With a rich history and famous for their curative properties, Pu-erh teas are aged and fermented teas made from large leaf tea plants native to the forests and jungles of China’s Yunnan Province. The aging process of Pu-erh teas helps develop their earthy aroma, reminiscent of a wet forest, and sweet, smooth and full-bodied taste.
There are two types of Pu-erh: raw (“sheng”) and ripe (“shou”). Both types of Pu-erh are processed similarly in the beginning – leaves are picked, withered outdoors for several hours, fired and then sun dried. The result is a type of green tea known as “maocha”. After the maocha stage, the processing methods diverge. Sheng Pu-erh leaves are left alone to age gradually over time. Shou Pu-erh leaves are gathered into piles where they sit for several months and are exposed to high heat and humidity, which accelerates fermentation. Both Sheng and Shou Pu-erh teas can be kept in a loose form or compressed into various shapes such as cakes, bricks, nuggets and nests.