Oxidized, fermented, and aged. Damp leaves are placed in the hot sun to wither. They are pile fermented and aged in either dry or humidity-controlled conditions for a time ranging from 4 months to many years.
Puer tea is considered the most exotic tea in China and has experienced a resurgence in popularity and culture in recent times. Puer is both an ancient and traditional form of tea preparation, but it has also become a popular tea among urban connoisseurs and those wanting to experience the energetics of tea.
The tropical region where it is grown (Yunnan Province-the birthplace of tea), its incredible range of tastes, its fermentation process, and its unique appearance make puer a must try experience. Under the Tang Dynasty (618-907), puer was developed during the days of the Tea Horse Road, a series of trade routes to Tibet.
Puer is packaged as loose tea or compressed into cakes. Historically, the tea was compressed to make it easier to transport on horse, while today, the function is to assist the tea to improve with age.
Sheng (Raw) Puer Tea
Sheng Puer has an incredibly delicious, clean and earthy flavor. Processing sheng puer involves plucking the leaves, drying them briefly in the sun and aging them either loose or compressed. If stored properly, raw puer can age indefinitely and be worth hundreds of dollars. Tea connoisseurs highly value the complexity and unique flavor of aged raw puer.
Lao Shu Bing Cha, 2011 – Wild Tree Puer
From the old-growth tea gardens in the Xishuangbanna jungles of Southern Yunnan, this large variety of pu-erh is marked by its abundance of wild tree leaves. The newly harvested leaves and buds are taken from the ancient forests and left to wither and dry in the sun on bamboo mats. The leaves are steamed before they are pressed into large suns. Experiencing the sweet-and-sour amber brew of Lao Shu Bing Cha is like taking a stroll through the old tea trees of the jungle — humbling and invigorating all at once.
Laos Wild Tree
Reminiscent of raw shoeing pu-erh, this tea comes from the wild, mountainous region of northern Laos near the border of Yunnan. The tea leaves are plucked from 400-year-old wild tea trees. The dry leaves are then compressed inside bamboo giving this tea its characteristic cigar shape. The taste is slightly woody and smoky with a soft, floral finish.
Shou (Ripe) Puer Tea
Shou puer is a ripe, black variation that was developed in the 1970s as the demand increased for puer that could be consumed without aging. The tea leaves go through an accelerated fermentation process similar to composting. In turn, compressed tea leaf cakes are steam heated to speed up the aging. This “cooking” creates a darker amber color and deep, earthy taste.
Zhuan Cha, 2015
This dense, fully oxidized tea, pressed into the shape of a brick, is one of our boldest and down-to-earth pu-erhs in house due to its tempered but strong, robust, smoky and bittersweet flavor. A classic puer. Multiple infusions.
Cha Tou Shou Cha, 2012 – Puer Nuggets
This almost quadruple fermented pu-erh has become quite popular in Yunnan for its well-matured, persistent qualities. Pu-erh “nuggets” are the result of fermenting shou pu-erh. Once pu-erh tea has been oxidized and fermented for four months, it is gathered, processed and stored. Pu-erh nuggets are the clumps of tea which are scraped off fermentation room floors before a new round of tea is manufactured. The resulting brew is dark amber in color, surprisingly sweet and bold in taste, and uplifting to the spirit.
Bamboo Puer, 2008
Traditional “ripe” pu-erh packed into the hollow center of bamboo and roasted over an open fire. This pu-erh possesses a sweet, wood imbued flavor with a thick, creamy mouth-feel.