Tuo Cha Bonbons

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Pu-erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Dorothy
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205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Pu’erh eye candy
Just unwrapping this pressed tea is a small luxury. To say nothing of the earthy, rich, dark-licorice sweetness of it when steeped. And these steam-heated leaves, like all pu’erhs, are also known for their health benefits. So even if it looks like a cute little thing, this tea will slash your cholesterol, kickstart your metabolism and soothe your digestion. Steep each bonbon up to 5 times! Low in caffeine.

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16 Tasting Notes

318 tasting notes


Came home, really really tired – my body’s beat, not sure why, but I slept from 12pm to 9am, and then from about 10am-3pm. And I’m still exhausted and my eyes hurt and I have a headache, so I think I’m going to finish watching Sherlock with my friend (she’s never seen it before and she’s in Iowa, so she’s liveblogging it, and her comments are hilarious.) and get my words in for tonight and then just go to bed. Long shift tomorrow too. Fun.


Tossed one of these little tuochas into my tasting cup. I’m underwhelmed. It’s a decent pu’erh, I guess, but it’s fairly flavorless. Generally just meh.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

I just started watching Sherlock recently and I only have access to it through Netflix, and there are only three episodes on there. Have more episodes been made and Netflix is just behind? I’d be sorely disappointed if three is all there was haha


There’s a second season (Scandal in Belgravia, Hounds of Baskerville, The Reichenbach Fall) but it’s not available on Netflix yet. It’s on iTunes and DVD, though. And it’s even better than the first season.


Awesome! Thanks. :)


There are also places to watch it online, but you didn’t hear that from me :)


I’ve learned to stay away from those sites after one too many viruses haha.


I love Sherlock. Well, to be honest, I think my love affair is with Steven Moffat. The man is the most genius TV producer. And Scottish. All my favourite Doctor Who episodes are his. If you can track it down, watch Coupling (2000-04).

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300 tasting notes

Hmm no love for this one on Steepster. Between “flavorless” and “disgusting” with a slight fishy smell and no earthy notes. Well, I guess I can be grateful I followed my natural instincts and steeped it between 30 secs and a min instead of the recommended 5 mins because honestly I’m getting a nice sweet shu flavor here with chocolate and caramel notes. Bonbon indeed.

I’m sure some may consider these notes light, but I’m very used to picking up on the subtleties of shu, since I am a whimp or a gongfu master, you pick (kidding about the master bit, mean no disrespect to those who have earned that title, I’m a total novice) and I usually only steep them for a few seconds.

So thanks Michelle I actually do enjoy this! DAVIDs or any large tea chain would not be my go to source for pu’er but I am glad I got try these for free! I will hold off on rating it to see if it resteeps well and whatnot, because right now I want to give it an 80 and everyone else is 50s and under.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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124 tasting notes

These are fun little things – The little tuo cha was so tiny and adorable. Just by itself, this was really fun to open.
There was an initial fishy smell. I kind of like that, but I can see how other people could find it offensive. I didn’t find it bothersome. It wasn’t super earthy or complex, just slightly fishy – I felt like I walked into a fish shop on Canal Street or something :D

I did a 20 second rinse and then did a 30 second steep with water just short of boiling.

This actually smells slightly floral! I was expecting a super strong brew. A little leathery – super low undertone there.

Flavor: really weird. This doesn’t really taste like pu erh to me at all… there’s still a kind of light fruity flavor, slightly tart. I don’t even know how to describe this since there isn’t much flavor to my palate.
I’m underwhelmed.
We’ll see if the subsequent steepings are more interesting.

ETA – I did a 1 minute steeping with slightly hotter water. No improvement. Actually dumping it. It’s not bad, just frightfully boring!
Time to make a different cup :)

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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1887 tasting notes

I’m hardly a pu-erh conoisseur but I only found this one to be rather mediocre. The flavour lacked much of the earthy flavour I’m used to associating with pu-erhs and what’s left was a tannic taste that reminded me a bit of leather. I’m also not sure where the description is getting ‘licorice’ from, I certainly couldn’t taste any!

