Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ancient Green Tuo Cha

This raw pu-er from Rishi starts as a tightly compressed tuo cha and slowly unwinds to reveal silver pu-er buds. This is the only pu-er I've had that consists wholly of buds, rather than leaves, and it shows. The tea is sweet and fruity, though fairly thick. If I were ignorant, I'd guess that it was a white tea. It has staying power: it didn't really get going until the 6th infusion and it is still going strong as of the 9th. Definitely an interesting tea, though perhaps not quite worth the steep price tag.

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Drewid said...

I've been enjoying this tea myself! It has a bold flavor characteristic of pu erh teas, but leaves a gentle and sweet aftertaste, unlike the bitterness characteristic of others that I've tried.

There is a lot of tea compressed into the small cake, and I'm still trying to figure out how to best brew it -- especially to get out the 9 infusions you suggest! How long do you infuse each time? And how much stirring do you do, since it makes the teacake break up more quickly?

Also, I've noticed some foaming after several infusions, and some crackling sounds from the tealeaves. Any idea where this comes from?

Dave said...

I use a large gaiwan and brew is for about 30-40 seconds at a pop. I never stir at all, I just let the buds unfurl on their own.

If you like this I really recommend trying some other buds-only pu-ers that you can find for much cheaper. See my entry on the Silver Thread cake for more info.

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