2004 Spring raw puerh Tuo Cha from Xiaguan Tea Factory
Tea: Plantation puerh
Harvested/Pressed: April 2004.
Origin: Xiaguan Tea Factory.
Process: raw, sun dried, blended and machine pressed as Tuo Cha. Stored dry in Taiwan.
Weight of a Tuo: 100 gram. 5 Tuo per paper bag (500 gr)
The dry leaves are rather light in color, especially the buds. The pressing of the Tuo is very hard and requires a puerh knife. But once the Tuo is broken, it's not all too difficult to flake the leaves by hand. The orange brew has a good transparency and shine. The spent leaves are very broken, but they open up completely (not shu) and still have a very green color that indicates that they aged in a dry place.
The dry leaves have a faint scent. These dry scents are clean and herbaceous. The fragrances of the brew are fruity/flowery.
Broken leaves tend to produce more astringency, but with this 2004 Tuo, the age has mellowed down the harsh notes. It tastes rounder than a young Xiaguan Tuo, but still has the characteristic strong raw puerh mouthfeel and long aftertaste.
Conclusion: This Tuo Cha is a good example of a very dry and clean storage. Even after 15 years, it doesn't have any moldy or basement smell that often occur in a humid environment. It has gained some rounder notes and, thanks to a very attractive price, it's a good choice for a daily puerh.