my first taste of puerh

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hello teaples (tea people),
my friend went to china and gave me a small container of puerh tuochas.
this is my very first taste of the tea.

*bitter with a definite smokey taste (to me)--well, does earthy mean bitter?
*dark brew (used boiling water and infused til the tuocha melted apart; took
about a minute or two)
*a sorta sweet after taste in the back of the tongue after a few minutes

is this what puerh supposed to taste like?  i know you all will tell me,
everyone has their own taste--but i just want to know if i'm tasting in the
ballpark.  perhaps i brewed it too hot or too long.  but if i brewed it
correctly, and this is indeed the taste, i'll stick to my high mt. oolongs.
i brewed from the instructions per  'in pursuit of tea'.

thanks.....i have about 20 tuochas to experiment with so........


Re: my first taste of puerh

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By my opinion, it's really hard to brew a tuo-cha too long.
The pu-erh is much more durable, than green teas or oolongs, so you can
brew it really long time.

Some tips :
- you can put some black pu-erhs into boiling water and let it boil a
few minutes. You will receive really strong brew with interesting taste
- most of the pu-erhs will give more than one brews, so you can make a
tea from one tuo-cha maybe 2-6 times (depends on quality and the length
of the previous brews)
- for black pu-erhs you can use boiling water

And yes, pu-erh is definitely a earthly tea - some do not like it, but
it is probbaly a very healthy tea, just you have to learn to love and
apreciate it

Re: my first taste of puerh

Darawen Littlestich wrote:
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This is definitely COOKED puerh, which is not the same as aged (or not
aged) raw puerh.  Cooked puerh is less complex, a bit sweet, maybe a
bit bitter, smokey is not typical, but can happen.

You didn't overbrew it, you just got a sample of bad puerh, as the tiny
tuocha are almost always low grade and isn't a good representation of
how puerh really is.


Re: my first taste of puerh

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I recommend that you rinse the toucha first for about ten seconds, then
brew.  Try different techniques-- short steeps in a small cup (30
seconds or so) or the entire toucha in a large pot (12 oz) for a few
minutes.  It's not going to be the best example of this kind of tea
because in my experience mini touchas lack the dimension and variety of
flavor that cakes or fine loose pu-erh often have, but if you like this
tea in general, and find it agrees with you, then you can start by
trying some of the 'real' stuff.  YSLLC on ebay is a good source of
well-priced cooked puerh for a start.  Mike Petro recommends Rishi
Tea's touchas on his website; it also has a good
detailed intro on how cooked puerh is made.  There's oh so much more
but it's a start...

Good luck!

Re: my first taste of puerh

The weight of your toucha is probably 5g.  That's way too much for a
cup.  I'd break it in half with 8oz of water.  Some are even larger at
10g.  I think I've seen tiny ones around 2-3g.  Earthy does not mean
bitter.  Earthy in puer especially if it is shu,cooked,black is more
related to smell.  Bitter is more related to taste.  Yours is a better
quality if it taste sweet and smoky especially if it came in a
commercial Chinese tin.  The characters will probably indicate the
quality.  I like the cooked puer taste because of the variety.  In
general the cakes have the whole leaves with less blending.  The
tuochas pieces of leaves with more blending.  In the end it is the
taste that counts.  I drink my shu puer off the top in a cup.  I don't
think it can be overbrewed.


Darawen Littlestich wrote:
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