Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!


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

Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby futurebird » May 1st, '13, 19:14

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I put three teas in to three teapots without looking much then mixed them up. Who will win the taste test?

:D

Tea 1
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Astringency, Dryness, nice Hui gan, rather sweet and slightly sour like white grapes. This one needed a longer steep than the other two. Nice back of throat feeling.

The leaves are big and plump and young.

Tea 2
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Heavy mouth-feel, Astringency, Dryness, some Hui gan... I swear this has this flavor like older tea or shu... it's not strong but its there. Steeps dark very quickly. thick. This is easiest to drink in some ways.

Tea 3
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Astringency, yet wonderful Hui gan, thick, flavors lasts, just a little biter also smoky? why is raw puerh smoky? Love the after-taste.

Overall
I think in their current young state #2 is the most "drinkable" -- yet it isn't my favorite. I like #3 a bit more ... in fact I like #2 least since it isn't really what I expect from sheng. I suspect it is blended. Not that that is "bad" I just like things that are less contrived.

How will these age? Damned if I know. I have two of each tuocha, one to nibble on and one to keep for a long time. I don't have an special storage arrangements, by my in NYC apartment I never use AC-- so I'm not too worried. In any case, if they start to dry out I'll seek new arrangements.

This is all just trying to emulate the success I had with a $1.95 Chinatown tuocha before I even knew what puerh was :lol:

But, If I had to guess,I'd guess that #1 will end up too sweet and plain with age, #2 won't really age much since it's so unstable, and #3 has a shot at be good in a few years.

Let's see what happens!


And now....

The Reveal

Tea 1
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Xia Guan Yellow Ribbon Tuo Cha 2010 100g Raw ($9)


Tea 2
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Jia Ji Tuo Cha * Menghai Dayi Pu-erh Tea 2009 100g Raw ($7)


Tea 3
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"2012yr Yunnan Wild Old Tea Pu'er Cake tea 100g" Mystery Tea From ebay ($6)

And there you have it!

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Re: Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby lordsbm » May 2nd, '13, 00:08

If you are willing to pay $6-9 per 100g for blends, then you may like to try this

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2007yr-Yunnan-T ... 45f959e649
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Re: Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby futurebird » May 2nd, '13, 00:51

How much do these run in China? Like $3? :lol:

oh and thanks I will check that out... though I'm more wary of bings.
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Re: Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby Teaism » May 2nd, '13, 01:09

The leaves looks good and they are in good price too.
Nice pot you have there.
Cheers!
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Re: Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby yalokinh » May 2nd, '13, 02:22

love seeing the two 30milli liters at work!
whats the other pot?
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Re: Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby lordsbm » May 2nd, '13, 02:23

futurebird wrote:How much do these run in China? Like $3? :lol:

oh and thanks I will check that out... though I'm more wary of bings.


those tuos? they are mostly less than US$3. Normally 100g 30-80yrs old tree pure ones is less than US$6 unless they are those famous villages where speculation happen.

Normally you take away the shipping cost, online International sellers tend to mark up by 100%. Retail shops will mark up by 200-300%.
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Re: Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby victoria3 » May 2nd, '13, 02:32

Futurebird, awesome showdown sequence and photos. Now that's the way to show your stuff excellent. Thanks.
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Re: Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby lordsbm » May 2nd, '13, 03:28

BTW why are u more wary of bings? Cos of fake wrappers?

The truth is I'd even seen 5RMB fake XG jia tuos (Think it was 2011 or 2010) :lol: They really went through the trouble of printing similar wrapper, neifei within also similar. All that trouble to sell for 5RMB!!! :lol:
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Re: Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby futurebird » May 6th, '13, 17:10

I've just had worse luck with leaf quality in bings-- and I have a theory that in the more dry North-east USA tuocha will fare better over time.
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Re: Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby wyardley » May 8th, '13, 17:25

futurebird wrote:I've just had worse luck with leaf quality in bings-- and I have a theory that in the more dry North-east USA tuocha will fare better over time.

I think the opposite is true for both points.
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Re: Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby tenuki » May 8th, '13, 18:06

wyardley wrote:
futurebird wrote:I've just had worse luck with leaf quality in bings-- and I have a theory that in the more dry North-east USA tuocha will fare better over time.

I think the opposite is true for both points.


Agree with Wyardly - here's why:

touchas already have hard time aging due to tighter compression, dry just makes that worse. I have some 10 year old touchas that are still as green as the day they were born and require a special toucha pick and serious muscle to open.

Also touchas and bricks are generally more for the cheaper daily drinking markets ( generalization, not always true ). The higher quality stuff usually comes in beengs.
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Re: Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby futurebird » May 9th, '13, 07:22

I was comparing cheap young bengs to cheap young tuo chas. Not just bengs in general.

Cheap bengs aren't even worth buying most of the time IMHO, I have not really found many that are worth it. For some reason they seem to attract an even lower quaity of leaf. If the compression is poor they can be crumbly and almost like loose maocha...or more like "malo-cha" :lol:

Cheap tuo cha offer some opportunity.

Also, one issue with a bing in a dry climate it could get too dry the density of roundness of the tuo should protect the tea even if its a little dry.

Some people seem to age tea in plastic wrappers.

I noticed wonderful changes in the tuo that I stored for 9 years here in nyc, thought o be fair it was split in half for most fo that time.

But the really good tea was the stuff in the middle.

I want to try the same thing but for say 20 years so I'm getting similar kind of tea to tuck away.

well the worst case is I loose $6 to some dried out tea.
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Re: Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby lordsbm » May 9th, '13, 08:01

futurebird wrote:Cheap bengs aren't even worth buying most of the time IMHO, I have not really found many that are worth it. For some reason they seem to attract an even lower quaity of leaf. If the compression is poor they can be crumbly and almost like loose maocha...or more like "malo-cha" :lol:


I think you just bought the wrong cheap bings. There are a lot of cheap bings with decent leafs.

A test you could try, get XG 7653 bing and XG jia tuo (better still get FT7653 tuo), then store it for 5years. Then compare which one age better.

Or if you wanna spend a bit more, get the XG gold ribbon tuo and bing of same year and compare in 5 years time.

I'd always heard bing and brick age better than tuo and mushroom. I did heard before that Malaysia (or Singapore) tuos are better as it lock in the aroma better.

Speaking of Tuo and Puerh. IIRC, in China based on Pu erh official standard, tuo cha is not pu erh. This is because they have another official standard which cater specifically to tuo cha (XG).

However, to drinkers tuo cha is still pu erh (at least those made with pu erh material). The difference between pu erh and tuo cha is only known to the officials. No one seems to have comment much on this :lol:
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Re: Young, cheap tuo cha showdown!

Postby wyardley » May 9th, '13, 14:43

futurebird wrote:Also, one issue with a bing in a dry climate it could get too dry the density of roundness of the tuo should protect the tea even if its a little dry.

It's the opposite problem; in such a dry climate, tightly compressed tea tends to not age much at all.

I love cheap tuocha, but only if they have had quite a bit of wetter storage before I get them. Tuocha do great with wetter storage because of the tight compression.
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