Sticky Rice Pu-erh Tuocha

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Pu-erh Tea
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Earth, Grass, Rice, Wet Earth
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
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205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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65 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’ve been popping Yin Chiao like mad trying to get rid of this cold but it seems to have frozen it in the initial stage. So I’ve had an on-and-off fever for days now, sore throat, fatigue, etc, yet...” Read full tasting note
  • “I have so much of this tea, I don’t even know what to do with it. Of course, I ended up not liking it as much as I thought I would – but hey, it was an investment! haha I’ll swap it away and maybe...” Read full tasting note
  • “I picked this as a free sample from Chicago Tea Garden, mostly because it just seemed too different not to try. I mean, come on – sticky rice flavored tea! How can I not try it? This is actually...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thanks to The Purrfect Cup for this one! I had this once before but am so glad I was able to try it again! Sticky Rice, Sticky Rice…yeah, yeah, YEAH!!!!! Totally…see my other notes on this one!!!” Read full tasting note

From Chicago Tea Garden

These tuocha smell exactly like sticky rice. They taste like it too. This tea is a wonderful alternative to Japanese Genmaicha (Roasted Rice Green Tea). These tuocha are made from green pu-erh and were manufactured in 2004. The distinct sticky rice smell and taste comes from a Chinese herb known as Nuomixiang. The tea is stored for several months with the herb before being processed into tuocha form.

Pu-erh tuocha is sold by weight so for 50g you will receive around 12 pieces, 100g around 24 pieces, and 200g around 48 pieces.

About Chicago Tea Garden View company

Chicago Tea Garden is an online tea shop committed to providing extraordinary teas and tea education to tea lovers and those new to the leaf. Chicago Tea Garden's co-owner Tony Gebely also runs the World of Tea Blog [] and Tweets at @WorldofTea.

65 Tasting Notes

807 tasting notes

This is unlike any pu-erh I have ever tasted. Very LIGHT and mellow. A nice rice flavor that is cleansing and enjoyable – especially with a homemade stir fry!
I did a quick 30 second rinse – then a 30 second steep which was a bit weak for me so on the next steep I did a good minute. This for me was perfect. The tea does have a stronger smell than flavor but it is so enjoyable to sit there allowing it to clear your sinus and sniffing the wonderful aroma! The flavor is light and yummy but not intense by any means. I do want to order some of this and a couple of other things from this tea company at some point in the near future.

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174 tasting notes

Thank you QueenofTarts for sharing this with me. After having read so many good reviews of this I needed to try it. When I first opened the bag I was reminded of the Cornfield Shu Tuocha but once I unwrapped the little guy it was definitely rice aroma.

After rinsing it, I brewed this gaiwan style (5 oz) with a 5 second steep with boiling water. The color was really light, and the leaves were green. I tasted of rice, kind of reminded of genmaicha, but that may only be because of the rice and nothing more. The taste was really light, closer to watered down actually.

I handed it over to my husband and asked him if he wanted to try it. The look he gives me says that he doesn’t want to but he does anyway, he knows I’ll quite pestering him once he tries it. I didn’t tell him what kind it was or what to expect, just handed him a cup of tea. The first thing he said was “meh” but that’s what he always says. Then he said it tasted like rice, the kind you get at an Asian restaurant. I was impressed and told him that was indeed what it was supposed to taste like!

So, since the first steep was watered down, the second steep I kept at boiling but upped the steep to 12 seconds. Too much time, it was bitter and I ended up tossing the cup, way to bitter. The whole tuocha feel apart on this steep and may have been factor to why it was so bitter.

Third steep. I went back down to a 5 second steep, this time I didn’t preheat the gaiwan and left the water at 200*F instead of boiling. Still to bitter, metallic tasting even. Again I dumped this cup.

Fourth steep. I didn’t preheat the gaiwan and steeped for 5 seconds with water temp at 176*F. Since there’s so much leaf and the leaves are green and all my cups have been bitter I thought treating it as a green tea would help. The verdict? I need to wash out my mouth. I think the bitterness and metallic flavor is having adverse side effects and skewing my taste at the moment. Not quite as bitter and metallic but it’s still there.

I’m going to stop with this one for now since it’s frustrating me and give it another try later. I’m going to leave the rating off it for now since I’m fairly certain that it’s due to my error that this tea is not tasting as it should.

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Enjoyed your adventure with this tea. I love it when people take the time to explore instead of just tossing it in a cup and that’s it.

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794 tasting notes

Thank you, BoxerMama, for this sample. I think these tuocha pieces found a good end, although they definitely aren’t something I would find myself drinking regularly!

To me they have a musky odour. They taste exactly like moist clumpy rice ,that has been wrapped in vegetal bamboo leaves, once steeped. I went with a rinse and 30 second steeps.

