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Tuo Cha

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Product Details

Individually wrapped cakes of fine black tea from China.

'Tuo Cha' translates as 'tea cake' - not the British toasted variety, but the customary cakes of compressed tea which you'll find throughout China. We've selected our individually wrapped Tuo Cha from Hunan Province, famed for its cakes or 'bricks' of tea which have been a favourite with traders and travellers for centuries; the tightly packed leaves are an ideal way to keep the tea fresh on long journeys.

We selected this particular Hunan tea for its complex, layered flavour, produced through a skillful process of oxidation. You'll taste all the full-bodied fruit notes of a classic Chinese tea, warmed by hints of spice and smoke - the strong, rich tones are beautifully mellowed by a drop of milk.

To brew, simply unwrap the tea cake and break it up with a little boiled water to 'wake up' the leaves. Drain the water, and infuse as usual - you'll find you need very few leaves to create a good strong brew, and one tea cake will be enough for a pot. What's more, the tea can withstand multiple infusions so the cakes should last you a long journey or two.

Contains 10-11 cakes

  • Tea Type

    Black Tea

  • Origin


  • Taste Profile

    Fruity, Rich, Smoky

  • Tastes like

    Rich plum notes and a touch of smoke

  • Food pairing

    Mushrooms will complement this teas' complex flavours

  • When to drink

    Brew a pot in the morning and drink throughout the day

Brew the perfect cup

Add one teaspoon (around 2g) of loose leaf tea per cup and always use freshly drawn and boiled water. Allow to brew for 3-5 minutes according to taste. Can be enjoyed with or without milk.

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Taste Guarantee

We’re confident that you’ll love our products as much as we do. Our Taste Guarantee means that if anything fails to meet your expectations you can return for an exchange or full refund – just remember to enclose the original receipt if you're returning it by post or popping in store. That way you're free to try something new, without the risk of disappointment.



The Chinese invented paper, gunpowder and the compass. But their finest innovation has to be tea, reputedly first discovered by the emperor Shen Nong in 2737 BCE. Originally prepared as a medicinal brew, tea became a drink in its own right during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), and today China produces thousands of different varieties ranging from black, green and white tea to oolong, puerh and yellow tea. If you’re looking for a bit of teatime reading take a look at Lu Yu’s ‘Tea Classic’: first written in 780 CE, it covers everything from cultivation methods to tea etiquette…


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Item Code: 316919_REFILL_SET

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As Chinese soldiers and merchants trekked the ancient routes linking China to Tibet, they would offer the hill tribes compressed bricks of tea in exchange for new horses. We've given our Tuo Cha the number 696, a reference to the date the ‘tea-for-horse' trade was officially approved by an imperial decree in 1696. The tradition of using tea as a form of currency continued right up until the Second World War.

A note from Whittard

“I’m a huge oolong fan – the sheer diversity of different flavours is pretty mind-boggling. My favourites are the creamy, almost buttery high grown oolongs grown in Taiwan.”

- Bethan, Specialist Tea Buyer
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