Sticky Rice Pu-erh Tuocha

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Bitter, Rice, Toasted Rice, Earth, Grass, Wet Earth
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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61 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’ve been popping Yin Chiao like mad trying to get rid of this cold but it seems to have frozen it in the initial stage. So I’ve had an on-and-off fever for days now, sore throat, fatigue, etc, yet...” Read full tasting note
  • “I have so much of this tea, I don’t even know what to do with it. Of course, I ended up not liking it as much as I thought I would – but hey, it was an investment! haha I’ll swap it away and maybe...” Read full tasting note
  • “I picked this as a free sample from Chicago Tea Garden, mostly because it just seemed too different not to try. I mean, come on – sticky rice flavored tea! How can I not try it? This is actually...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thanks to The Purrfect Cup for this one! I had this once before but am so glad I was able to try it again! Sticky Rice, Sticky Rice…yeah, yeah, YEAH!!!!! Totally…see my other notes on this one!!!” Read full tasting note

From Chicago Tea Garden

These tuocha smell exactly like sticky rice. They taste like it too. This tea is a wonderful alternative to Japanese Genmaicha (Roasted Rice Green Tea). These tuocha are made from green pu-erh and were manufactured in 2004. The distinct sticky rice smell and taste comes from a Chinese herb known as Nuomixiang. The tea is stored for several months with the herb before being processed into tuocha form.

Pu-erh tuocha is sold by weight so for 50g you will receive around 12 pieces, 100g around 24 pieces, and 200g around 48 pieces.

About Chicago Tea Garden View company

Chicago Tea Garden is an online tea shop committed to providing extraordinary teas and tea education to tea lovers and those new to the leaf. Chicago Tea Garden's co-owner Tony Gebely also runs the World of Tea Blog [] and Tweets at @WorldofTea.

61 Tasting Notes

1792 tasting notes

I’ve been popping Yin Chiao like mad trying to get rid of this cold but it seems to have frozen it in the initial stage. So I’ve had an on-and-off fever for days now, sore throat, fatigue, etc, yet it’s not a full-blown cold. Makes me want to just stop taking that stuff and let it run its course. Ugh, just feel like sleeping.

So that said, I wanted an unflavoured tea, something that wouldn’t upset my already nauseated tummy. This was quite salty last time I drank it, like salty popcorn, but this time, it was mellower. I gave it a really good rinse this time so maybe that’s why.

Still no rating. I’d probably place this somewhere in the 70-80 range but don’t want to commit to that yet. First world problems.

Daisy Chubb

Get well soon!


Thanks, Daisy! I feel bad about being so whiny. :/

Invader Zim

I hope you feel better soon.


I hope you start to feel better soon! Feeling crappy sucks.


Thank you all. :)

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516 tasting notes

I have so much of this tea, I don’t even know what to do with it.

Of course, I ended up not liking it as much as I thought I would – but hey, it was an investment! haha I’ll swap it away and maybe sell some tea sampler packs on teatrade or my etsy shop and all will be well :)

The taste is a little more mushroomy that I expected – it’s quite easy to oversteep (re: bitter mess!) if you use a high temperature – so steep it at as low a temperature as you can (that’s my recommendation).

At first I tried it in my gong-fu pot but the leaves are very very small (smaller than rooibos), so from now on I only brew it with a Perfect Mug steeper – they don’t let anything through :D

I will say that it does settle my tummy, but from now on I know I’m more of a darker shu tuocha fan – I like the dark earthiness (ie: Cornfields Shu from Verdant)


Yeah, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would too. Thankfully I only got around a dozen of them haha. But mushroom, that’s interesting. It personally tastes a little too salty to me.


Yeah I’m not a fan either so I’m putting them in the traveling tea boxes. I can’t even actually describe the way it tasted to me without sounding gross, haha, like I purposely taste blood but it had that metallic sort of taste to it.


I like them both. This one was more ricy and the other more corny. (I’m more corny too!). I made a cold sticky rice tea which was quite good and different. Sad they are all gone because I only got a sample.


