Pu-erh consists of larger tea leaves, usually compressed into various shapes, and aged. During the aging process, the teas are exposed to microflora, bacteria and mold that ferment the tea - similiar to wine or cheese. It is a long process, though, and the tea's flavor profile can change drastically, increasing in depth of body and taste over many years. Like fine wines, many connoisseurs become collectors of very old and well-aged Pu-erhs, with some of the most highly regarded examples being well over 30 years old.
Pu-erh comes in two distinct types: sheng pu-erh (the raw or green type) and shu pu-erh (the ripened or black type). Sheng pu-erh is aged naturally before being consumed. The Shu pu-erh process applies heat for accelerated fermentation or "cooking."
We carry both the Sheng (raw) and Shu (cooked) Pu-erh Teas - here are a couple of varieties we recommend:
This individually wrapped green Pu-erh Tuocha is one of the most unique teas we’ve offered to date. Made in the centuries-old “raw” method, the tea leaves underwent only a light processing before three years of aging. Just use one piece for a medium-sized teapot to enjoy a sweet infusion reminiscent of the fragrance of freshly steamed rice.
Our most robust selection, this Shu Pu-erh is the perfect tea for coffee lovers. Made in the centuries-old “cooked” method and then aged for one year, this tea has the sophistication of a much older Pu-erh. Just use one piece for a medium-sized teapot to enjoy a sweet and earthy liquor that can be re-steeped for a dozen infusions or more.