Oolong Owl’s First Tuocha

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!

Oolong Owls first tuocha (1)

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.

Oolong Owls first tuocha (2)

To my surprise, Tuochas are smaller than I thought they would be – the size of a Canadian Loonie.

Oolong Owls first tuocha (3)

Sooo cute! I love mystery bags, so I grabbed one tuocha at random to try!

Unwrapping the little tea was like opening candy!

Oolong Owls first tuocha (4)

Oolong Owls first tuocha (8)

Hmmm, this tuocha is green. I think I scored a sheng!

Oolong Owls first tuocha (5)

Quick! To the gaiwan!

Oolong Owls first tuocha (7)

I did a rinse, which didn’t do much to the tuocha.

Oolong Owls first tuocha (10)

Oh well, let’s steep! It was really neat to see the tea turn from a smooth lump to develop texture.

Oolong Owls first tuocha (11)

Oolong Owls first tuocha (12)

After the first official steeping, the tuocha.. well, it looks like a donut to me.

Oolong Owls first tuocha (13)

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.

Oolong Owls first tuocha (14)

Second steeping the tuocha began to flake off the.. donut.

Oolong Owls first tuocha (15)

Oolong Owls first tuocha (16)

Further steepings, the donut dissolved more and more, losing structure…

Oolong Owls first tuocha (17)

.. and became a seaweedy lump.

Oolong Owls first tuocha (18)

Around 5 or 6 steepings, the tuocha finally lost all its form.

Oolong Owls first tuocha (19)

Oolong Owls first tuocha (20)

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!

BONUS PIC!

Oolong Owls first tuocha (9)

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