Tuocha or “dome-shaped bowl tea” is a compressed tea, usually made of pu-erh. The shape resembles a bird’s nest and tuocha range in weight from 3g(seen above) up to 3kg or more. Tuocha are convex in order to help the tea dry out after processing. “The name for tuocha is believed to have originated from the round, top-like shape of the pressed tea or from the old tea shipping and trading route of the Tuojiang River [Wikipedia].”
While mini tuocha can be steeped whole, most large tuocha are broken into pieces and only small amounts are steeped at a time. If you’d like to check out some tuocha for yourself, I have several types for sale at Chicago Tea Garden.