Cornfields Shu Tuocha

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Pu-erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by David Duckler
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205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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59 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Enjoying an amazingly delicious and soothing cup of this tonight immediately following supper. Supper being the BEST fish & chips in all of Halifax (imho) and poutine! Sooo full, and my tummy...” Read full tasting note
  • “Glad to have this one back. Simple, smooth and comforting. This is one of those instances where I find myself wishing Verdant was a little less vague about where they actually source their teas...” Read full tasting note
  • “I know I’m supposed to steep and toss the first infusion, but this is tasty! I’m keeping it! I can only imagine it will get better and better. :D I love this smell and the smoothness. It...” Read full tasting note
  • “I brewed this one gaiwan style, boiling water with very quick steeps. Did two rinses like the Verdant site says to. This one smells the way it tastes to me. But let me tell you a story first. I...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

Year: 2008

Dry Leaf: Small, loosely compressed balls of larger tea leaves, mostly dark black, with some greener leaf. This tea is unique because of a new organic farming system where corn is planted in rows to act as a windbreak and a distraction for crop-killers. Usually, the corn is picked and sold, but this farm uses the corn to fertilize the tea fields.

Aroma: Intense sweet corn, or buttered popcorn smell, with spearmint notes.

Color: Light and translucent red-brown.

Flavor: True to the smell, this tea really does taste like corn, but with an impressive complexity. The spearmint comes through as a tingling sensation, more of a a minty texture than anything else. Despite the sweet corn flavor, the tea is weightless on the palate and almost refreshing like an iced drink.

Notes: This shu pu’er is an excellent introduction to pu’er, because it lacks the musty and dark quality of other shu bricks that can turn people away. It is also an intriguing example of new processing techniques dramatically altering flavor without farmers literally flavoring the tea. Definitely a must-try.

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59 Tasting Notes

314 tasting notes

Smells like polenta!!

As for flavor, this does indeed taste like corn! Freshly shucked corn. Very yummy. I love corn.

Also has a nutty undertone, like acorns. And grains—like oatmeal. Fresh and soft too—not earthy or dark at all—sweet even. With an underlying sappy green-ness.

This is delicious. I love it.

Boiling 8 min or more

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131 tasting notes

The aroma of corn (or buttered popcorn, as another reviewer mentions) is almost overwhelming on the first steep of this puerh. I have to say that I much more enjoyed the multiple steeps that followed, where the taste of the tea could actually compete with the aroma!

It is earthy, light and a delight to experience. It was really appropriate on the Fourth of July, as there was no roasted corn on my table. There is a roasted corn drink that is made in Korea, and I wonder if it tastes anything like this? Definitely could not be as good as this wonderful tea…

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Nathaniel Gruber

I totally agree that the aroma can be overwhelming at first. I think it is amazing that the flavor and aroma of corn is coming simply from a tea leaf! Such a unique tea…one which took me a very long time to really appreciate, and I’m still learning to appreciate it more all of the time.

David Duckler

This tea was too weird to resist! The first batch that I tried was so corny that I couldn’t bring it in, but this one seemed to be a great balance, and definitely a good illustration of how the flavor of a tea changes over multiple steepings. Tea is just THE coolest thing ever…

E Alexander Gerster

This IS one wild and crazy Tea! And it is done without mixing the tea with any novelty items or flavors. I had fun with this one, and will continue to have fun off the rest of my mini tuos. Thanks for keeping me smiling!

E Alexander Gerster

There is an herb in the southern Yunnan called Nuo Mi Xiang, or Nuo Mi Xiang Nen Ye, which is apparently used by the Dai people to cool down during the hot humid days. I think it is used in some puerh teas to give it a “glutinous rice” aroma — which to me smells more like popcorn. I wonder if it is used in this tea? There do appear to be more than two types of leaf in these — and they are still truly fascinating an delicious!

David Duckler

Very interesting. I will ask about it next time I talk to the grower. I know “nuomixiang” as “sticky rice aroma,” a common profile used to describe certain pu’ers. I didn’t know that there is a plant by its name as well. It does look like there is a lighter leaf involved. Whether it is a mix of two cultivars, or two different species, I will have to double check. I have seen actual rice in tuocha before, and rose petals. Thanks for the lead on this. I am glad you are enjoying it!

