Cha Tou, commonly known as Puerh Nuggets or Lao Cha Tou, is naturally formed during the Shu Puerh heaping process. In the heaping process, tea requires regular stir and flip to get even temperature and humidity. However, some of them - especially around the corners and the edges of the containers - don't get moved around enough, and stick together. Usually these tea nuggets will be loosen again by the factory and press them into the tea cakes, but a lot of them are so tight that couldn't be loosen anymore.
Cha Tou suddenly got popular in recent years, and tea brands try to sell them in a higher price. However, they are not that precious, and were even considered as a 'leftover' from the teas in the old time. No matter what history it was, a good-quality Cha Tou still tastes good. Generally, the liquor is brighter and the taste is sweeter.
This Cha Tou we selected are from a tea factory in Meng Hai area, tea leaves are from Jing Mai. Made in 2016. The tea tastes surprisingly clean, no storage smell at all. Since the tea leaves stick together tightly, the flavor comes out slower than brewing regular Shu Puerh. The liquor is thick and silky, with a fruity sweetness. The best flavor comes after the 3rd steep.
Cha Tou doesn't loose after brewing but will be able to be seperated by hands. This tea still gets flavor after 12 steeps, but it may require a very long steeping time. Brewing the leftover teas in a kettle could be an option.
Please note that there are some tiny hairs inside of the teas, these are the palm fibres mixed in during the manufacturing. No safety or health concern.
Shu Puerh, Cha Tou
- Type: Puerh
- Produced Time: 2016
- Origin: Jing Mai, Yun Nan Province, China
- Flavor: Mellow, smooth, sweet
- Resealable kraft paper pouch with foil liner
- Shelf Life: Quality enhanced by aging.
- Store in a cool, dry place. Avoid being exposed to light.
- Preferred in the Chinese Gongfu way
- Yixing clay teapot or porcelain gaiwan
- 7 - 10 grams
- 212℉ / 100℃
- Steep time: Rinse/60s/80s/100s/120s/150s/180s/220s/270s