TUO CHA PU'ERH
The Jasmine Tuo Cha’s aroma is really powerful, and the taste is an explosion of jasmine.
Welcome to this month’s edition of Tea Tasters. This time around we’re spoiling you, with not just one, but three different teas: Plain Tuocha, Jasmine Tuocha and Lotus Tuocha,
These are wonderful and quite underestimated here in the UK. A Tuocha is a pressed tea which originates in the Yunnan region of South West China. You might find the idea of a pressed tea a little odd. But processing it in this way was a convenient and practical way to transport it, since as you’re aware, tea is normally pretty bulky. So a compressed tea makes this tea really easy to travel the long distances that it would have to go around China two or three thousand years ago.
TASTING THE TUOCHAS
But let’s have a little taste of these Tuochas, or these pressed teas, and see what beauty they hold. We have three different flavours; one is plain, one has been flavoured with some Jasmine or Jasmine leaf, and the other with Lotus leaf. Compressed teas can be made of a green tea or a black tea – but this is a compressed Pu'erh tea. And Pu'erh has gone through a fermentation stage that lasts several weeks and months during which the tea begins to enrich its flavour.
So let’s have a little taste. Five grams make a really good strong cup for one person or a mild cup for two. And if you’re tempted, you can put the whole Tuocha inside the cup. Opening up this tea is quite fun. Start by peeling away the beautiful paper from the Tuocha which is almost wrapped up like little candies. This reveals a lovely black dome or, as it’s sometimes called, a bird’s nest. You should already start to get some aromas coming off this tea.
Take your Tuocha dome or bird’s nest and pop it in your teapot. Then grab a couple more pots for the Jasmine and Lotus. If you are feeling adventurous, use one Tuocha per person. Or if you like something a bit smoother, use one for two people. But we would suggest not adding an extra ‘one for the pot’.
The good thing about a Pu'erh base is you can’t over brew it. Give this tea three to five minutes, but don’t be scared to go a little bit longer if you want. This is certainly a tea for the adventurous! Pour in your hot water – which has been boiled to 100° – and then leave for a few moments to cool.
Give your Tuochas three to three and a half minutes to infuse and then taste them to see what delights we have this month. The fragrance coming off them is absolutely amazing. They’re wintry, autumnal fruits, nice basal, earthy aromas.
Let’s have a look at our plain Pu'erh first. It’s got a classic colour profile and a classic flavour too - rich and earthy with a velvety characteristic that’s great on a cold afternoon.
Jasmine Tuocha’s aroma is really powerful, and the taste is an explosion of jasmine. You're going to find this cuppa really pleasant!
Finally, the Lotus Tuocha has a nice dark colour and a gentle Lotus envelope across the flavour. These are three really enjoyable teas that we think you’ll love this festive season. Cheers!