I have two cups of this beside me right now (first and second steep). First is more oily and buttery and makes me think that there might be egg in the middle of this rice ball. Second steep comes off more green, although equally buttery. Mild astringency but no bitterness. Picking up salty and sweet notes.

Third steep is more astringent and bold; the tuocha disintegrated completely (so cool!). Almost have to reduce the steep time when it falls apart to reduce the briskness.

Pros for me: not fishy, coffee-like, or bitter. Flavours of buttery steamed rice with a pinch of green. Savory and filling profile.
Questionable qualities: light musky body that may rub people the wrong way if noticed (like eggs, mushrooms, or fat). Also picking up a note very similar to cilantro. I like cilantro but it’s a wild card.

I think this may be very good alongside certain dishes.

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1779 tasting notes

Thanks Incendiare for the sample!
I was a bit nervous about trying it because I’d never had tuocha, but after reading what everyone else did, I feel fairly confident I’m doing this ok.

And wow – it really smells like sticky rice! It does taste as deliver, with the slightest tackiest mouthfeel and a slightly sour aftertaste. This is… unusual? I’m happy I tried it but I don’t know that it’s for me. :P


Mine’s sitting out on my counter, waiting for me to try! Kind of excited now that I’ve read how to steep it. :)


I liked mine.


It was interesting! But I don’t know that I’d crave it. :)

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243 tasting notes

Had this today and I absolutely loved it, definitely my new favorite pu-erh.

This is a green tea pu-erh cake flavored like sticky rice. The little nest is very green with a remarkable lack of odor, until it gets hit with hot water. Once the hot water hit the cake and released a hit of sweet sticky rice and tiny natural outdoorsy smell, not at all like regular pu-erh, but clean in a way that makes you almost consider not rinsing before drinking, but the directions say to rinse for 30 seconds, so I obliged.

So 30 second rinse in hot water, then 30 second infusion, hot, no additives. The tea smells just how it tastes, like sweet, starchy, sticky rice mixed with a very sweet green tea. Similar to Genmaicha, but I do like this one a lot more. There is no earthy flavor or smell, this tea is the most mild pu-erh I have ever had (in cake form – as in the Chocolate Pu-Erh I rave about is actually more mild of a pu-erh, but I digress). You really still get the mouth-feel and richness of a pu-erh, but the lack of the fishy, outdoors odor and flavor really makes this one of the greatest pu-erhs I have ever had.

That being said, I believe this is my first green pu-erh cake and I should expand my horizons and not be so terrified of pu-erh, but I will definitely be buying more of these from Chicago Tea Garden…

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Whoa a 30 sec rinse?! When I try this, I think I’m gonna stick w/ my 10-15 sec. rinse. Glad to hear it still has a lot of flavor though!:)


It really does, I didn’t even mention,but I got three infusions out of it, even after the 30 second rinse :)

I do not like the earthy smell and taste, so I usually do longer rinses, usually 30-45 seconds, then an equal infusion. Here I was kind of winging it, like I said, I never had a green pu-erh and am just learning…


Yeah shengs are totally different… as in I actually like them. lol! Actually I didn’t even realize this was a sheng til now.

Madison Bartholemew

that sounds pretty fantastic!


Sad, I really wanted this tea this morning, but forced myself to save my last little nest…going to have to reorder soon, haha

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1355 tasting notes

My fifth flavoured Pu Erh of the day :) I’m on a roll!

The little tuocha’s are so cute, I love using them. The tuocha’s are dark green in colour with a slight sweet ricey fragrance. Sort of like rice pudding without the cream.

After a 10 second rinse the tea smells much more like cooked rice but not as thickly so as Genmaicha. I haven’t cooked rice in a while and this smell is making me crave it.

Ooh I forgot to mention I am using my gongfu with two of these tuocha’s. Copying other peoples steeping time of 30 seconds (as that seems about right).

Steep 1 – The same sticky rice smell with a light yellow colour. The Pu Erh is mellow and a little floral with a light rice flavour. The smell is thicker than the taste which is good because stodgy rice would not be nice. It’s also still sweet but naturally so and not overpowering.

Steep 2 – A little darker in colour and thicker in smell. The taste is also much stronger now with a thick floral perfume flavour taking over the light rice which is now mostly in the after taste. It’s also picked up more of a toasted flavour.

Steep 3 – Now it’s a light gold colour rather than yellow. Now it’s twice the strength it was before and a little bitterness is noticeable along with a fairly harsh and dry perfume taste. The sweetness has almost gone but the rice remains at the back of the throat as the after taste. Not as pleasant as the first steep.

Steep 4 – Same gold colour but more toasty in smell. Not as strong as the previous steep (thankfully) but that wonderful rice flavour has still been over taken by this perfumey one.