I have the 500g bag too…it will never end! :)


I almost bought a ton of this in the closing sale—the mushroom aspect makes me kind of glad I didn’t, I can’t stand mushrooms!

Daisy Chubb

Yes Amanda – I get that coppery taste as well!
It truly is a bag that never ends! haha!

Bonnie – I will definitely have to try it iced! Don’t be too sad, when we have a swap (still working on getting some swap-funds!) I will hook you up ;)

Daisy Chubb

Well Alpha, I certainly learned my lesson to maybe not buy a 500g bag of a tea I’ve never tried, even if it sounds amazing. Although it’s not horrible! Just not what I expected haha

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911 tasting notes

I picked this as a free sample from Chicago Tea Garden, mostly because it just seemed too different not to try. I mean, come on – sticky rice flavored tea! How can I not try it?

This is actually my very first pressed pu-erh. And my first green pu-erh, too. So a whole bunch of first all rolled into one insane smelling tea! And I do mean insane smelling. As soon as I opened the envelope, I instantly smelled freshly-made sticky rice. It’s so weird but kinda awesome.

Anyway, I did a quick rinse and then (since I’m sharing with the husband) poured steeps one and two (both at 30 seconds) into a fair cup, then into glasses. So I don’t know if there is a big difference between the first and second steeps, but it totally smells like a bowl of rice. Which is still kinda awesome.

The taste isn’t as sticky-rice as the smell (though the smell is pretty intense). I get a quick, almost mint or ginseng whooshy tingle at the very front, then a mild almost reed flavor flash, then a sticky or sweet rice fresh taste. The aftertaste is light and very rice-y. Even with the hints of the other flavors, the main taste is very much rice. But rice in a mild, gentle tea way.

I think I could really get behind green pu-erh. It doesn’t have that barnyard, sweet hay, fishy, sweet thickness that is just too much for me that I get from black pu-erh and that makes it much easier for me to drink. This tea is really quite gentle, mild, sweet and rice-y, all attributes and flavors I enjoy. I didn’t know what to think of it at first, but by the end of my cup, I determined that really like this and I would very much enjoy having it in my pantry. I don’t have to go out and get some right now but I’ll be perusing Chicago Tea Garden’s website to see what other goodies I might need to buy when I decide to pick this up.

ETA: Steeps three and four (at CTG’s suggested 45s and 1min) resulted in some light bitterness that really battled with the rice taste, almost covering it (though the bitterness was not overwhelming). It was very disappointing and made me question how much I actually wanted to buy this tea. But I tried again, backing off the steep time (or at least not increasing it like I normally would). Steeps five and six (at 45s and 1min) were much better, back to the original steeps’ sticky-rice-ness. Shorter steep times are this tea’s friend. And I’m back to planning a CTG order.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

This sounds fantastic, added to shopping list :)


I really enjoyed it – I’m half tempted to have the second tuocha this morning!


I do adore this tea :)


I wasn’t sure – do you remove the paper wrapping and smoosh the tea up before brewing? I’m assuminag Pu-erh’s don’t blossom like blooming teas?


Suzi, I did remove the paper wrapping but I have no actual evidence that you are supposed to. I didn’t smoosh the tea, though, just left it in the tuocha shape. After the rinse it started to look a bit fuzzy, then it started to look like a giant fuzzy ball as I went through the first few steeps and then by the 4th or 5th, it had fully separated. So not really blooming, more… puffing. Like a dried, squished sponge expanding.


I do always remove the paper, and then rinse the tea (or dunk it in your mug warming water for a few seconds), then steep…it may hold together as a lump for the first 1-3 steeps, but that is OK


Auggy, AmazonV – Thanks! I thought maybe the paper was some sort of traditional Chinese version of a teabag or something…haha :-p

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6768 tasting notes

Thanks to The Purrfect Cup for this one!
I had this once before but am so glad I was able to try it again! Sticky Rice, Sticky Rice…yeah, yeah, YEAH!!!!! Totally…see my other notes on this one!!!


