Following on from our recent post on Puerh tea tasting and the struggling puerh industry in Menghai county. Some of the Puerh we sell at JING comes in the form of Tuo Cha, small round cakes of compressed tea.The tuo was originally created in Ching Gu County, Yunnan Province, in the Ming Dynasty period between A.D. 1573 – 1620. From 1620 0nwards, the production region expanded to include Xia Guan where the majority of today’s tuo production takes place.
There are two varieties of Tuo Cha. One is made of cooked puerh leaves, and the other is made of raw puerh leaves.
Cooked puerh tuo cha fully consists of puerh tea which is steamed and then pressed into shape. This tea is general known as Yunnan Puerh Tuo Cha. Red, outstandingly earthy and flavoured, Puerh Tuo Cha often has an amazingly sweet finish. It’s popular throughout Asia and other continents has been researched for its health benefits. In particular, a French medical researcher concluded that drinking three portions of this tea each day significantly reduces cholesterol in the blood.
Raw puerh tuo cha is made from fine and young raw puerh leaves which are then steamed and pressed into shape. This is called Yunnan Tuo Cha. With the best examples of this, it’s possible to see the if tiny hairs on the tea leaves still in tct. ‘Te Ji (superior grade) Tuo Cha’, is generally consider the best crop. It offers a rich flavour and wonderful taste. The colour of the infusion should be orange-yellow, bright and translucent.