Friday, May 14, 2010

Chicago Tea Garden Sticky Rice Toucha

Even though I drink as much tea as I do, the complexity of Pu-erh intimidates me so I don’t have it very often. Every once in a while I will get brave and order a sample or two. This tea is yet another one sourced from David Lee Hoffman. If any tea can be described as cute it is the pu-erh toucha. These neat little compressed balls of tea are simply adorable. I was immediately struck by the rich and nutty aroma, even before steeping. According to Chicago Tea Garden this is caused by it being stored with the herb Nuomixiang for several months. I brewed this tea using a gaiwan and boiling water. All of my infusions were for 30 seconds.

The liquor was a deep gold color and smelled exactly like sticky rice. The first infusion was quite bitter and grassy tasting but after that it mellowed out dramatically. It was reminiscent of genmaicha but even nuttier tasting. There was a lingering sweetness in the back of my throat after each sip. I lost count at six steepings and the flavor did not dissipate in a noticeable way. My gaiwan pouring technique isn’t so great so there were lots of tiny leaf particles. That was quickly remedied with a strainer. I would definitely recommend this tea.

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