Pu Er is the only tea that improves with age, and the only one that actually undergoes a fermentation; thus it has its own category: “hei cha” or very dark/black tea.
Pu Er starts as either a green or partially-oxidized tea that is dried and then piled up beneath a damp cloth and “fermented” for days or weeks and then dried again. This type is of Pu Er is called “shou” or “mature/ripe” Pu Er. (Another type is “sheng” or “unripe,” which is stored for a long time until the flavor ripens slowly in the humid climate of southwest China. We do not carry this on our website at this time.) Pu Er tea is sold as a loose tea or is pressed into a mold to create various shapes (bricks, wheels, bowls, mushrooms, etc.). Compressed tea was easier to transport long distances in earlier times. The result of Pu Er’s unusual processing is a very earthy, full-bodied tea similar to a black tea.
The Chinese have long considered Pu Er tea medicinal and good for quenching thirst, digesting oily foods, reducing cholesterol, detoxification (as a diuretic), aiding in weight loss, among many other things. Recent research on the benefits of Pu Er have been stimulated by reports of exceptional longevity found in Pu Er drinkers in Yunnan Province where the tea is produced, as well as by the health of Pu Er drinkers in Tibet where the diet is lacking in fruits and vegetables. Sometimes spelled “pu erh.”
Organic Pu Er is milder and less earthy than the Yunnan Pu Er. Good for multiple infusions.
China, Yunnan Province