Organic Ancient Green Tuo Cha Pu Erh Tea

Sweet hints of smoke and ripe fruit pair with malted grains and slight earthiness

certified organic
Organic Ancient Green Tuo Cha Pu Erh Tea

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Organic Ancient Green Tuo Cha Pu Erh Tea


This young green pu erh replaces our previous Ancient Green Pu-erh which is permanently sold out. It consists of tightly compressed dark green organic tea leaves that have been processed using the traditional qing (or sheng) technique, also referred to as "raw." The leaves for this tea are harvested by the farmers of the Mannong Manmai Ancient Tea Association in China's southwest Yunnan province, where ancient tea trees reside that range from 800 to 1200-years-old with the eldest exceeding 1300-years-old! The infusion produces a golden honey liquor, yielding a flavor and aroma that hangs in the mid-mouth reminding of dry malted grains, greens, and sweet plum. A hint of the earthiness characteristic of pu-erh tea can also be detected. The effervescent astringency of this young pu-erh will mellow with age, as its earthiness increases.

This tea will only improve with time and is currently available at its most affordable price! With each year, its price will also increase as its quality increases. This is the only qing style organic pu-erh that we currently offer. Each tuo cha is individually wrapped and perfect for a medium sized teapot or can be broken apart to accommodate a single serving. Remember to remove the wrapping before the tea is steeped.

Ingredients: organic Chinese pu-erh tea

Origin: Mannong Manmai Ancient Tea Association, Yunnan, China

Lincang, Yunnan Province, China

Known for its high iron content, the soil of Yunnan is rich, dark red and sustains some of the oldest tea trees in the world. Pu-erh, a city located in the Yunnan Province of China, is the namesake of pu-erh tea, the most famous subset of Chinese heicha (dark tea). The Mannong and Manmai villagers come from one of the oldest tea lineages in Yunnan and have been producing tea in the rainforests of China’s Hekai Tea Valley—one of the oldest tea cultivation zones in the world. Certified organic in 2004, the Mannong Manmai Ancient Tea Association includes over 240 local Lahu ethnic families. The natural biodiversity, unique Da Ye tea tree varietal, high altitude and ample rain give these teas their signature taste. Read our blog post about our trip to Pu Erh, China!

Steeping Instructions


At Arbor Teas, we believe tea should be brewed to suit your personal taste. We’re happy to make recommendations to get you started, but don’t hesitate to experiment! When brewing your tea, your main considerations are tea quantity, water temperature, and steeping time. We recommend pu-erh teas to be steeped for 5 to 10 minutes in water heated to a full, rolling boil. For the best flavor, use fresh water whenever possible, and avoid overboiling. Try not to steep your tea longer than necessary, as you’ll extract undesirable bitterness from the leaves. If you want a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea. And remember to re-steep your tea leaves to get the most out of your leaf!

Looking for more info? Check out our How-To Guides and Eco-Brewing Tips!

Staff Perspectives

  • Trish

    "This is a great afternoon tea to help settle my stomach!"

  • Jeremy

    "This is the tea I drink when I just can't decide what I want - its flavor profile includes elements from green, pu-erh and white teas. You might consider buying some and putting it down to age so that you can experience how it changes with time."

  • Aubrey

    "This is our only sheng style Pu-Erh. Its initial sweetness and slight hint of smoke won me over! A perfect tea for someone looking for an organic Pu-Erh that is delicate and has a light characteristic mustiness. For a lighter cup, I recommend steeping it for as little as 1 minute."

Health Benefits


Like all true tea, pu erh tea offers many potential health benefits. Research has found that tea (Camellia sinensis) can have many positive effects on human health, including improved cardiovascular function, cancer risk reduction, improved immune function, improved oral health, and help with weight management. Tea is also full of polyphenols, which are a class of antioxidant that help your body maintain homeostasis and balance your stress levels. Pu-Erh specifically has been used in Chinese medicine to support gut health, weight loss, and lower cholesterol.

For more information about the health benefits of pu erh and other types of tea, and for direct sources of the above information, check out our Tea Health Benefits page!

Please note: the information above is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Pu Erh: A National Secret


Pu-erh, a city located in the Yunnan Province of China, is the namesake of pu-erh tea, the most famous subset of Chinese heicha (dark tea). Pu-erh processing is a closely guarded secret. Each tea garden has a unique recipe and prides itself on its own distinctive creation. Properly cared for, pu-erh tea is actually alive as enzymes in the tea are allowed to age, greatly enhancing the tea’s flavor over time. This is accomplished by introducing a small amount of moisture at the end of the manufacturing process and allowing the retention of that moisture in the final tea leaf; then aging the leaf in a controlled environment. Pu-erh is the only “aged” tea, and can be fully-oxidized like black tea or unoxidized like green tea. Qing Cha (sometimes referred to as “raw” or “green” pu-erh) is the oldest and most famous version of pu-erh processing. Shu Cha (“ripe” or “cooked” pu-erh) is an accelerated version of Qing Cha that was developed in 1972 to help meet consumer demand. Both methods can produce an excellent tea that improves in value and taste with time, and can be finished as loose leaf tea or pressed into shapes. Pu-erhs that have been aged for 10, 15 or even 25 years and beyond are typically unavailable outside China and are served only to high ranking officials and dignitaries.

For even more information about this and other traditions, visit our Tea Traditions Page!

Customer Reviews

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  • 5
    Delightful for Kombucha as well as a cup

    Posted by Laura Olsen on 27th Mar 2024

    We've been using this for our home kombucha making! Never bitter, and a gentle lovely base for our honey-green tea kombucha. Switched to this from the black teas we love but never turned back! And We LOVE that it is from old growth tea trees. Thanks Arbor for your diligence and standards!

