This traditional practice of making bamboo pu erh originates from a minority tribe in Yunnan called the Dai. (see my earlier blog 3 Jul 2009) The unique taste of the toasted bamboo pu erh resulted in some Yunnan tea companies making such teas on a commercial scale.
The taste of bamboo pu erh is refreshing and unique. The bamboo tea I have is the raw Yi Wu pu erh. This tea was sold without the bamboo (I wish the bamboo was intact as it would give a very traditional sensation) and came in 3-4 inch pieces. Its about an inch thick. The light toasting of the raw tea seems to reduce the harshness of a new raw pu erh. Instead, I find the tea to be sweet, floral, an oak like finish with a hint of smoke. Its like those wines that has been kept in oak barrels and you can detect the oak flavor when you drink the wine. Well back to the tea...its a delightful tea and its no wonder I finished my 100g pack within a month. A brew (8-10g) can yield 4-5 good infusions.
Bamboo pu erh is inexpensive and its available at most teashops and on the internet.