I had met some other tea lovers in person from Steepster the other weekend and we had a tea swap. One had brought a baggie filled with pu’er tuochas. I was happy to take some off her hands!
The problem? We weren’t sure what tuocha was what, since there was very little English on the packaging. She did inform me there was some sheng/raw pu’er in there, but not sure which ones. I’m not experienced enough to tell any of the little cakes by smell, if that is even possible to do.
To my surprise, Tuochas are smaller than I thought they would be – the size of a Canadian Loonie.
Sooo cute! I love mystery bags, so I grabbed one tuocha at random to try!
Unwrapping the little tea was like opening candy!
Hmmm, this tuocha is green. I think I scored a sheng!
Quick! To the gaiwan!
I did a rinse, which didn’t do much to the tuocha.
Oh well, let’s steep! It was really neat to see the tea turn from a smooth lump to develop texture.
After the first official steeping, the tuocha.. well, it looks like a donut to me.
From the tuocha, I got a nice golden cup of tea that tasted buttery and smokey, or in a more fun description – if I tossed a stick of butter on the grill and ate it.. if it didn’t melt.
Second steeping the tuocha began to flake off the.. donut.
Further steepings, the donut dissolved more and more, losing structure…
.. and became a seaweedy lump.
Around 5 or 6 steepings, the tuocha finally lost all its form.
The flavor of this tuocha went from grilled butter, to grassy green smoke, to bloom a strong floral flavor and then finally astringent. Very tasty!
I quite enjoyed this little tuocha. I also got a large number of steepings, but unfortunately I didn’t keep track. I had company come over and I was refilling the gaiwan and sipping while I was chatting.
The tuocha was dirt easy to deal use – even less work than using a teabag and much better flavor! I keep some good quality teabags in my purse – I think I will smuggle a few tuochas too and try them out on the go. LOL, I’m already snooty for when I’m out, I ask for hot water and provide my own tea. I’m picturing the next time I’m stuck at Denny’s for breakfast and I toss in a tuocha in my hot water! Muuuuahahahahahaaaaa!