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The new release of Bao Dao Shan Da Cha Tou Brick 2017, exclusively crafted from Da Cha Tou leaves

[2024.01.23] Posted By

Bao Dao Shan Cha Tou Zhuan 2017 is a ripe pu-erh tea crafted into brick form. Bao Dao Shan is the name of the mountain situated in the southwestern part of Yunnan. “Cha Tou” denotes a distinctive type of ripe pu-erh tea. In the course of fermenting spring tea, certain tea clumps naturally develop, known as Da Cha Tou. This tea is exclusively produced by collecting these naturally formed clumps and compressing them. It’s essential to note that “Zhuan” signifies the block shape of the tea.

Due to its unique and distinctive aroma, individual preferences may vary, but for those who enjoy it, this tea is just right for their taste.

What is Cha Tou?

The fermentation process of Pu-erh ripe tea involves various microorganisms, including aerobic bacteria, anaerobic bacteria, mold, and yeast, taking turns in the process. The Cha Tou is a naturally formed clump that occurs during the fermentation of ripe tea. This is primarily the result of the interaction between polysaccharides produced by microorganisms like actinomycetes and the components of tea, causing the tea leaves to naturally aggregate during the course of microbial fermentation.

The Da Cha Tou before compression
茶頭熟茶

Significantly, the formation of Cha Tou is primarily observed when the tea leaves selected for fermentation are richly composed, particularly those harvested during the initial plucking of the spring season. If summer-plucked tea is utilized, Cha Tou generally does not develop. While a small amount of Cha Tou may develop from autumn-plucked tea, the quantity is exceedingly minimal. Even when fermenting several tons of tea leaves, the yield of Cha Tou is limited to around 20-30 kilograms, and the quality of Cha Tou from autumn-plucked tea is characterized by a very loose structure and fragility.
Notably, autumn-Cha Tou differs from spring-Cha Tou in terms of quality aspects such as taste and aroma. Spring-Cha Tou provides a smooth and rich taste, whereas autumn-Cha Tou presents a coarser and lighter taste profile.

The Cha Tou is compressed into bricks, showing visible clumps on the surface. Furthermore, the edges exhibit a slightly irregular shape, attributed to the presence of larger Cha Tou.

The spring tea leaves are abundant in components, so it yields robust and sizable Cha Tou formations. Nevertheless, pu-erh ripe tea crafted from spring tea as the raw material is quite uncommon, making Cha Tou an exceedingly rare find in the pu-erh tea market.

Cha Tou Develops Its Unique Aroma Through a Special Fermentation and Aging Process

Cha Tou not only boasts distinctive shapes but also exhibits noticeable characteristics in terms of aroma and flavor. In comparison to loose Pu-erh tea from the same batch, Cha Tou reveals highly fruity aroma, a rich and sweet taste, and a smooth and velvety mouthfeel.
The distinctive taste and aroma of Cha Tou are attributed to its formation process. In the midst of the fermentation process, the interior of Cha Tou remains in a semi-fermented state without exposure to oxygen. At this stage, Cha Tou retains a moderate amount of moisture and undergoes maturation for about a month, facilitated by the heat generated during fermentation. This anaerobic maturation imparts a particularly fruity aroma to Cha Tou. Especially in larger Cha Tou, where more tea leaves are present in this oxygen-free environment, the unique aroma and quality truly stand out.

Aged for 5 years in Malaysia

This Cha Tou was produced in 2017, and we procured this brick in 2018, and from that point onward, it has been stored in our warehouse in Malaysia, maintained under oxygen-free conditions for 5 years. Initially, upon acquisition, there was a subtle coarseness in the tea’s profile. However, the extended maturation period in the warm temperatures of Malaysia has significantly boosted the aroma, leading to a notably smoother taste for the tea.

The Ba Dao Shan, the place of origin, is located right next to Myanmar

The Bao Dao Shan Cha Tou Zhuan is sourced from Ba Dao Shan, located in Zhen-kang County in the southwestern region of Lincang City, Yunnan Province. Ba Dao Shan is positioned in close proximity to the Myanmar border and is a renowned mountain within Zhen-kang County. It is distinguished by its unique appearance, resembling a steep rocky mountain with serrated, saw-like features, making it a well-known landmark for the residents of Zhen-kang County.

A captivating fragrance with a harmonious blend of jujube sweetness and subtle camphor notes

The Bao Dao Shan Cha Tou Zhuan 2017 is crafted by the same producer as our Ba Dao Shan Ripe Pu-erh. Despite sharing the same producer, the production years differ, leading to slight variations in the tea gardens. The raw material for this particular batch is sourced from raw pu-erh tea produced by ethnic minority farmers. Tea produced by these ethnic minorities is often conducted with small-scale tea frying pans using household firewood-burning facilities.

The flavor of raw Pu-erh tea significantly influences the flavor of the subsequent fermented ripe tea. The ethnic minority-made raw Pu-erh tea has a distinctive flavor profile due to the small-scale pan-frying facility. In utilizing their tea for fermenting ripe tea, apart from the sweet fragrance resembling dried jujubes that emerges during fermentation, there is also a traditional Chinese medicine-like flavour known as “camphor” (樟香), which is very popular in Southeast Asia. The presence of this fragrance is highly valued by enthusiasts. However, in the case of Bao Dao Shan Cha Tou Zhuan 2017, the camphor note is subtle, with an approximately equal blend of camphor and jujube fragrances. This delicate combination of camphor and sweet scents makes it exceptionally easy to drink and quite addictive.


Ba Dao Shan tea is characterized by its robust flavor, offering a rich and full-bodied experience. As you take a sip, the aroma gracefully unfolds, leaving behind a delightful sweetness on the palate.

How to Buy This Tea?

For customers in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, please click on the following link.

For international customers, kindly send us an email at info2@hojotea.com

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