I made this iced too and loved it with a little sweetening.

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1353 tasting notes

This one is actually a really great tea, but it has turned out to not be one that I can’t drink very often.

It’s very nice and has a very believable flavour that inexplicably suits the tea, but it IS a rather… special flavour. I have found that it requires a specific mind set. Possibly even a specific weather.

Like today where it seems it never really got properly light outside. The entire day seems to have been shrouded in twilight.

I have a bit of a headache, haven’t done a single thing of house work all day (which I really ought to!) and am in bad need by now of a cup of tea.

(On the upside Crownprincess Mary gave birth to twins today.)

The DJBooth

I must try some of this and soon!


I love sticky rice anything! This sounds good :)


It’s definitely recommendable. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it isn’t actually a soup. :)

Paul M Tracy

On of my favorites along with Camel’s Breath


I haven’t tried camel’s breath, but I ♥ the name. :D


(congrats to Crown Princess Mary! twins!)


i do like that one, and the camel’s breath is better to taste than the name hints!


“that I can’t drink very often” that was supposed to be. That was a pretty serious typing mistake there… It’s been like that all day. Took three attempts to write ‘result’ elsewhere earlier today.

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676 tasting notes

Thank you Will Work For Tea for this Sample!

I’ve been wanting to try this Sticky Rice Pu-erh for a long time!

I can’t wait…I just can’t wait to blurt out…I love this stuff!
It tastes soooo good!

Now I’ve spoiled everything didn’t I. No need to read further.

Don’t you want to know why I blurted it out? (A few of you just said “No, not really.”)
It’s ok, my feelings won’t be hurt. I’m just an old disabled woman approaching my last breath on this earth! Sniff. (guilt)

Well, now that I’ve stooped so low…let’s get on with it!

The little cute Pu-erh Tuocha seems so harmless…so…‘little bitty cutesy’…until you put some boiling water on the little sucker and it explodes into a MONSTER GREEN floating island!
(Do not use a tea ball for this tuocha). I used a glass PIAO and half expected little fish to come out of the green algae clumpy SEA WORLD at the bottom of the container.

I steeped my pu-erh too long. The color was brassy gold. The flavor…um that was good…a bit bitter with some tannin. I could really taste the sticky rice which was the bomb! I knew that the right steep time would be fantastic tasting. (I finished that first cup of tea…yum!)

I cut the steep time in half but the color of the liquor remained the same. These were some robust leaves…Herculeaves with muscles!

Sipping the sticky rice tea was unbelievably roasty and sweet, like you could chew on your tea and find little pieces of nutmeats or candied things from heaven in a bowl with a spoon. Dessert, coated rice, almost creamy but not quite.
There were many golden cups to come…the liquor was so rich and heavy with flavor that I took my glass mug and put it in the frig for later, just to see how the tea would taste cold.

An old question came to mind…
I’ve asked myself on occasion, would I ever drink a pu-erh with a meal?
Usually, the answer is NO! I like to savor the pu-erh all by itself.

This pu-erh, I would drink to wake up my taste buds before a meal with an appetizer. I might have it with dessert or with a light meal. It expands the way I think about pu-erh’s. My cupboard should have this.

Cold Yes, the cup in the frig was absolutly stunning! Really refreshing!I did sweeten mine a little and loved it that way.

Will Work For Tea

Really glad you liked this one! I’m still playing around with this tea – I find the first steep to be delicious, but the resteeps are horrible! I really badly want to like this as much as the first steep, but haven’t found the right approach yet. Steeps that are hotter and longer aren’t working for me…


I love the ones I have too….

Daisy Chubb

mmm is it like a rice pudding with a little sugar? I’ll have to add some cream too and experiment ;)


Hum, I rinsed it first. Did 2 minutes in an open container (sort of the PIAO thingy) with about 6oz boiling water and then about 1 minute each steep after that with 4-6 oz water. Maybe your water to toucha ratio is off. The liquor on mine was very rich.


