• HOME >
  • New Arrival at HOJO Online Shop

New Release of Cha Tou Ripe Pu-erh Tea 2015

[2017.02.24] Posted By

We purchased Cha Tou 2015 when we visited Yunnan in 2016. This tea was produced in the village located about 50km away from the Myanmar border. The tea was grown with the natural farming method which no pesticide or fertilizer is used.

Even after the compression we still can observe the Cha Tou

Cha Tou is the lumps of tea produced by microorganism during tea fermentation

Cha Tou means “the head of tea” in both Chinese and Japanese. Technically, Cha Tou is the lumps of tealeaf coagulated during the fermentation due to the polysaccharide produced by the microorganism. There is no oxygen inside Cha Tou. Because of this fact, it undergoes very unique maturation during the process.

The lump formed during fermentation is called Cha Tou

Small Cha Tou is on the right and the big Cha Tou is on this side.

Small Cha Tou

Small Cha Tou

There are two types of Cha Tou: the big Cha Tou and the small Cha Tou. Sometimes the tea manufacturer even classifies it into three categories. They may have mini Cha Tou as well. We used big Cha Tou for our earlier lineup, the Cha Tou Ripe Pu-erh 2012. However, we selected small Cha Tou for 2015 crop. The size of the small Cha Tou is about 1cm or slightly bigger.

It is extremely rare to make ripe pu-erh tea from spring tea

The majority of the ripe pu-erh tea is produced after blending all batches of tea collected in late spring, summer and autumn tea. The manufacturer conducts blending in order to even out the price and the overall quality. This is the typical production style of ripe pu-erh tea in big factory with mass production scale.
In other words, it’s extremely rare to find ripe pu-erh tea produced from only spring tealeaf in commercial tea market. If you have ever tried the ripe pu-erh tea produced from the spring crop, there is a huge difference in quality compared to the blended tea. The spring tea gives a mellow and silky soft drinking sensation with long lasting sweetish aftertaste.
Our tea is always from the spring crop. Every year we visit the tea manufacturer in early spring to look for the spring tea.


Ripe pu-erh tea was invented in 1970s. It has a very short history as compared to the raw pu-erh tea that has more than 700 years of history. However, in oversea market, a lot of people associate ripe pu-erh tea as the “pu-erh tea”. The ripe pu-erh tea is produced by the microbiological fermentation. During the fermentation, the substance that gives astringency such as EGCg is being oxidized and decomposed.
If tea is produced from early spring crop, regardless of raw or ripe pu-erh tea there is no astringency. On the other hand, if raw pu-erh tea is produced from summer tea, it gives strong astringency. However, once the summer tea is fermented into the ripe pu-erh tea, it gives no astringency thanks to the reason mentioned above. Consequently, summer tea-based ripe pu-erh tea is well accepted and often more famous than raw pu-erh tea in oversea market.

Earthy smell is due to the failure of process management

Many people commented that ripe pu-erh tea tends to give earthy flavor like old furniture smell or soil. This type of smell is called camphor smell that gives impression like traditional Chinese medicine. In fact, this smell is developed if ripe pu-erh tea is not produced in a proper manner. It is due to the failure in fermentation.

There are a number of microorganisms that involves in the fermentation of ripe pu-erh tea. Usually the anaerobic and aerobic bacteria actively involved in the initial stage and subsequently it is taken placed by the yeast and mold. However, if too much water is being applied, tea leaves are over wet and there is insufficient oxygen. As a result, anaerobic bacteria dominate the fermentation and it will produce substances that give unpleasant smell.
We never purchase tea once we detect camphor smell. Unfortunately, a lot of pu-erh teas are poorly made and gives earthy smell. That is the reason why a lot of people have negative impression with ripe pu-erh tea. The well-produced ripe pu-erh tea gives sweet dry-fruity flavor.

Aging further enhances the flavor of Cha Tou

The Cha Tou is giving a mild sweet fruity flavor even if tea is still fresh.
However, the best timing to drink this tea is after being kept for a few years (if tea is kept in warmer climate. In case the tea is kept under cooler environment, the maturation will takes longer period of time).
It develops very unique and complex flavor like dried dates with a hint of raisin note.

Related Articles

How to get the latest update on HOJO Tea?

1. Follow Twitter, 2. Click "Like" on Facebook, and 3. Subscribe in newsletter. You can have the latest tea news from HOJO Tea.