David Duckler

Alright, what I found out so far is that the leaves of the rice plant are picked and used for tea scenting. Sometimes a few leaves are left in after the scenting process. Scenting can also occur while the tea is still on the plant and growing, in the case of this pu’er, which absorbs the aroma of the corn that the farmers use to fertilize it, or Laoshan green which absorbs soybeans. It is possible that some rice leaf was added to bring out the natural corn aroma by giving it an earthy-grainy base.

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326 tasting notes

I received this as a bonus in my tea swap with Meeka. A nice gesture on her part, but now I wish I’d included something else too! ;) haha

The one she sent me looks a bit different from the Steepster picture but I’m pretty sure it’s close enough. Mine just says 糯香 instead of the Steepster one 糯米香, but from what I understand this sticky rice or glutinous rice flavour puerh (please correct me if I’m wrong). I’ve tried the raw variety before but not ripe. Now I don’t know if all these sticky rice puerh are made in the same way, but from the two raw ones I had the flavouring was the same. Now onto drinking this gift;

The first steep starts off with a nice creamy texture, and the familiar flavours of earthy ripe puerh and sticky rice.

After the tuo broke apart, it had a consistent flavour from my second steep to the sixth. I could have kept resteeping but these six were satisfying enough.

I quite like this type of flavoured puerh. If I didn’t already have a a big bag of the raw type I wouldn’t mind getting some of these. About the puerh itself, I think it’s pretty good for a ripe mini tuo cha. I’ve had much worse and this one did not offend my senses.

100ml gaiwan, 1 tuo, 6 steeps (rinse, rinse, 10s, 10s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s)
Note: I recommend using a strainer if you prepare this in a gaiwan. It is easy to get bits of puerh in your cup


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227 tasting notes

I’m as surprised as the others by the sweet corn aroma and flavor of this puerh. No off flavors. Nothing musty or stinky. It’s very pleasant with some of the hypnotic effect of puerhs in general. It’s very nice to know that it is organic as well. And how lovely is it to sit back in my home and allow someone with more expertise to pick something I will like. Steepster Select is great!

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56 tasting notes

This is…wow. I concur with everything the other commenters have said. But I feel like there’s more complexity, more going on, than I expected. And I’m still on the first steeping. So I’m going to wait on giving a full account of this.

I will say that although I definitely smell corn throughout (and can kind of taste it too), when I first tasted this I immediately thought of mushrooms. Not musty or moldy mushrooms, but sort of the clean umami flavor you get from really high-quality, well-cleaned mushrooms that you might put in a clear soup or saute for a subtle sauce. (And if you hate mushrooms, I think this flavor can be interpreted multiple ways, so please don’t let my description of the flavor put you off this delightful tea!)

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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59 tasting notes

This tea is so much fun! I love sharing this with people, because as soon as they smell it, they can’t help smiling and saying, “That smells like…corn?!”

I’d tried another corny pu’er when I was in China, and that one was great- it was thick, sweet, corny or reminiscent of wheat crackers, and then again it was a little bit too heavy and tended to build up and sit on the tongue.

When I first smelled this tea, I was excited to find that “corn” taste again, but I was so so pleasantly surprised to find that these little tuocha’s were so much better and more interesting!

The corn flavor really only lingers in the smell, and even then, corn is a bit too strong of a word. It’s more like corn husks or hay or buttered popcorn or fancy stone-milled wheat crackers. When you taste this, it’s the light mintiness that shines through as a delightful reversal of expectations. Warming and cooling at the same time, and the flavors do change as you keep steeping these.
And the texture? It’s absolutely blessedly weightless in the mouth. It’s so put together and /not/ heavy that you forget this drink was made by steeping leaves in water and not by coming out of some bottle in a store.

This is probably most fun if you’re introducing pu’er to someone who’s never had it before. Very accessible, very easy on the drinker, very easy to describe and remember. At the same time, it’s also not in the least boring for someone who really loves pu’er and has been drinking and thinking about the aged tea for years!

