference in terms of how many of these you use and what the amount of water is as well as steep times.

Also, should I do a rinse or two of these before drinking and when doing multiple infusions, do you continue to increase the steep time in increments or are the steep times identical for each additional infusion?

I appreciate any assistance I can get and thank you in advance.
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby SilentChaos » Jan 8th, '13, 00:04

Welcome to the forum. I wouldn't advise brewing mini tuos in kyusu especially if the kyusu is unglazed. As to your question about brewing parameters, it's something like 1 tuo to 1 pot. Start with roughly 10s then gradually increase the steeping time for each subsequent steep as the tea weakens, and yes do rinse.

Most importantly, have you tried other kinds of puerh besides mini tuos?
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby TwoDog2 » Jan 8th, '13, 01:35

I'll try to sum up/avoid the rain of hate for mini-tuos:

The material is almost always lesser than that of cakes or maocha and they don't age well. Generally, you'll be better off trying cakes.

Now that we got that out of the way, what Silentchaos is about right, usually one tuo is enough for a pot. Probably takes a little bit of time to get started, as they are typically tightly compressed. You might let it sit for a little bit or break it up yourself, if you are in a hurry to get drinkin.
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby JeffMI » Jan 8th, '13, 01:56

SilentChaos wrote:Welcome to the forum. I wouldn't advise brewing mini tuos in kyusu especially if the kyusu is unglazed. As to your question about brewing parameters, it's something like 1 tuo to 1 pot. Start with roughly 10s then gradually increase the steeping time for each subsequent steep as the tea weakens, and yes do rinse.

Most importantly, have you tried other kinds of puerh besides mini tuos?


No, this will be my first experience with Pu-erh so I didn't want to start with a giant cake because I am not sure if I will like the tea or not.

Yes my Kyusu is unglazed, so thank you for telling me that.
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby wyardley » Jan 8th, '13, 02:04

JeffMI wrote:No, this will be my first experience with Pu-erh so I didn't want to start with a giant cake because I am not sure if I will like the tea or not.

Many vendors sell samples, and there is some good loose pu'er on the market as well. While there may be some exceptions, generally, you are unlikely to find much, if any, quality pu'er in those mini-tuo, and other similarly sized products. There are some practical reasons for this (discussed elsewhere on this forum).

While I'm not a big fan of the "buy a cake as a sample" school of thought, with ripe tea, there are some pretty good teas available at fairly low prices, which I really don't think you will go wrong with (though some of the classic Menghai blends' prices definitely have gone up a bit since I last checked!). You can start with
viewtopic.php?p=157277
http://puerh.blogspot.com/p/new-to-puer.html
and similar posts for some suggestions.

While I wouldn't normally recommend older ripe pu'ers, some of the loose offerings from Bana tea are really nice, and available as loose tea and in sample sizes:
http://www.banateacompany.com/pages/puerh_teas.html
I especially recommend 1994 "Zhang Xiang", and I believe Brandon likes the "Lotus Scent".

This one is also not bad, at least if it's the one I tried a while back. Gong ting is made with small buds, and has its own interesting character. I think this one is an older one.
http://www.newcenturyteagallery.com/pro ... tegoryId=9

I would suggest doing 2 rinses with ripe pu'er (try less leaf, longer infusions), and at least 1 with raw pu'er.
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby gasninja » Jan 8th, '13, 12:57

Are you set on a shu ( ripe or cooked) Puerh?
I ask this as you stated that you are not familiar with Puerh. There is a very large difference between raw and ripe Puerh. The difference can be quite large. Even greater than the difference between gree and red(black) tea. I would suggest you try samples of raw and ripe Puerh and possibly even aged sheng(raw) pu. If you start out trying shu mini tuochas your liable to never wanna drink Puerh again.
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby JeffMI » Jan 8th, '13, 17:42

wyardley wrote:Many vendors sell samples, and there is some good loose pu'er on the market as well. While there may be some exceptions, generally, you are unlikely to find much, if any, quality pu'er in those mini-tuo, and other similarly sized products. There are some practical reasons for this (discussed elsewhere on this forum).

While I'm not a big fan of the "buy a cake as a sample" school of thought, with ripe tea, there are some pretty good teas available at fairly low prices, which I really don't think you will go wrong with (though some of the classic Menghai blends' prices definitely have gone up a bit since I last checked!).

I would suggest doing 2 rinses with ripe pu'er (try less leaf, longer infusions), and at least 1 with raw pu'er.


Thank you for the suggestions. I will definitely look into those further. In the meantime, I already ordered the Tuo Chas so I will have to start there.

gasninja wrote:Are you set on a shu ( ripe or cooked) Puerh?
I ask this as you stated that you are not familiar with Puerh. There is a very large difference between raw and ripe Puerh. The difference can be quite large. Even greater than the difference between gree and red(black) tea. I would suggest you try samples of raw and ripe Puerh and possibly even aged sheng(raw) pu. If you start out trying shu mini tuochas your liable to never wanna drink Puerh again.