Subscribe the Newsletter to enjoy the privileges
You may receive a free sample upon purchase, or you may have the priority to purchase special products. So please remember to subscribe our newsletter as well as the social network.
  •                 

HOJO TEA Online Shop NEWSlist

Taiping Houkui 2019 is now available in our store
2019 Taiping Houkui is available in our store. Taiping Houkui was listed as the Top Ten Famous Teas in China. It has been the well-known green tea of Anhui province since Qin dynasty. We have both standard and special tribute grade. The special tribute grade was grown at higher altitude and it gives longer lasting …
2019 Chinese Green Teas are available in our store
We have now received three types of 2019 Chinese green tea and one yellow tea. Thanks to less rain in this spring, the quality of these teas is excellent. Shi Feng Long Jing 獅峰龍井茶 Long Jing is the well-known Chinese green tea. It is produced in Zhejiang Province. In particular, Shi Feng Long Jing produced …

NEW ARTICLES

Taiping Houkui 2019 is now available in our store
2019 Taiping Houkui is available in our store. Taiping Houkui was listed as the Top Ten Famous Teas in China. It has been the well-known green tea of Anhui province since Qin dynasty. We have both standard and special tribute grade. The special tribute grade was grown at higher altitude and it gives longer lasting …
2019 Chinese Green Teas are available in our store
We have now received three types of 2019 Chinese green tea and one yellow tea. Thanks to less rain in this spring, the quality of these teas is excellent. Shi Feng Long Jing 獅峰龍井茶 Long Jing is the well-known Chinese green tea. It is produced in Zhejiang Province. In particular, Shi Feng Long Jing produced …
Pre-Booking of Da Xue Shan Wild Tea and White Tea Mao-Cha 2019
We open the pre-booking of Da Xue Shan Wild Raw Pu-erh Tea and Wild White tea in loose form (mao cha). This year we have very limited stock of loose tea. We will close the booking once the quantity of order reaches our quota. Tea is arriving soon in Japan. So, we should be able …
The Field Report of Yunnan Tea in 2019
We have been staying in Yunnan since 9th of April for sourcing spring tea. In previous years, we usually came here before the end of March. This year, we shifted our schedule about 10 days later since we wanted to stay here until the end of spring tea season. This past week, we were engaged …
Limited Release of Rare Single Tree Pu-erh, White and Black Tea
We have opened the sales of Single Tree Tea (Dan Zhu Tea) produced in 2018 spring. Single Tree Tea refers to the selected tea produced only from one particular tea tree. It is considered as the most exclusive quality of all. For oversea customer, please visit the following page. https://hojotea.com/en/posts-213/ So far in Yunnan, only …
New Release of Vintage Guo Gan Ripe Pu-erh Tea
We released very rare and limited ripe pu-erh tea. It is 9 years vintage ripe pu-erh tea from Guo Gan in Myanmar. It gives distinctive vintage tea flavour with a hint of dry-fruity flavour and herbal-like aroma. Tea grown in Myanmar-China border town Guo Gan is the place in Myanmar facing to Yunnan, China. This …
New Release of High Mountain Purple Black Tea 2018
We have released High Mountain Purple Black Tea 2018. This tea is one of the very popular Yunnan black tea in our line-ups. Since it is a very cold season now in Japan, this tea suite very well. I often enjoy this tea recently. Purple Tea variety gives very special flavour The high mountain purple …
Tsukigase Sencha Processed with Long Withering
We made an interesting green tea with Tsukigase’s spring tea. It is sencha, and we conducted long withering process to enhance its flavour. As a result, it gives a gentle floral scent that reminds me of Taiwan’s lightly fermented oolong tea. After producing tea in spring, in order to further enhance its flavour, we kept …
Cha Tou Brick 250g from Hou Cao Shan is available
We released Huo Cao Shan Cha Tou Brick 2017. This Cha Tou is from the same batch of tea we released earlier on pre-booking. Despite tea was produced about one year ago and not aged for a long time, it already gives very soft, mellow and rich drinking sensation with thick fruity flavour like Chinese …
The Secret of Jasmine Flower for Making Fine Jasmine Tea
Jasmine tea is made from green tea scented with the fresh jasmine flower. The quality of both green tea and jasmine flower is important. Jasmine tea consists of various cultivar and variety. The type of jasmine and the timing of plucking greatly affects the quality of jasmine tea. Heng Xian County of Guangxi is the …

PAGETOP