Home > Pu-erh

Pu-erh

Production of Puerh can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The exotic offering was first written about in the ancient treatise, "Book on Barbarians" published after a visit to ancient Yunnan province by a Tang government official. (Evidently the Imperialists didn't think too highly of the province's early inhabitants.)

In it he writes, "The tea is yielded from the mountains beyond Yinsheng City and picked from scattered trees without processing. Barbarians of Mangshe drink tea by cooking it with pepper, ginger and cassia." While this form of Puerh was certainly different from the Puerh cakes more commonly known in today's world, archaeological records indicate that the same style of specialized leaf fermentation was being implemented, so the classification fits.

Which leads to the question. What exactly is Puerh? Among experts, this is a topic of fierce debate. Historically, confusion stems from the fact that Puerh tea is named after Puerh City, one of Yunnan's old tea trading hubs.

Normally, most Chinese teas are named after the various leaf styles, towns or gardens where they were produced. At the zenith of Puerh City's dominance over the regional tea trade, all tea traded there was called Puerh no matter what the style or origin. For centuries, this raised questions amongst connoisseurs and purists throughout China.

In order to dispel the confusion, in 2003 the Bureau of Standard Measurement of Yunnan Province defined Puerh as "products fermented from green tea of big tea leaves picked within Yunnan province." This in itself is still quite a broad definition, so we'll try to break it down for you.

There are two types of tea we in the West commonly know as Puerh. Raw Puerh (Sheng tea) and Ripe Puerh (Shou tea). The difference is in the aging process. Raw Puerhs are typically fermented very slowly by being stored in cellars and aged for up to 25 years. These teas, typically priced well out of range of the average tea lover, usually reside in the collections of exceptionally wealthy Chinese tea aficionados; their presence on the international markets is incredibly rare.

Raw Puerh vintages are characterized by warm tones of earth, damp moss and oak that shift and shape during the aging process. On the other side of the coin is Ripe Puerh, processed according to a method developed at the Kunming tea factory in 1973. The Kunming factory devised the method in an effort to make Puerh teas available to ordinary tea drinkers in China.

When making Ripe Puerh, the tea is fermented over a matter of weeks under heavy wet blankets. During fermentation, the tea develops characteristics very similar to that of aged Puerh. The leaf is then pressed into a cake-like form, wrapped, dated and shipped to market. Black Puerh, as we are offering it here, is a unique variation on the typically green product. Prior to blanket fermentation, the leaf is pre-fermented using heat. Like its raw cousin, the cup is wonderfully rich with deep notes of earth, malt and gentle musk. A fabulous cup from one of Yunnan's top Puerh producers.

Sort 15 Items:
Thumbnail of Three Years on the Farm | Puerh
If you have ever wanted to explore the nuances of puerh tea without commiting to the large cakes, then this is the sample set for you! The box contains three consecutive years of puerh, Autumn 2013, Autumn 2014 and Autumn 2015, in small 6-7g balls. There is enough of each year to enjoy several cups or one pot. The older the tea, the stronger the flavor.

Box approximately: 6.25x2.5x1.25" (15.88x6.35x3.18cm)

Thumbnail of Siberian Forest
The toasty Da Hong Pao oolong combined with a cooked black puerh is evened out with hot and cooling spices. Great for those late nights staying up reading old Slavic fairy tales and keeping Baba Yaga at bay!
Thumbnail of MengHai Pu-Erh Brick
This ~100 g pu-erh brick is ripe with notes of fruit and bold in taste. Picked from leaves in Spring 2012 and aged to 2013, the strong aroma smells pleasantly of dried apricots. One brick can yield up to 15 pots of tea.

Cake is approximately 4" in diameter (10.16 cm).

Thumbnail of Menghai Puerh | Black Loose
This organic tea is direct-sourced from one family and one farm. The family prepares tea in traditional manner by hand-picking, hand-processing, hand-firing and hand-rolling their tea; they are true masters of each step. This hand-crafted artisanal Pu er has never seen machines or chemicals, allowing for a great product today or decades to come.
Thumbnail of Puerh Tuo Cha
This aged Yunnan puerh is shaped in small bowls, or "bird's nests." Use one bowl per small pot. This is a strong, earthy, flavored tea, with a surprising bright finish.

*Approximately 6 tuo chas per ounce.