I am not really set on either, as I haven't tried this tea at all before. I did order the ripe version. If you copy/paste the links I provided above, you can see exactly what I purchased. For some reason, the hyperlink URL feature is turned off and I can't figure out how to turn it on in order to post clickable links. After reading your post, it looks like I probably should have done some more research here before making my first purchase. But, live and learn as they say. Many of the terms you are using to describe the various versions of this tea are new to me, so I will have to learn more about that as well. I guess I will just have to keep in mind that if I don't like the tea I ordered, there is a possibility that I might like another version of it, as you have mentioned.
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby TomVerlain » Jan 8th, '13, 21:17

the mini tou could be brewed all at once in a liter of water. Brew until it looks like tea. That takes out a lot of the variables of short brew times in a tiny gaiwan. No matter what you do, you aren't going to have the sublime experience of a rare vintage pu'erh, however, it would certainly be a servicable hot drink which does resemble pu'erh. A mini tou in a thermos is a reasonable way to try your tea.
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby bagua7 » Jan 14th, '13, 00:52

You need to know that purchasing a tuo cha is not an indicative that you'll like the tea; as a matter of fact and supporting what was stated above: better if you buy a cake, mini-cake (i.e. V93) or a brick (CNNP, Dayi 7562), as those mini-tuochas are made of leftovers; in other words, they are rubbish tea.

To err on the side of caution, buy a sample before committing yourself to a full product.
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby BioHorn » Jan 14th, '13, 00:57

bagua7 wrote:You need to know that purchasing a tuo cha is not an indicative that you'll like the tea; as a matter of fact and supporting what was stated above: better if you buy a cake, mini-cake (i.e. V93) or a brick (CNNP, Dayi 7562), as those mini-tuochas are made of leftovers; in other words, they are rubbish tea.

To err on the side of caution, buy a sample before committing yourself to a full product.

JeffMI,
I have a tuo of V93. Email me your addy. If you'll cover shipping, it is yours.
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby jayinhk » Jan 14th, '13, 03:34

Mini-guide to brewing pu erh mini-tuo cha by JayinHK.

1. Pick up mini tuos.
2. Enter bathroom.
3. Throw tuos in the toilet. If at this time you feel like a #1 or #2, proceed.
4. Flush.
5. Turn on hot water in the sink.
6. Wash your hands, preferably with soap.
7. Turn off water.
8. Leave bathroom and buy some real pu. :D
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby Teaism » Jan 14th, '13, 06:37

Hmmmmm i am now brewing sheng Youle 2005 and try to juggle with this post... :lol:


well,I recalled one old tea drinker told me once....
Don't throw away any puer especially when the taste is not appealing to you.
This advise, of course, has some truth especially during his days when puer tea was likely not manipulated that time. Sometimes the tea is still changing and not peaked when drunk earlier. I have some experience with some really good tea that really awful to drink in its first 10 years, but then it turned out to be the best and my fav tea.

So sometimes just wait for it to peak and mellow.

Tou Cha, has its sheng and cook version so I am not sure what is yours. Generally, most mini Tou consist of smaller tea leaves and generally milder and sweeter in general character.

How you break the Tou will also determine how you brew the tea. Some like to break into half and brew it for a long time and some like to break into many smaller pieces and brew it for shorter period. Anyway works,you need to seep longer or increase the temperature or increase the quantity of tea to control the final brew to your taste. A good tea, ultimately is a tea that is good enough for you.
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby bagua7 » Jan 14th, '13, 17:40

Teaism wrote:most mini Tou consist of smaller tea leaves and generally milder and sweeter in general character.


Inaccurate statement, I'm afraid. Mini-tuos and stuff like this are leftovers from cooked puerh production. If you run a business EVERYTHING ought to be utilised to maximise profit. Puerh companies are not charities, unfortunately...I wish they were though. :mrgreen:

In other words, stay away from anything that has the word "mini" written on; it is pure junk.
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby TwoDog2 » Jan 14th, '13, 23:44

bagua7 wrote:
Teaism wrote:most mini Tou consist of smaller tea leaves and generally milder and sweeter in general character.


Inaccurate statement, I'm afraid. Mini-tuos and stuff like this are leftovers from cooked puerh production. If you run a business EVERYTHING ought to be utilised to maximise profit. Puerh companies are not charities, unfortunately...I wish they were though. :mrgreen:



Mini-tuos, the ham loaf of the puer industry
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Re: Newbie wants to properly brew MINI Tuo Cha.

Postby Teaism » Jan 15th, '13, 00:21

Thanks for sharing.
Yes you are right in some ways, that they are the leftovers. Generally those are lucky draw stuff which some may be excellent and some really lousy.
Alternatively, what some tea drinker look for are those specially manufacture from smaller leaves and start from maocha. If you are lucky to chance upon it, it would be a great collection especially the sheng tuocha, which is really punchy and delicious.
:P
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