I didn’t like mine with cream but I thought about some richer milk product like sweetened condensed milk like in Asian hot milk tea’s and coffee’s.

Daisy Chubb

mmm that would do the trick! Creaminess and sweetness all in one


Now I want something to EAT! (Why are they doing lawn maintanence on Saturday!!! I don’t want to hear the mowers all day!!!)


Herculeaves! That cracks me up. I love this Chinese restaurant nearby because they give you puerh when you eat there so I drink it the entire time to the point my boyfriend thinks I’m gonna just drink the whole pot instead of eat.


I’m with Amanda – Herculeaves!!! :D Made me laugh! Lynne-tea’s sending me a tuocha of this, because I want to try it after all the hype too! Of course I won’t be able to get more….


Golden Moon and some other makes one but don’t know how they are.


Oh Yunnan colorful sells some sticky rice under glutenous rice.

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158 tasting notes

There is absolutely 100% no way that I should be drinking anything with caffeine in it at this time of night, but I could not help myself. I had a super-rich dinner of pasta with Lambrusco di Sorbara (I was wining and dining myself — tonight it was me, a bottle of sparkling wine, a carbohydrate overdose, and my writing!)…and…

I just wanted this.

The clean, fresh, earthy pu’erh piping hot sticky rice-ness of it sounded like the perfect counterpoint to all of that acidic bolognese and vino.

I think in my haste to sip it, I may have burned part of my tongue. >.<

But it’s still very nice. I wasn’t sure about buying the cannister of this when I got it, but I’m definitely not regretting it now. There’s really no other tea in my cupboard that can take its place (though I’d sure like to explore some — yum!).

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

I forgot to order this one! Oh well there’s always next time.


Is the pu-erh dominant or does this mostly taste like sticky rice? I’m trying to decide on a sample or tin. :)

p.s.- Your dinner sounds wonderful! And I’m reading this at 7:20am…LOL!

Jim Marks

sticky rice?


Ah! I wrote another tasting note about it, actually, if you’re curious! Auggy’s is really good, too.

This is my first and only ‘green’ pu’erh, so I can’t say how much the sticky rice flavor conceals the pu’erh, but there’s definitely a flavor that is entirely ’pu’erh’ to the tea, to me. It’s an earthy flavor, but much brighter than the cooked/dark ones I’ve tried…like a scrubbed-clean iteration of it.

The sticky rice flavor comes from an herb called Nuomixiang (hope I spelled that right) that they store the tea with for some time before pressing…and it’s crazy how much like rice it smells. The cup it produces is pretty light (I followed Auggy’s recommendations and steeped for short steep times — anything less than a minute seems to produce a pretty mellow cup of tea), but VERY rice. I’ve actually felt as though I were being wasteful because I get kind of weary of the rice flavor and aroma long before I think the little nest is tired, but it’s really nice.

Jim Marks

Is this rice-ness similar to a ganmaicha kind of thing?


Nope, it’s not a toasted flavor at all; it’s more like the smell of fresh sticky rice. Like a bowl of hot white rice.

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6073 tasting notes

Ok! Time to try this out! I need something nice and relaxing this evening. Trying to get back on a regular schedule. By some miracle, it’s only 11pm! Exciting. Anyways, thanks to Lynne-tea for letting me try one of these! After the one I tried from Amy oh, I was super excited to try more :D

The aroma is that same lovely sticky rice aroma (and that’s pretty much all I can identify), and it intensifies pretty quickly when the hot water hits the tuocha! I did a ~10 second rinse with boiling water, and then 2 30-second infusions. The first was absolutely delicious, and left a lingering sweet flavour in my mouth, while the second tastes fairly similar but a bit too strong/oversteeped, as there’s some bitterness. Next time I try this it will be with a regular infuser basket, so I don’t have to worry so much about overinfusion due to the time it takes to pour the tea out (which may have been a factor here).

