Tea nuggets (Lao cha tao) anyone?


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Tea nuggets (Lao cha tao) anyone?

Postby HifideliTea » Oct 17th, '11, 05:47

Tasted and bought some Taetea loose 80's and 2002 lao cha tao and was given a lecture during the tasting session on how these nuggets were formed during the fermentation process.
These two samples brewed dark deep red teas and is characterised by the sweetness with good mouth feel. Need very hot water and can infuse 20+ times. You taste the sweetness up front and the tea flavours in the back regions of your mouth.
The 2002 had more "tea" flavour and slighlty "rough at the edges", but the 80's had a creamy smoother feel but less "tea" flavour oomph at first when drinking but you feel it down your throat later, no astringency was evident.

Huge price difference between both. Drink quality was good, but not a tea that I would afford to drink everyday.

Anyone had similar experiences to share with on nuggets?
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Re: Tea nuggets (Lao cha tao) anyone?

Postby Drax » Oct 17th, '11, 07:03

I've occasionally seen these nuggets for sale with various vendors online (for example YS is selling a couple)... they're compressed left-overs from the composting process of making ripe pu'erh, are they not?

They seem to vary widely in price for some reason... in any case, I haven't had a chance to try any, but they certainly seem interesting!
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Re: Tea nuggets (Lao cha tao) anyone?

Postby brandon » Oct 17th, '11, 07:36

You'll save a lot of money buying them from Haiwan rather than Taetea, and they taste the same.

(Huh, or at least that used to be the case. Seems things have reversed?)
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Re: Tea nuggets (Lao cha tao) anyone?

Postby debunix » Oct 17th, '11, 10:22

Can't speak to the pricing but I have very much enjoyed a brick of compressed Lao Cha Tou from Norbu (a private label production), and found them to make a very fruity, plummy, sweet tea, capable of many infusions, and one of the few tea that I can trust to drop in the bottom of my thermos, cover with hot water, and run out the door, knowing I'll have something deliciously drinkable when I arrive where I'm going.
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Re: Tea nuggets (Lao cha tao) anyone?

Postby gasninja » Oct 17th, '11, 11:37

I have tried two different lao cha tou teas. the one scott from yunnan sourcing sent me as a sample and was nice but nothing I would buy. The other I recieved as a gift from a friend it was highly arromatic. But other than the aroma the tea seemed to have very little flavor. I also remember scotts tea to be pretty fragrant as well (more so than your average shu).
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Re: Tea nuggets (Lao cha tao) anyone?

Postby hop_goblin » Oct 28th, '11, 12:29

Lao cha tao in my opinion is what is called 'good marketing'. Essentially, tea nuggets are the scrap left over in the shupu manufacturing process. They scrape the the machao that clung together as a result of the fermentation process, compressed it and named it something appealing. With all of the good shupu out there I personally don't waste my money on this sort of stuff. Save it for when you are sick and need to mix it with honey and ginger for a good elixer. :wink:
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Re: Tea nuggets (Lao cha tao) anyone?

Postby debunix » Oct 28th, '11, 15:54

As it happens, I'm brewing up a pot of Lao Cha Tou from Norbu right now. These particular nuggets infuse into an earthy, fruity, plummy tea that is quite pleasant and nicer than the first beengs I bought from my local tea shops (shus that were 35-50$/beeng, not the super cheap stuff). While not all that's out there by this name may be equally good, this particular stuff is pretty tasty, and not just for doctoring up with sugar and lemon.
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Re: Tea nuggets (Lao cha tao) anyone?

Postby honza » Oct 29th, '11, 15:12

hop_goblin wrote:Lao cha tao in my opinion is what is called 'good marketing'. Essentially, tea nuggets are the scrap left over in the shupu manufacturing process. They scrape the the machao that clung together as a result of the fermentation process, compressed it and named it something appealing. With all of the good shupu out there I personally don't waste my money on this sort of stuff. Save it for when you are sick and need to mix it with honey and ginger for a good elixer. :wink:


I am not sure about your opinion of the "good marketing". Wich "cha tou" you try ? Of course in the market have really many not good taste lao cha tou wich have some defect of production. It's also very difficult make good taste cha tou. But for example, do have you experience with Haiwan TF "lao cha tou" ? For example 1999 Lao Cha Tou from Haiwan /pretty expensive/ is more like drink dark chocolate that shu pu... True is if you go to chinese market you must looking long time for good quality, but (lao) cha tou is something very good with original smooth and rich taste, but nothing for lovers strong hc "oil shu".
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Re: Tea nuggets (Lao cha tao) anyone?

Postby hop_goblin » Oct 30th, '11, 11:05

honza wrote:
hop_goblin wrote:Lao cha tao in my opinion is what is called 'good marketing'. Essentially, tea nuggets are the scrap left over in the shupu manufacturing process. They scrape the the machao that clung together as a result of the fermentation process, compressed it and named it something appealing. With all of the good shupu out there I personally don't waste my money on this sort of stuff. Save it for when you are sick and need to mix it with honey and ginger for a good elixer. :wink:


I am not sure about your opinion of the "good marketing". Wich "cha tou" you try ? Of course in the market have really many not good taste lao cha tou wich have some defect of production. It's also very difficult make good taste cha tou. But for example, do have you experience with Haiwan TF "lao cha tou" ? For example 1999 Lao Cha Tou from Haiwan /pretty expensive/ is more like drink dark chocolate that shu pu... True is if you go to chinese market you must looking long time for good quality, but (lao) cha tou is something very good with original smooth and rich taste, but nothing for lovers strong hc "oil shu".


I have tried a number ofLao Cha Tou. But as you stated, you have to search long for a good lao cha tou. Not worth the effort with so many good teas out there. :D
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Re: Tea nuggets (Lao cha tao) anyone?

Postby honza » Oct 30th, '11, 13:30

hop_goblin wrote:
honza wrote:
hop_goblin wrote:
I have tried a number ofLao Cha Tou. But as you stated, you have to search long for a good lao cha tou. Not worth the effort with so many good teas out there. :D


Yes, thats true, it´s more easy looking some shu cake or brick, san cha, but cha tou have something very original in the taste, i hope you will try one wich will be good and change the opinion about mix with ginger, honey etc :shock:
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Re: Tea nuggets (Lao cha tao) anyone?

Postby hop_goblin » Oct 30th, '11, 22:06

honza wrote:
hop_goblin wrote:
honza wrote:
hop_goblin wrote:
I have tried a number ofLao Cha Tou. But as you stated, you have to search long for a good lao cha tou. Not worth the effort with so many good teas out there. :D


Yes, thats true, it´s more easy looking some shu cake or brick, san cha, but cha tou have something very original in the taste, i hope you will try one wich will be good and change the opinion about mix with ginger, honey etc :shock:


Sure thing.
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Re: Tea nuggets (Lao cha tao) anyone?

Postby bagua7 » Oct 31st, '11, 04:39

hop_goblin wrote:Lao cha tao in my opinion is what is called 'good marketing'.


+1

Basically tea aimed at beginners. Similar to what was analysed on this blog entry:

"It's not easy to get me excited with Jinxuan Oolong. That's why I don't select it very often. The vast majority are high yield, low elevation productions aimed at beginners (= cheap and fragrant). They are to tea what rosé is to wine drinkers."

http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2009/06/high-mountain-jinxuan-oolong-from-lu.html
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