Sold Out! Aged & Rested Pu-erh AiLao Shan tuo cha

AiLao Shan Shou (fermented) Pu-erh Tuo Cha


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Shou (fermented) Pu-erh


AiLao Shan High Mountain Shou Pu-erh Tuo Cha


Price is for one 3.6 oz (100 gr) tuo cha
Individual tuo chas are wrapped in plain paper and sold in a clear acetate bag
Sorry, but the colorful cloth bag is no longer available


Appearance: neat, nicely-made tuo that has been given tight compression to maintain flavor
Flavor: smooth, creamy, silky, full in mouth, very sweet and unique!
Aroma: sweet,clean aroma
Liquor:  clear and dark-red in the cup




Fu Cha Tea Factory
Zhenyuan Yi, Hani and Lahu Autonomous County
Zhenyuan High Mountain Tea Harvesting Area
Pu-erh (Simao) Prefecture
Yunnan Province, China

Pressed in 2002
(14-years aged)

Note on Steeping Pu-erh:


Pu-erh is traditionally ‘rinsed’ before being steeped.
This is done with a quick application of hot water that is poured over the tea in the gaiwan or teapot and then immediately discarded. The rinse water is not drunk – its purpose is to help the leaves begin to open during steeping.
Use  additional appropriately-heated water for the 1st steeping and subsequent re-steepings.


Western-style steeping in a medium-large sized 25-32 ounces:


Carefully scrape the tuo cha to loosen the leaves
Use 2 teaspoons (3 grams) of tea per 6oz of water
Use water that is 200°F- 210°F
Rinse the tea in your teapot with a quick application of hot water
Immediately discard this liquid
Add additional hot water to start the 1st steeping
Steep for 3-4 minutes
Re-steep this leaf 1-2 additional times


Asian-style steeping in a small teapot under 10oz or in a gaiwan:


Carefully scrape the tuo cha to loosen the leaves
Use 4 teaspoons (6 grams) of tea per 6oz of water
Use water that is 200°F- 210°F
Rinse the tea in your teapot with a quick application of hot water
Immediately discard this liquid
Add additional hot water to start the 1st steeping
Steep for 25 seconds
Increase the steeping time an additional 5-to-10 seconds with each re-steep
Re-steep this leaf 4-6 times (or more!)


Unlike most other tea, Pu-erh is made from mao cha and not directly from fresh leaf.


So what is mao cha? Mao cha is a simple ‘rough’ manufacture of leaf materials that consists of:


withering (indoors and or outdoors)
rolling & shaping


Mao cha is considered both finished tea and half-made tea. It is essentially young sheng Pu-erh and is drunk by villagers in Yunnan as well as being the leaf that all forms of Pu-erh are made from. Mao cha is simple to manufacture but is complex in its diversity.


Mao cha can be made from the fresh leaf of one tea garden or be a blend of leaf from an entire tea village or from several tea producing villages within one county.  Mao cha can be stored and aged after it is made, or it can be a new blend that is comprised of aged mao cha from different years. It is found in a variety of leaf sizes, too, depending on the location of the tea trees and on the type of local cultivars (size of the leaf)  the mao cha was made from. Mao cha is a great example of the effects of terroir.


As you can see, the possibilities and resulting flavors of mao cha are almost endless. All of these variables  result in a staggering choice of mao cha for Pu-erh producers to work with.


This AiLao Shan shou Puerh is high-mountain tea. It is sourced from raw materials gathered in Zhenyuan Yi, Han, Lahu Autonomous County in the Simao tea harvesting area of Yunnan. The tea forest is tended by the Yi, Hani and Lahu people who protect the village tea tree groves that are located here.

Zhenyuan County spills across two mountain ranges – Wuliang Shan and AiLao Shan – that run parallel to one another, stretching from north to south in Pu-erh (Simao) Prefecture. These heavily forested, bio-diverse mountain areas are home to many wild tea trees and old cultivated tea groves that yield an astonishing array of unique teas each featuring distinctive tastes.

Each tea that we taste from these tea producing regions of Yunnan is so different one to another – in a world that increasingly has a dark and gathering sameness we are grateful for that diversity and personality in the cup.

Last year we added a Yunnan AiLao Shan black tea to our stellar lineup of Yunnan hong cha. We so loved that tea that we inquired about other teas from that area and voila, this delicious AiLao Shan shou pu-erh came our way.

This beeng cha is made from spring large-leaf varietal arbor leaf materials and was pressed by the Fu Cha Tea Company, a Taiwanese tea company now operating in Yunnan and responsible for sourcing and pressing fine Pu-erh in remote high mountain areas.

The tea is lovely and smooth and sweet – a terrific example of how delicious shou Pu-erh can be. The leaf materials have been given medium fermentation and the tea has been stored for 10-years storage in clean conditions. The resulting tea is rich and round in the cup with lots of caramel and deep red fruits. This tea exhibits the underlying flavor characteristics that we found so compelling in the black tea from this area.

This Pu-erh is for serious tea enthusiasts who appreciate well-made tea that has aged beautifully and that will continue to age like a fine bottle of red wine for years to come. The tuos were given a tighter compression (pressing) to create better keeping conditions for the tea. These small tuos are a great way to experience Pu-erh from this region.

Good terroir coupled with good farming techniques and good tea factory techniques yields delicious and distinctive tea. This is just the kind of tea that we like and we will be hunting for more good tea from the AiLao Shan in the seasons to come.

Tuo cha’s are tennis-ball sized units of compressed Pu-erh leaf with thumb-sized, hollow core. Pu-erh is pressed into many different shapes and tuo cha’s are one of the most popular for their small size.

Shou Pu-erh is also known as ‘cooked’ or ‘ripe’ Pu-erh, a reference to the wo dui fermentation process that the leaf undergoes in the tea factory


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