Pu Erh Tea & Chinese Gaiwan Gift Set - China History Podcast (CHP) In cooperation with Laszlo Montgomery, host of the China History Podcast, we've created this Chinese tea set for those who want to sip authentic pu erh teas!
This tea set includes:
- 2006 Sheng (raw) pu erh tuocha tea from the Menghai tea factory
- 2015 Shou (ripe) pu erh tuocha tea from the Xiaguan tea factory
- Tea pick for prying
- Traditional Chinese Gaiwan for steeping
What is a tuocha?
'Tuocha' refers to dome-shaped form of the compressed tea, that is optimized for drying and further aging. This compression shape is traditionally mostly used for pu erh in able to store and transport it more conveniently. There are different explanations for where the term 'tuo' originates from, and the most likely one is that it refers to the Tuojiang river, which is a old tea transportation route.
How to pry/loosen a compressed tuocha?
Even though compression is great for storage and mobility purposes, it's often times challenging for beginners to prepare and steep tea from a tuocha. There's nothing to worry about though, as you will only need a tea pick (often also called a tea knife) that's included in this gift set. You might have a hard time to get it right the first time, but it's going to be fun!
The challenge is to pry flakes from the tuocha by using the tool provided. If you want to get nice chunks of tea, you need to insert the needle in the tuocha and rotate and press until it's about 1/2 to 2/3 inside the toucha. Then take it out and insert it again another few times until a chunk comes off.
- Insert the needle on the concave site of the tuocha in order to keep the shape intact.
How to steep a pu erh tea in a gaiwan?
A gaiwan is a traditional Chinese tea cup that comes with a saucer and lid. Different from what most people think is that this cup is generally used to steep tea instead of directly drinking from it.
To steep the tuocha, simply add a chunk in the gaiwan and rinse the leaves with hot water. Wait a few seconds until you feel the outside of the gaiwan is hot, and discard the water. To do this, you need to hold the gaiwan with your thumb and middle finger, while using your index finger to keep the lid on the cup. Be careful the first few times as both the gaiwan and water is very hot when you hold it the wrong way!
- Drink from a small cup and sip the tea in smaller portions to fully enjoy the taste.
- A chunk of 5 gram can easily steep at least 8 sessions. Generally the 3-4 steep is considered the best. Enjoy both of the teas by sensing how the flavors and aromas change after each brew and compare the taste of a sheng versus shou pu erh.
Tea Factory Information
The Xiaguan tea factory was established in 1941 and it's tuocha series are the most popular in China. It's located Dali, which used to be a very important stop of the Ancient Tea Horse Road.
The Menghai tea factory was founded in 1940 and is located in Menghai, Yunnan. Together with the Kunming tea factory it's known to be the first to make ripe (or also called 'cooked' or 'shou') pu erh tea. In the 1980s the factory started to produce pu erh under the Dayi brand (also known as 'TaeTea').
By getting this pu erh set, you can now try famous pu erh teas from both factories.
The above is packed in a fancy kraft paper bag and creatively closed with a rope, making it an ideal holiday gift to surprise friends and family. In addition, we'll ship it in a super strong carton box, so that arrives in the perfect state. For more information on shipping, feel free to visit our shipping page.
|Steeping time||Gaiwan / yixing teapot: 1 x rinse; 10s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 30s, etc|
|Steeping temperature||100 °C - 212 °F|
|Leaves per 500ml / 17oz teapot||2-5 gram|
|Tablespoons / 500ml (17 oz)||n/a|
|Tea Year||2006 & 2015|
|Tea Season||Spring & Winter|
|Tea Caffeine Content||high|
|Tea Region||Xishuangbanna & Dali|
|Tea in Chinese||沱茶盖碗礼盒|