**Each tuo cha is approximately 3 grams.

Thumbnail of Witch's Broom Raw Pu-erh
A bizarre and wonderful tea. This aged green puerh tea is made up of extraordinarily large tea leaves that have been gathered into small bundles that resemble traditional brooms, hence the name. It has a marvelous flavor and delivers a light, woodsy aftertaste. We recommend six to eight leaves per cup with multiple steepings.
Thumbnail of Dark Rose Tea
This Dark tea from Hunan province of China, is medium to full bodies, very smooth, with a delicious dusty rose flavor and aroma. Contains dark tea and rose petals. Comes in approximately 5 gram pressed tea pieces. Use one in a mug and steep a short time (one minute), or use one in a larger pot (12-20 oz.) and steep a longer time (2-3 min.)
Thumbnail of Iron Silk Puerh
A very strong puerh is blended with peppermint, clove, and licorice root to create a brew that is strong yet incredibly smooth. The additional ingredients add a tingly spicy note to the cup.
Thumbnail of White Pu-Erh: Mandarin Orange

Besides the obvious fact that the tea is packed in an orange, the care of craftsmanship used to get it in there cannot be underestimated. From the careful plucking of centuries old tea bushes, to the rolling on wide wicker baskets and the natural wood fires used to flash heat the mandarin orange peel, everything is done entirely by hand. Firing the orange peel serves to kill any microorganisms that may be present.

The cup it produces is outstanding. A light yellow liquor resembling chamomile tea leads to a medium body with a gentle astringent assertiveness, sweet notes of citrus, honey and vanilla and a surprisingly clean finish. One of the China's most interesting and uniquely rare teas! (An excellent pu-erh for the first time drinker!) Make some news in your shop today.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Orange peel is not intended for consumption.
Thumbnail of Green Pu-Erh: Mandarin Orange
Mandarin packed pu-erh is one of China's more unique tea offerings. What's even better than the way this tea looks, is how it tastes.

The tea-packed oranges are stored in a cool dry location, allowing the tea to ferment and dry within the peel. As the tea ages, the peel and leaf both turn a deep brown. Fermenting in this manner infuses the leaf of earthy pu-erh with highlights of light citrus notes. The brew is clear, tending, golden yellow.

NOTE: Orange peel is not intended for consumption.
Thumbnail of Wenshan White Pu-erh
Yunnan Chitsu Pingcha is produced from pu-erh tea, through a process of special fermentation, aging, steaming and compressing. It's characterized by a bright red-yellow infusion, pure-high aroma and sweet mellow taste. It promotes digestion, is thirst-quenching, and is even used to cure hangovers. Drinking daily may also aide in weight-loss.
Thumbnail of Guangnan Green Pu-erh
Yunnan Chitsu Pingcha is produced from pu-erh tea, through a process of special fermentation, aging, steaming and compressing. It’s characterized by a bright red-yellow infusion, pure-high aroma and sweet mellow taste. It promotes digestion, is thirst-quenching and is even used to cure hang-overs. Drinking daily may also aide in wight-loss.
Thumbnail of Kunming Black Pu-erh
Yunnan Chitsu Pingcha is produced from pu-erh tea through a process of special fermentation, aging, steaming and compressing. It's characterized by a bright red-yellow infusion, pure-high aroma and sweet mellow taste. It promotes digestion, is thirst-quenching and is even used to cure hang-overs. Drinking daily may also aide in weight-loss.
Thumbnail of Black Pu-Erh: Mandarin Orange
In some parts of China, a popular custom is to give oranges as a gift on special occasions. The reason is that in Chinese, the word for orange sounds like "Ji" which means "good luck." One of the things you'll notice about this tea when you brew it is the absence of the heavy musty flavor characteristic of traditional pu-erh. Certainly this character is still there but it is layered beneath sweet notes of citrus, the result of being packed in the mandarin orange before fermentation. As the tea ages, it absorbs the flavor of the peel.
Thumbnail of Topaz Puerh
A cooked style pu-er, made at one of the few certified organic tea gradens in central Yunnan. Can endure many steepings, and does not become astringent. We don't expect it to gain any flavor change over time, so this is one to drink when you buy it!

If you are missing this tea whilst it is out of stock, try our KUNMING BLACK PU-ERH.

$4.50 Topaz Puerh