Pu-erh tea is a famous Chinese tea understood for its distinct aging process. Like great white wines, these teas improve with age. They establish rich, full-bodied tastes that have crisp notes and also tips of sweet taste. The longer they are aged, they deeper their flavors end up being.
The aging procedure additionally helps to boost the wellness advantages of pu-erh tea. These benefits include accelerated weight loss as well as enhanced immune performance.
Learn what makes pu-erh tea so distinct and also discover the most effective selections. Unwrap a pu-erh tea cake as well as find a globe of taste fit to please also the pickiest tea aficionado. Looking for robust as well as varied flavor? Have a look at our collection of the very best pu-erh teas right below.
What is Pu-erh Tea?
In China, pu-erh tea is referred to as black tea, while the black tea we are familiar with in the West and North America is called red tea.
Pu-erh tea is made from the fallen leaves of the tea plant known by the herb name Camellia sinensis. This tea is called bo nay or po bouquet in Cantonese and is regularly spelled as pu-er, puer, or pu’er tea. Pu-erh tea comes particularly from the var. assamica range and also is grown exclusively in the Chinese Yunnan Province.
Pu-erh tea is just one of the only teas to get a secured origin classification from China. This suggests that just teas produced from this particular variety as well as in Yunnan Province can be called pu-erh. This designation is similar to the European Union protection of Parmesan cheese from Parma as well as red wines from popular areas.
In China, the limitation is not policed or performed well. Therefore, there are loads otherwise hundreds of knock-off pu-erh teas. For the best taste, seek traditional ranges grown in Yunnan, China.
Manufacturing of Pu-erh Tea
Pu-erh tea is grown mainly along the Lancang River in China. Dozens of tea estates dot the shoreline and also mountainsides. Each producer makes an unique mix of pu-erh tea. Some estates use tips of tea leaves as well as stems while others utilize just large, silver leaves from hillside plants.
The major pu-erh growing regions within Yunnan consist of the Yiwu, Bulang, as well as Jingmai Hills. The tea trees in this area have actually been around for centuries. A few of the much more pricey pu-erh teas originate from plants that have grown for over a 1,000 years. The fallen leaves grown from the ancient trees are called ‘wild arbor’.
Most pu-erh tea is generated by huge tea manufacturing facilities in China, which are regulated by the China National Indigenous Create & Animal Byproducts Import and Export Company called CNNP. The most popular pu-erh factories consist of Menghai Tea Manufacturing facility and also Xiaguan Tea Manufacturing Facility.
Pu-erh teas follow a production procedure comparable to green tea. The leaves are gathered, withered, rolled, dried out, and also shaped. The distinction among pu-erh teas develops from the manufacturing procedure. Ripened pu-erh teas are likewise prepared, causing a darker shade and also richer taste. Raw pu-erh teas are more comparable to eco-friendly teas since they are not roasted or cooked by any means.
Kinds Of Pu-erh Tea
There are 2 major types of pu-erh, raw and also mature. Raw pu-erh fallen leaves resemble environment-friendly tea in regards to manufacturing. Ripened pu-erh teas are kept for years to create and boost taste accounts. Both sorts of pu-erh tea may be matured to strengthen taste. The Chinese term for these aged teas is ‘hei cha’ as well as they are taken into consideration the very best pu-erh teas.
Both raw as well as mature pu-erh teas are marketed in loose fallen leave kind. They are additionally commonly offered as block tea (Juan Chan), cake tea (Beeng Cha), mushroom shape (Maw Gu Toaw), and bell form (Toa Cha).
Raw or Green Pu-erh (Sheng).
Sheng pu-erh teas are made by gathering the leaves and also minimally refining them. Sheng tea is commonly called mao cha, or unfinished tea due to its all-natural flavors that can be bitter. While astringent tastes are the standard, the complete bodied, thick feel of this pu-erh makes it extremely preferred.
The leaves are gently steamed as well as usually pushed right into cakes known as bing cha. These cakes are covered in rice paper and also sold in tea shops and regional markets.
Sheng tea is traditionally aged for at the very least ten years prior to it is thought about drinkable. The tea leaves are aged in differing, yet damp climates to draw out tastes. Sheng pu-erh is usually matured in Asia, particularly in Malaysia, Thailand, Southern China, as well as Hong Kong. Western environments are not almost as friendly to pu-erh tea production and also it is exceptionally uncommon in technique.
Some producers age Sheng tea in warm and also moist atmospheres while others favor use cool and much less damp storage facilities. In either case, bacteria, mold, and yeast grow on the tea leaves throughout the aging process. These substances change the taste profile and also develop rich, nuanced pu-erh tea.
Sheng pu-erh is frequently aged for decades. The young sheng teas are usually matured for 10 to 15 years. Young Sheng often tends to have strong, fresh tastes that pass on tips of yard and also vegetal notes.
Ripened or Black (Shou/Shu).
Shou tea is typically called ripe or prepared tea. While Sheng teas need a considerable manufacturing procedure, Shou tea was created to accelerate fermentation as well as copy well-aged Sheng teas. Shou tea is produced by including an extra phase to the basic manufacturing process.
The fallen leaves are collected and afterwards positioned right into a huge heap in an encased space– this is referred to as the cooking stage. Below, the leaves are kept damp and also hot for a duration of about 60 days. This motivates the growth of mold and mildew and also microorganisms that lend one-of-a-kind taste. The fallen leave stack is continuously turned over to blend the microorganisms effectively across all tea leaves.
After the preliminary production process, ripe pu-erh tea can be aged. Aged pu-erh teas are ready for consumption in as low as 3 months, however a lot of do not establish full taste up until the five-year mark. Top quality pu-erh teas can be matured for half a century or even more.
Youthful Shou pu-erh can have a dubious flavor that mellows out the longer it is aged. Shou offers a crisp finish that is highlighted by floral sweet taste. The flavor accounts become much more intricate with crisp, sweet notes.