I’m leaving my steeps there, it started off well but ended abruptly shortly after. I have never had a Pu Erh that has changed so much between first and second steeps. The first steep was pleasant where as the second and third were much too strong for my personal liking. It’s low score comes down to this tea’s problems with re steeping which is mandatory for most Pu Erh.


2 tuo cha’s for one gongfu infusion? is one tuo cha normaly not one portion?


I follow steeping instructions quite a lot from Teavivre and have found them to be to my particular taste. They say to use either 7g or 10g per gongfu infusion. I can’t check at the moment as their website seems to be down :(
But two has always been used. One tuocha would be enough for possibly 3 re steepable infusions and 2 tuocha could get around 8 or 10 re steeps.
Everything else has worked perfectly when using two but it would appear that I am not the only one who had a problem with this tea.


oh, well the only tuo cha i had before was a 2008 cooked puerth from jing and i used one tuo for up to 6 or so cups without loosing taste (i think). That was my first tuo and puerth ever (no review yet).

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525 tasting notes

Mmmm… I got a nice sized sample of this from MadelineAlyce and it’s so unique and tasty!
I totally oversteeped the first steep. I wasn’t paying attention. It was still good, but it had a strong herbal bitter flavor. It wasn’t entirely unpleasant once I diluted it. And it definitely tastes like rice. I don’t know if it tastes like sticky rice in particular, but definitely rice. Maybe a good quality jasmine rice. It reminds me of that smell of rice cooking at the stage before it absorbs all the water. MIght be a good drink when you’re craving carbs but don’t want to overload on them. There’s also something corn cob like. Very satisfying.

The second steep is a bit thinner but still ricey. Still a little bitter, but not as much. I like this a lot. I think my dad would enjoy it since he has a thing for bitter flavors. The after taste is so starchy! I keep feeling like I just swallowed a mouthful of rice. Amazing!

This strikes me as a cold weather tea, and if this weather trend continues, the time for cold weather teas will soon be behind us. :( Enjoy them now while you still can! I’m having some chai soon!

This is my first green pu-erh and I think I might like them more than the non-green sort. I need to do more pu-erh research. This category of tea is still a bit mysterious to me.


I’m with you—I just haven’t gotten the hang of pu-erh yet.

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1220 tasting notes

I tried.

It smells like popcorn to me, super buttery. I was excited to try it. But all I taste is metallic. I lowered the water temperature (started @ 205), I gave it a rinse, I don’t think this one and I are going to be friends and that makes me sad because it smells great. I’m also not a fan of how they fall apart, makes any sort of steeping rather difficult with little bits getting through even a strainer. I’d try a bit more (sweetening, whatever else I see from notes) but I am just so turned off it right now because metallic tastes and I will never ever be okay together.

OKAY you know how when you have something sitting there and you absolutely must conquer it? 4th try of steeping I finally got something I like. 30 seconds is far, far too long for me, but it works now. Didn’t bother to pay attention to the water temp though, but this time there isn’t a metallic taste, but delicious toasted rice.

I think it’s the herb in here giving me that metallic flavor, because I still get tinges of it in the aftertaste, and now I can tell that it has to be coming from it. Because now as it’s cooling it’s coming back. Argh.


I really like it. I even made some into iced and sweetened it with splenda.

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190 tasting notes

I really dig this tea. It smelled amazing in the package that I received yesterday! I’m steeping it tonight while indulging in Alice in Wonderland again(such a good movie!). My initial reaction is the steeped smell of the wet leaves and the liquor is overwhelmingly like you stuck you nose into a freshly made plate of rice. Rice is the overwhelming smell. The taste, reminds me of a genmaicha meets green tea meets pu erh. The flavor profiles of all three of those remind me of this tea.The genmaicha is most likely because of the rice as well. I like this tea, it’s very unique! Bravo, Tony on another great tea you offer! :)

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Tea for Me Please - Nicole Martin

This was one of my favorites. I love how it smells. I normally don’t like puerh but haven’t had a bad one from them yet.


I agree with you. Normally puerhs smell, well, pretty gross sometimes. This one was great.

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189 tasting notes

tu– cha

Appearance: hints of green, woody bits
Aroma when Dry: sweet, nutty, sticky rice
After water is first poured: buttered wild rice
At end of first steep: same notes
Tea liquor:
At end of first steep: clear
Preferred time of day: any
At first?: buttery rice
As it cools?: notes get warmer, earthier, slight honey notes surface, then starts to get brothy
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? yes, with a creamy, earthy texture

Second steep (5 min)
Aroma: same, warmer
same notes, hints of metallic notes

Third Steep (5 min):
Taste: getting a bit creamier, honeyed in the butter notes
As it cools: starts to get salty, brothy notes

Fourth Steep (3 min):
Taste: Buttery Ricewater broth

Fifth Steep(8 min):
Taste: Buttery Ricewater, hints of brothiness

Sixth Steep:
brothy ricewater

Seventh Steep:
Light brothy ricewater

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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