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?
The mini toucha from Whole Foods was probably a new, un-aged mini toucha. Get mini toucha from someplace that tells you the year at the very least. An older mini toucha will taste better. Put that mini toucha away for a year it will probably improve. Some mini toucha are lower quality as they save the lower quality leaves for bricks and mini touchas. Some, however, like the ones from purepuer.com are quite good.