What Is Tuo Cha (Tuo Tea)

Tuo Cha also known as Tuo tea is a kind of compressed tea made in the shape of bowl, mainly produced in Yunnan Province, China and some are produced in Chongqing City. It is made of dark tea, generally made of Pu-erh tea, so Tuo Cha belongs to dark tea.

Yunnan Tuo Cha also known as Pu-erh Tuo Cha was first created in 1917. Chongqing Tuo Cha was first created in 1953. Yunnan Tuo Cha is more famous than Chongqing Tuo Cha, so Tuo Cha generally refers to Yunnan Tuo Cha or Pu-erh Tuo Cha.

1. Meaning of Tuo Cha

Yunnan people are used to calling blocks or piles of objects “Tuo”, so after they created the bowl-shape tea, they called it “Tuo Cha”. Cha means “tea”.

Besides, at that time, Yunnan Tuo Cha was sold to Sichuan Province. The Sichuan people made Tuo Cha with the water of Tuojiang River, which made the tea taste very good. Later there is a saying that “Tuojiang water, Xiaguan tea”.

Xiaguan, a town in Dali of Yunnan Province, is the origin of Tuo Cha. Tuojiang River makes Tuo Cha more famous and they have the same word “Tuo”.

2. History of Tuo Cha

Tuo Cha has a history of production, more than 100 years. Yunnan Tuo Cha was first created in Xiaguan Town, so it is also called Xiaguan Tuo Cha.

As early as 1902, the tea markers in Xiaguan Town began to develop Tuo Cha on the basis of a kind of tea called “Tuan Cha”. In 1917, Tuo Cha was successfully created, with a unique shape like a bowl.

After the successful creation of Tuo Cha, it began to be sold domestically and externally. The Tuo Cha sold domestically was called Yunnan Tuo Cha, and the one sold abroad was called Pu-erh Tuo Cha.

In 1986, 100 grams of Pu-erh Tuo Cha produced in Xiaguan tea factory was taken to France and was awarded the golden rooster prize in Paris.

Nowadays, the production quantity and quality of Yunnan Tuo Cha have been developed and improved further, and sold well all over the world.

3. Characteristics of Tuo Cha

Tuo Cha is made of loose tea and compressed into bowl-shape by machine. The raw material of Yunnan Tuo Cha is usually loose Pu-erh tea and that of Chongqing Tuo Cha is usually Sichuan dark tea.

Tuo Cha looks like a round bread from the top and a thick bowl from the bottom. It is concave in the middle, which is quite distinctive. It is said that compressed shape was made to facilitate long-distance transportation and long-term storage in ancient times.

Each Tuo Cha has a weight of 50g, 100g, 250g, etc. Usually, when packing, five Tuo Cha are wrapped into a package, which is bound with bark rope or bamboo strip.

The color of Tuo Cha is black or brown with yellow. After brewing, the tea soup is bright and red-brown; it has a unique aged fragrance and tastes mellow.

4. Health benefits of Tuo Cha

Tuo Cha is not only a natural superior drink, but also has many unique medical effects.

A clinical trial by the French National Institute of Health and Medicine has proved that regular drinking Tuo Cha has the effect of promoting body fat metabolism, balancing and reducing cholesterol.

Patients with too much blood fat drink three cups of Tuo Cha every day, and after one month, the blood fat of the patients is almost reduced a quarter. Because of its unique quality and medical effects, it is very popular in the international market.

The result of the clinical trial at Kunming Medical College also showed that the effect of Yunnan Tuo Cha on hyperlipidemia was better than that of lipid-lowering drugs, without any side effects.

In addition, Tuo Cha also has other health benefits. Here are the main benefits of Tuo Cha:

5. How to brew Tuo Cha

  • Tea sets: Porcelain cup (Gai Wan) or Ceramic teapot.
  • The ratio of tea leaves to water: 1:20-30. 5g of Tuo Cha need 100ml-150ml of water.
  • The temperature of the water: Tuo Cha is a kind of dark tea, needing 100℃ of water to be made, otherwise the taste and fragrance will not come out well.