Shop Pu-erh (Pu'er) Tea

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pu-erh tea treePu-erh tea (Pu'er, Pu Erh or Puerh tea) belongs to the Compressed Tea category - one of six main categories of Chinese teas. Named after its birth place, ‘Pu-erh’ village in the Yun Nan province south-west China, it was first traded in the village market during Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).

Pu-erh tea history and value

Despite having been around for a couple of thousand years, Pu-erh tea has gained recent notoriety due to its exclusive ability to reduce body fat deposit and aid digestion. This is believed to the one of the reasons that Pu-erh tea has been widely consumed and highly sought after in areas like Tibet where high fat diet (eg. camel milk and yaks and sheep meat) is consumed and vegetables and fruits supply is extremely limited due to the high altitude of area and prolong winter and their roaming nomads lifestyle. This is how essential the tea is to the Tibetans: flesh, blood and life. 

Pu-erh tea production and names

Pu-erh tea’s production is very geographical and highly concentrated in the Yunnan province of south-west China. There were traditionally six core ancient Pu-erh production areas, based on the mountain ranges where the ancient tea trees were grown and production occurred: Yi-Bang (倚邦), Ge-Deng(革登), Mang-Zhi (莽枝), Man-Zhuang(蛮砖), You-Le (攸乐) and Yi-Wu(易武). Most of the tea trees in these areas are at least a few hundred years old, some are believed to be more than 1000 year.

There are also six relatively newer production areas of Pu-erh tea, mainly as a result of the local migration of the villagers due to the population expansion. When these villagers settled in these new areas, they took with them their tradition of tea making and established their own tea planation around the areas where they have been living.

Many of the pu-erh teas are named after the mountain ranges where they are harvested or the areas where they are produced.

Pu-erh teas were traditionally made into cakes and bricks to facilitate their unique characteristic of post-fermentation, and the convenience of being transported by human porters and horses for trade. Unlike all other categories of Chinese teas, Pu-erh's value increases with ageing, manifested in its smoother texture and richer and unique aged Pu-erh's aroma, flavor and aftertaste.

Pu-erh tea varieties

The traditional Pu-erh tea cakes and bricks have however been modified during recent years, made into various shapes and weight mainly for the convenience of the consumers: not having to break up a cake or a brick; purchase as much as needed; easily divided etc. 

With all the shapes and weights, Pu-erh teas are still fall into two major categories:

  • Sheng Cha (raw Pu-erh/green Pu-erh tea): tea leaves are compressed into shapes (cakes, bricks etc) and ferment naturally after their production. Unlike all other Chinese teas, pu-erh teas are made of tea leaves harvested from forest tea trees (but not tea bushes) and the tea leaves are much bigger and rougher at the start. It is generally believed that it takes 2 years minimum of natural fermentation for these teas to be 'softened up' to be suitable for consumption. (Pleas note: All raw teas supplied at Valley Green Tea are at least 2 years of age and ready to be consumed.)
  • Shou Cha(ripened Pu-erh/pre-fermented pu-erh tea): a speed fermenting process is used before the tea leaves are compressed into various shapes. The teas are ready to be consumed immediate after their production.

Our Pu-erh teas are sauced directly from Menghai mountain area – one of the main Pu-erh producing areas in Yunnan province south-west of China. The tea leaves used belong to ‘Quao Mu’ type – the Camellia Sinensis of forest grown (uncultivated), large leaf species. The skills used to make these fine pu-erh teas are inherited from many generations of previous tea farmers and masters and carefully guarded in the region.

We offer both raw and ripened, cake and loose Pu-erh teas.

Pu-erh tea's preparation is also quite different from other Chinese teas. Please refer to the preparation instruction to avoid pit falls of Pu-erh tea brewing: (http://www.valleygreentea.com.au/preparation/pu-erh-tea-preparation-and-storage-guide.html)

Join us for a share of experiences and discussion about Pu-erh tea and receive 25g of our Pu-erh golden nugget for free with your next order: https://www.facebook.com/groups/puerhtealovers (simply mention your member status in the comment section during your checkout!)

 

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