One thing I should note is that using my little glass teapot was not ideal for this tea, as the strainer let quite a bit through, and I had to strain the tea again after pouring it out.

Thanks again, Lynne-tea! This was just what I was wanting to try right now, and I’m happy that Amanda put some up to offer so I can have a little stash of them :D It’s not my favourite tea, but it’s interesting and soothing and something I will crave once in a while.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

I had some success cold brewing this one.


No problem! Glad it wasn’t repulsive

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171 tasting notes

Back Log from last weekend.
How can a tea that smells so good, taste so bad?
How can a tea that tastes so bad have such a high rating? I LOVE Puerh, this one turned my stomach. I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth or the smell out of my timolino for hours! I feel like rotting leaves steeped in boiling water would be the equivalent. I’m feeling like I must have meesed something up seeing as how everyone seems to love it. I’m not sure I’ll give it a seond chance even though I have some left. :(

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

I despise this. The herb used to give it the sticky rice flavor and I do not get along. It and cilantro are my mortal enemies.


I have this in my collection and now I’m not looking forward to drinking it. :( Good thing it’s only 3 samples.

Will Work For Tea

I’m with you on your thoughts “How can a tea that smells so good, taste so bad?
How can a tea that tastes so bad have such a high rating?” Still puzzles me and is taking up precious cupboard space…


I felt like it was rotten. I need to get rid of it and I can’t just throw it away, I can’t throw away tea.


Hmmm….if this tea smells nice yet is undrinkable then perhaps it would be suitable to make incense with?

Will Work For Tea

@ BoxerMama: I feel the same way, which is why I’m housing the small amount that I have… If just smelling it would be enough. :)


I have no idea how to make incense. If it tasted how it smelled it would probably be one of my favourites. If you would like to try it, I would be happy to send some your way.


I love this one, and cilantro… Maybe it’s related?


I was thinking it was related. But there isn’t too much info out there on the herb in here, to the point I can never remember its name.


There is a tea company, perhaps or someone?, who sells tea fragrancers. It is like a Scentsy light or something, Yankee Candle makes and sells them, too, and you usually burn wax tarts in them, but they sell theirs for putting your favorite tea leaves and a bit of water in, and as the candle warms it the tea scents your house. I was surprised to see it because I didn’t think the aroma would be strong enough to warrant a warmer.


I’d be more than willing to take this off your hand if it has any connection to cilantro ;)


Crow, pm me your address! It’s all yours!

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377 tasting notes

So Janefan is awesome since she sent this in a swap because she saw it was on my shopping list. So when I got this I was incredibly excited because I’ve been wanting to try it. I was a little worried when I saw it was green Pu-Erh. Only because the last time I had green pu-erh I thought it was nasty and tasted like drinking latex. I’ve come to the conclusion however that may have been operator error since when you over steep greens they turn orange. I like the aroma of the dry tuocha it’s nice. I’ve never had sticky rice but it does remind me of cooked brown rice. Started off with a 30 second rinse and progressive one minute steeps. I’m on my tenth round and I have to say I am enjoying this a lot. Each steep brings out a different character. Some reminded me of steamed rice, but as it has progressed I’m getting more of a cornish flavor. One buttered corn. Another creamed corn or corn caserole. That still happens to be one of my favorite holiday side dishes. I’m impressed with how well this is holding up. These last steeps have reminded me of a corn sock. Either a sock or like I have fabric that is filled with corn and thrown in the microwave for sore muscles. I like to heat it up when I have sinus pressure that could take down a water buffalo. I’m definitely finding this one very comforting especially when everyone else around me is dropping like flies due to sickness. I would buy this and enjoy again.


I want to try this one too. :)


I got some of this in a swap too. Can’t wait to try!


Glad you liked it. Now maybe I’ll be inspired get around to brewing it for myself one of these days… You really do like corn, don’t you? Haven’t tried the corn tea yet but sill be sure to mention you when I do!

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