Despite its faults, it does have good staying power, keeping its flavour well through three steepings.


I admire your tenacity in drinking something three times that you didn’t really like a whole lot! : )

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8 tasting notes

After reading comments here, to be honest I was not expecting much. I was not disappointed. For a cheap shou pu’erh, it’s ok.

I’ve put one of those bonbons in my yixing, rinsed it, and let it steep for about 3 minutes. It was a mistake, I only wanted to do a 1 minute steep. It has the earthy smell you’d expect from a shou pu’erh, but weak. And so the taste. I won’t do multiple steeps for now. I had a cold last week, so maybe that’s why I don’t get much taste. I’ll try it again in a few days. I may change my rating if my experience is better.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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330 tasting notes

Eeeeeh. Not so much.

First, I totally messed up in reading, and thought it was TWO cha bonbons. So I got more than I thought I was getting. Whoops.

Ok, next, brewed it up in my gaiwan, and oh, there’s the fishy smell. Ick.

Poured the first batch, and saw a hair in my teacup. Ok, I know these are made by human beings (almost typed OF, hehe – Soylent Cha is made of people!) and I’m sure there’s worse but in small pieces I can’t see. I just can’t handle seeing that. So I took a small sip and dumped it, because it just didn’t really impress me. I guess I am just not a Pu’erh person. Don’t know what I’m going to do with the rest of the bon-bons.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Blarf. Ew.

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23 tasting notes

I find it hard to understand why this one is so under-rated… however after reading the temperature and steeping times, I can see why it is problematic. My husband and I had these puppies last night proper gong fu style. We popped two tuo chas into our pre-heated yixing clay teapot and did a pour of just boiling water. We then poured off the water to rinse the tea. Then we did a low pour and let it steep for 30 seconds and the poured it into the erving pitcher so you get a UNIFORM tea. This is very important with puerh teas because they are SO strong and heavy on the sediment. We then poured it into the aroma cups (the taller ones) and did the fancy flip thing where you put the tasting cup on top and invert them. You then pick up the aroma cup and the spray from breaking the vacuum releases all the aroma. The first steeping smelled like dirt and was a bit bitter, but this is to be expected from a puerh tea! The first steeping is ALWAYS the worst. After drinking that pot we then reboiled the kettle and refilled the pot with hot water, this time steeping it for a full 60 seconds. This time the aroma was less woodsy and far more sweet. The taste improved DRASTICALLY with the second steeping. The third steeping was better again, and the tea had lost ALL of its bitter dirty flavour and was smooth as silk, and remarkably sweet. It was so comforting and delicious. The fourth steeping was very much like the third, but slightly sweeter again. The fifth and sixth steepings were still very solid and strong flavour, but they were a bit on the waning side, and definitely not as bold. We stopped at the 6th steeping but you can definitely keep on going and get a great cup of tea. Puerhs hold up VERY well to multiple steepings, and this one is no exception. Don’t over-steep them though because you will get an extremely astringent, bitter brew. The third and fourth steepings are usually the best of the bunch. This puerh is definitely not my favourite in the world, but as far as puerhs go it was very solid. Delicious and comforting, with a great aroma. Just make it to the third and fourth steepings before you judge, and mix it up well so you get a uniform taste. :)

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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328 tasting notes

Absolutely disgusting, I can see why this is no longer listed on their website. I understand that this is supposed to taste “earthy”, and I gave it a rinse, but I still can’t stomach this. I don’t normally rate teas this low, but I seriously can’t take another sip without gagging.

Pu-erh can taste good, I hope this hasn’t turned anyone away from it.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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5 tasting notes

Was not my favorite, but my first introduction to pu’erh. I like pu’erh, but these were perhaps not flavorful or aromatic enough.

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21 tasting notes

Today I was in DT and the lady didn’t know what I was talking about when I asked about the pu’erh pressed tea nuggets (not sure what the proper term is)……so I was amazed by this… Needless to say they obviously had none in stock…. Lame :(

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