These "Cha Tou" ripe pu-erh tea nuggets ripe tea are from a wet pile batch done entirely from Meng Song (Menghai County) tea leaves harvested in 2017 and wet piled in 2018*!
Thick dark tea soup, strong sweet with a hint of dark chocolate bitterness and licorice after-taste. Potent cha tou both in taste and infusability.
Cha Tou is a kind of tea nugget that forms naturally from the pressures of compression and heat that occurs during the fermentation process. Typically during fermentation process to make ripe pu-erh there is a pile of tea about 1 meter high. It is kept wet to allow the fermentation process and the pile is turned every few days to allow for an even degree of fermentation, moving the tea from the bottom of the pile (where it is hotter and wetter) to the top of the pile where it is cooler and drier. The "cha tou" are the leaves that ball up and get stuck together. The best cha tou are ones that have not been over-fermented and are smaller in size.
Try the Gong Ting grade ripe from the same wet pile batch here!
*For those of you who purchase this tea during the year of 2018 expect that there will be a fairly strong wet pile taste throughout 2018, but one that will fade gradually as tea ages. Remember pu-erh increases in palatability and complexity with age! In Chinese we refer to this as 越陈越香.
**some of these will have some grey or white spores on them. If you are squeamish about spores/bacteria don't buy these!