my first taste of puerh

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........
Reply to
Darawen Littlestich

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
Reply to

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.
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Reply to

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!
Reply to

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.
Reply to
Space Cowboy

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