Cha Tou is a tea nugget that forms naturally from pressure and heat that occurs during the typical Pu-erh fermentation process. It starts with a pile of tea leaves about 1 meter high that is kept wet to facilitate fermentation. The pile is turned every few days for evenness; moving the tea leaves from the bottom where it is hotter and wetter, to the top where it is cooler and drier. Cha Tou are the leaves that ball up and get stuck together in the process. The best Cha Tou are ones that have not been over-fermented and smaller in size.
Our Lao Cha Tou brick is composed entirely of balled up tea leaves from the Menghai area. The Cha Tou fermentation levels from the 2006 batch is slightly higher than 2009 giving the leaves a darker hue and produces a sweet, creamy, smooth, lingering mouth-feel and cha qi.
Benefits: Medical and scientific research have shown that Camellia Sinensis tea leaves contain catechins, theanine and caffeine and regular intake helps regulate weight loss, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and in some studies are shown to prevent and fight cancer. Pu'erh tea also helps lower cholesterol levels.
Always wash the leaves twice with hot water for a period of 20 seconds each time to prime the dry leaves. The water from the initial infusions can wash and warm the cups. For the third brewing, steep the tea leaves for about one minute and gradually increase steeping time for the succeeding infusions to your desired strength.
Note: High quality teas can be steeped several times. In the case of pu-erh teas, it can be steeped up to 30 times. Please do not leave the tea leaves steeping in water. Remove it as soon as soon as you have achieved the desired strength to stop the brewing process. Of course, if you like your tea strong, you can steep it longer. Now, hold your cup and enjoy your perfect cup of tea!