China Pu Erh Tuo Cha (Birds Nest)

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Pu'erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by laurenpressley
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12 Tasting Notes View all

From SpecialTeas

The leaves for Tuo Cha are pressed in small “bowls” and individually wrapped. One Tuo Cha weighs approximate 5 grams, the perfect amount for two cups. The tea can be stored, and will mature, over long periods of time. In addition, it is very easy to brew, for it does not develop any harshness or astringency even if infused for hours. While Pu-erh is certainly not everyone’s favorite, this Tuo Cha has quickly developed a solid following. A convenient method of preparing this tea is to put 2 – 4 Tuo Chas in a thermos and fill it with boiling water.

It can be enjoyed during the day without seperating the infused leaves. Brewed strongly, it can be served as a healthy and hearty starter for the day; prepared lighter, it can be enjoyed as an evening tea.

Recommendations: Use 1 piece per 3 six oz. cups (according to taste);heat fresh water to a roaring boil; let steep for 5 to 10 min. Try with some milk.

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12 Tasting Notes

171 tasting notes


Experience buying from SpecialTeas

I bought eight ounces of this during SpecialTeas’ going-out-of-business sale at the beginning of 2011 for 75 % off.

This was my first pu-erh, and with the exception of a blended pu-erh from Teavana, my only one to date. I don’t have much to say about it, except that I did only one steeping with one Tuo Cha in my teapot and three to four cups of boiling water for five minutes, almost a year ago (my notes show that I rinsed it), and I remember thinking the flavor was earthy, and the liquor was black (I have never before or since seen ‘black’ tea). I am simply stating this here for my records before I forget. I am deliberately staying away from pu-erh, because I have plenty already to keep the tea enthusiast in me happy concentrating on green and oolong teas (at the moment). But, some day, some day …

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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6768 tasting notes

I remembered to wash this! AMAZING! LOL
Thanks Nichole for letting me try this…

1st infusion
1-2 mins
Aroma – slightly smoky – fairly earthy
Color – Dark Brown
Taste – Not all that earthy considering the aroma. It’s more smoky than anything but not overly so.
Aftertaste – Smoky Dark Cocoa

*NOTE: the ‘nest’ I grabbed was already loose so I didn’t have to break apart.

I was afraid of this because of the other tasting notes but it’s pretty good, actually. I’m thinking it was due to the wash which I sometimes forget to do!

Jim Marks

Most tuo cha I’ve used in the past fall apart while in the hot water, especially on longer steeps. If you’re doing short steeps, give it a minute in the water and then poke at it with a chop stick.

Trying to break them up dry will just damage the leaves a lot unless you have an actual tea pick which is really tedious.


Sorry…I meant to say it was completely apart before even putting IN the water. I didn’t purposely do that…it fell out of the tissue paper that way…eeeek…

Jim Marks

nod I got that. I was reacting to the “so I didn’t need to break it apart” thinking you meant if it had been whole, you’d have broken it apart prior to steeping rather than during.

As an aside, the person who suggested that “washing” includes a five minute steep you throw away is definitely a minority view. Washing is just that. Washing. You rinse the tea, and immediately drain and then do a proper steep. Steeping for five minutes and then throwing it out isn’t washing, that’s just throwing away a steeping. Some people may be into that kind of thing and that’s fine, but as far as use of terms go, that’s not a washing.


OH! I got ya now! LOL – Sorry! I am trying to multi-task without much success today! hahaha!

And for my washing…I did just a simple wash…I didn’t ‘wash it for 5 minutes’ as the other review suggested…I did do a simple rinse I guess you could say…

Sorry – again I probably should have been more descriptive in my tasting note with that part

Jim Marks

That was just a rant/warning because I read that other poster’s entry and was all “whoa… way to waste the best part of the tea”.

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525 tasting notes

Oh dear. I drank all of this without writing any notes! Hmm…what can I remember about this…? I remember not being all that impressed, honestly. I threw out the first infusion as a wash, but the following infusions were so weak and watery for a puerh. The leaf seemed to be finely ground so that might explain the rapid loss of flavor. I made it again but drank the first steep. Not too bad. Smells like wet earth tastes a bit like cocoa. It doesn’t fill your senses with flavor like other puerhs I’ve had. I guess I started with the good stuff and now I’m spoiled. :)

Thank you for sharing with me TeaEqualsBliss!

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41 tasting notes

1200 mL H20
8 Mini Tuo Chas
2 Teaspoons of SpecialTeas Red Berries Fruit Melange

10 Minute steep + Basket Cycle

Yum. Berry Pu-Erh.

Boiling 8 min or more

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3 tasting notes

An amazing pu erh! When drinking it, be sure to “wash” it first: let it steep in very hot water for about five minutes and then THROW AWAY the result! Afterward, you can steep it again several times for several wonderful, earthy cups of tea!

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828 tasting notes

I think this steeped for about 2 hours! Earthy. Added a bit of milk as time went on. Didn’t finish the cup.

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6 tasting notes

Enjoying it! I haven’t had Pu Erh in a while so it’s a bit of a favor/texture shock at the moment.

Boiling 8 min or more

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