Pu Er Tea Guide - Introduction to Pu Er Teas

What is Pu Er tea?
Pu 'er tea is originally produced in the LanCang River basin of southern Yunnan and western Yunnan. Through the process of fermentation and store for a certain period of time in which puer tea is formed. The tea then either stores as loose leaf teas known as “mao cha” or it will be compressed into a tea cake, tea brick, or tea tuo for better aging. Puer tea has a great value as it ages, and can be stored as many years as possible. Through aging it allows the tea to be more smooth, earthy and smooth.

 
What is raw puer tea?
Puer raw tea also known as (Sheng Cha in Chinese). It’s processed as a half fermented tea, it’s characterized by its strong tea property with a grassy tea smell, strong taste of bitter sweetness and strong cha qi aroma. With the extension of storage it allows the tea to ferment deepen, as water extract gradually reduced, the aroma becomes more pure. Bitterness taste decreased, tea liqueur color deepened gradually to a reddish tone. This gradual change process under a normal storage usually takes 15 to 20 years. Raw Pu Er tea can be stored as loose leaf tea (known as Mao Cha) or it can be pressed into teacakes, tea bricks or tuo cha for better storage.
What is cooked Pu Er tea?
Pu er ripe tea or cooked pu er (known as Shou Cha in Chinese), is a full-fermented tea, Through unique processing method such as de-green, rolling, drying, stacking and pile fermentation (wo dui). After wet piling for 45-60 days ripe pu er tea transform from fresh tea leaves to a reddish brown color appearance. Ripe Pu Er will then be stored for 2-3 years to reach to an earthy mellow taste, aged for 5-8 years in dry storage will be praised as a top grade tea.
 How to distinguish raw and cooked Pu 'er Tea?
To distinguish the raw and cooked puer tea method are many, generally from the aspects of appearance, raw puer tea duration of ten years following the color is dark green, cooked puer tea is dark brown, followed by the smell, raw puer tea smells faint scent, and cooked puer tea smells a earthy fragrance , From looking at the tea liquor raw puer tea liquor are greenish yellow orange while cooked pu-erh tea is maroon, dark chestnut.
What are spring tea, summer tea and autumn tea. How to distinguish?
Spring tea is harvested from February to April, with the spring tea harvested within 15 days after Tomb-sweeping Day as the high quality teas, majority of the spring harvest leafs are one bud one leafs, tea buds is fine and white.Summer tea is harvested from May to July, also known as rain tea. Tea taste will be more Autumn tea is harvested from August to October also known as Grain flower tea.
 
How to grade Pu 'er tea? What is the difference between the graders。
Pu'er tea is divided into high, medium and low grades. Advanced loose tea is divided into: palace tea, ritual tea, special tea.  Grade one to five is the middle grade, grade six to ten is the lower graded tea. When grading, there are more buds of higher grade and more stem of lower grade.
A common question many tea followers will asked. Is the higher the grade the better the quality?
Not necessarily , the higher the grade tea is more tender, but we still have to compare to how the tea is processed, and storage time for the puer. For example lower graded tea store for longer may have a better taste in compare to younger higher grade tea.
 

 
What is dry storage puer and wet storage puer? What is the difference?
Puer tea stored in a warehouse with humidity below 80% and allowed to age slowly and naturally, transforming into "aged aroma" quality is known as dry storage puer. Wet storage puer is humidity above 80%, this allows the puer to rapid age and transformed.
Thank you for reading through, we hope this answers your questions. Feel free to leave a comment below for things we didn't cover. Hopefully will be in our next tea blog post. 

  • Jane on

    Great content!


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