  • 5
    Nice young, green, raw Pu Erh

    Posted by Chris Baker on 10th Sep 2023

    Young, green, raw Pu Erh flavor up front with expected bitterness, overlaid on the backend with a pleasant plum-like sweetness and cool metallic rock minerality, and faint hints of the earthiness of Pu Ehr. This is clearly very young so buying more to age seems like a wise idea. Assuming I can stop drinking it and start aging it, of course.

  • 2
    Not as expected

    Posted by Marjorie Weiss on 17th Nov 2022

    I was hoping for a more flavorful tea based on the description but I find it rather tasteless, like hot water. So added more tea when I steeped it and it was still not speaking to me. I will let it age and try it as time goes by.

  • 3

    Posted by Kelly on 30th Nov 2016

    The first time I ordered the green pu erh it was super smooth almost creamy; definitely a 5 leaf tea. The downside was the cost of the tea which was considerably more expensive than what it costs now. I noticed the price had come down considerably and placed an order but it wasn't the same. Not nearly as smooth. Maybe it would be an okay tea if I hadn't had some that was a lot better.

  • 5
    Not bad at all!

    Posted by Yen-Wen on 18th Oct 2016

    I'm not a strong tea drinker and I find this tea acceptable even though it's on the stronger side for me. It's very flavorful for sure. I don't think I can have it without any kind sweetener. It feels a bit dry and slight bitterness on my tongue for the finish. For a lighter tea drinker, I would say 1/3 of the Tuo Cha is too much. I would say 1/4 is better. Still, for a person who doesn't drink strong tea to say it's not bad, that means the flavor is good!

  • 5
    A Stellar Green Puerh

    Posted by Dave W. on 23rd Aug 2015

    This is a delightful green puerh with a bright and vibrant taste that is sweet and smoky. Take the time to sniff the pungent aroma of the moist leaves inside the teapot, and also of the empty teacup; it is reminiscent of the sweet mustiness of dried rose petals, combined with the smokiness of a camp fire. Even if you accidentally over steep it, the astringency of this puerh is not overbearing. The aftertaste of smokiness and astringency linger on the tongue like an echo. Subsequent steepings bring out this puerh's sweetness.

  • 4
    Holy Cow

    Posted by Bryan on 1st May 2015

    One review described this as having a good "Body" and that it does. This is a full flavored tea that packs a punch. White tea? I'm not sure if I am reviewing the same tea because nothing about this reminds me of white tea. Its strong, VERY strong. Not caffeine wise but taste wise, and its a very "Adult" taste indeed. Very bitter or wood like. It smells smokey, and tastes smokey. You will get your money worth with a good amount of infusions but be aware, its intense. For some reason I cant find it within myself to rate it lower. It reminds me of a strong gourd of smoked yerba mate. I like it.

  • 2
    just boring

    Posted by Unknown on 23rd Apr 2014

    I have tried a lot of teas from Arbor Teas and I really like the sampler packages. I drink tons of tea. I prefer green teas, but love other teas with good body. This particular tea was just boring. For all the fuss about it being aged, etc, I just couldn't see why. Maybe I got a bad batch. Green teas I love are the Dragonwell, Sencha, Jasmine pearls and my favorite is Genmaicha. The other pu-erh teas were good, but this one lacked personality.

  • 4
    Subtle and light

    Posted by Joey on 16th Mar 2014

    I love this Pu Erh! Unlike other Pu Erh teas, this one is not bitter at all, but light and some what sweet. Perfect for the summer!

  • 5

    Posted by Joe P. on 30th Apr 2013

    Like silver needle with more sweetness, hint of dark honey, deep mild roasted hoppy like complexity. I love this tea. I would drink it as often as I could if it weren't for the price.

  • 4
    Similar to White Tea

    Posted by Shelley on 23rd Mar 2013

    This puerh tastes very much like silver needle white tea. Imagine white tea with a much richer flavor and darker brewed color. I've only ever tried one other sheng puerh and the flavor was much different than this (it was aged 6 years). I don't know what to expect from puerh yet so as to give an honest evaluation, but by flavor alone it's pretty good. However, since I can get a similar flavor from white tea, I'll probably stick to that and find puerhs with more unique flavor. Also, this tea says that it was aged 8 years. I always though that green puerh aged longer than 5 years was not called "green" any more, but rather "aged raw."

  • 5

    Posted by otherwillsmith on 7th Dec 2012

    This is one of my favorite pu-erhs to date. It is all that they say in the description, but with something else that is hard to describe. Does sophistication have a flavor? This tea has it. There is something in there that I can't think of another way to describe. It's the way that these flavors come together along with the knowledge that the leaves are harvested from ancient trees to the terroir that comes through in this tea that is a pleasure to sip each and every time.

  • 5
    So smooth, so refreshing

    Posted by Judy on 19th Mar 2012

    I received this as part of the Pu-Erh sampler. I really love it. It's mild and smooth. I make a 6 six tea pot in the morning and will usually refill it another time each day. This would be a really great intro to Pu-Erh tea.

  • 4
    Smooth and light

    Posted by Judy on 9th Mar 2012

    I recently started exploring Pu Erh teas. I ordered the sampler - this is the second one I've tried. It has a lighter taste and a smooth finish with no hint of bitterness. I think this will be a wonderful summer night tea.

  • 4
    smooth and light

    Posted by Judy on 9th Mar 2012

    I've recently begun exploring Pu Erh teas and received this as a part of the Pu Erh sampler. I use 1/4 of a cake to 2 cups of water and am able to get several infusings. I gave it 4 leaves only because I have a favorite tea that I love and consider that 5 leaves and use that as my gauge.

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