I now have this at my office, and everyone who’s tried it has liked it. I gave a few to a co-worker who wanted to quit coffee but still wanted a bold, delicious flavor in the morning. He came upstairs to my desk that afternoon and told me this was the best drink he’d ever had.

All in all, a really fun and rewarding tea, for all tea or pu’er drinking experience-levels.

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52 tasting notes

I don’t have enough time to write a full log on this one, but it seemed important enough for me to stop by and say that this tea just changed everything I know about tea.

Yup, this one’s a game changer.


That says a lot!

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16 tasting notes

Given the choice, I inevitably choose shu puerh. Truth be told, I like this tea, although I’m finding it difficult to find the tell-tale characteristics of a traditional shu.
The aroma of the dry Tou-Cha is unremarkable. After a quick wash and warm up, the aroma emitted from this tea is really amazing….sweet corn with butter roasted over a fire. Appealing.
First infusion: 5 sec – light liquor, straight forward corn smell, no complaints. The flavor is as advertised—corny. Clean, refreshing, and direct. I’m not finding a lot of complexity, just corn, butter in a velvety mouth coating.
After many, many short infusions, still only about 10-15 secs, I’m getting a beautiful amber color with consistent aroma and flavor. I’m trying hard to detect some other subtle flavors or hints, but apart from a pleasant tingle in the center of my tongue, I’m getting only corn.
Two extraordinary attributes this puer displays are endurance and throat. This Tou-Cha will outlast my drinking session. It has a LOT of life in it. Secondly, and probably the highlight of this tea, is its persistent, clean throat. This tea leaves me happy after I swallow. Sniffing the cup is as enjoyable as the taste, and probably more memorable.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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304 tasting notes

First steeping: What the others said about smelling like corn is right. It smells like freshly shucked sweet corn or buttered popcorn. Plus a pleasant earthy tone.

The tea is indeed very, very light. Lighter than I tend to like, really. The flavor is less corn and more tastes the way the shucks smell. That plus a light pu-erh earthiness (no fishy or musty taste to this, just earthy). So far it’s indeed a good tea, but not so much for me, personally.

This has a Very Long finish and is very corn-y. It fills up the nose and back of throat strongly.

Second steeping: This brew is Very dark. Surprisingly so, compared to other pu-erhs I’ve had. Still strong corn and Very strong finish.

I recommend it to others, but not for me.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

Always seems I pick on your description. I like what you said about “corn-y. It fills up the nose…etc.” I find it fills up the nose too much. It does brew very dark and yes the corn smell is from beginning to end. You know of the wording ruminating with the scent; or smell of the corn.

Growing in the fields, the little Touchas absorbed what-ever was nearest and in this instant it was corn.

I think of the flower Carnation and how we get food coloring and mix it with water and then placing a carnation in the cup and to have it absorb the liquid and in time, one comes to have a lovely Carnation depicting what-ever color that was to have been in the cup…green, pink, or red food dyes. On St. Patrick’s day we tend to this with green food coloring…making for a lovely green carnation.

Ok. to the graveyard with me then. Good review, but you have not win me over. Not that you were trying to.


I find your judgement odd. I don’t like it should not be why you give a low rating. The tea would have to be deffective and rancid. Bad quality and gross! So is that what you are saying?! This is bad Pu’er? Or you don’t like this kind? If the latter is true than the Pu’er should have more respect. As for personal taste ….because I don’t mark a tea down because of likability. Don’t rate it or be fair and discribe what is there with others in mind.

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41 tasting notes

Intense corn aroma dominates before the tea even hits the palate. Corn flavor is less intense than the aroma would suggest though notes of sweet corn on the cob are prevalent through all steepings. The sheer quality of this tuo cha is remarkable; a cooling pine exists throughout and by steeping 5 or 6 a minty cool feeling begins to numb the mouth. The complexity of this tea makes it hard to believe that they are only three years old. I made the mistake of only buying an ounce. Must go back for more!

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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