Pu-erh is a "Living" tea. There are two types of tea we in the West commonly refer to as Pu-erh: Raw Pu-erh (Sheng tea) and Ripe Pu-erh (Shou tea). The difference is in the aging process. Raw Pu-erhs are typically fermented very slowly by being stored in cellars and aged for up to 25 years. Raw Pu-erh vintages are characterized by warm tones of earth, damp moss and oak that shift and shape during the aging process. Ripe Pu-erh is processed according to a method developed at the Kunming tea factory in 1973. The Kunming factory devised the method in an effort to make Puerh teas available to ordinary tea drinkers in China. When making Ripe Pu-erh, the tea is fermented over a matter of weeks under heavy wet blankets. During fermentation, the tea develops characteristics very similar to that of aged Pu-erh. The leaf is then pressed into a cake-like form, wrapped, dated and shipped to market.
Pu-erh Mandarins are one of the China's most interesting and uniquely rare teas. Besides the obvious fact that the tea is packed in an mandarin (tangerine), the care of craftsmanship used to get it in there cannot be underestimated. From the careful plucking of centuries old tea bushes, to the rolling on wide wicker baskets to the natural wood fires used to flash heat the mandarin orange peel, everything is done entirely by hand.
In China, some of the exceptionally rare and aged Pu-erhs can be sold at auction at 10-15 thousands dollars per Pu-erh cake (pie).
Note that White Pu-erh is one the rare teas, and is generally produced for the internal market in China.
Steeping Time: Pu-erh is the most fermented tea, with a very low content of tannin. Brew for 5 minutes.
Shelf life of nitrogen-flushed and vacuum sealed packs: 20-22 years.
Packaging: re-seal zipper pouches with window, tin tie glassine paper bags, vacuum sealed bags
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