PU'ER TEA

Often referred to as a post-fermented tea, Pu’er is named after the town in which it is produced in China’s Yunnan province. These teas are highly valued in China where the processing methods have been a well-guarded secret for centuries. Pu-erh’s distinct flavor comes from the fact that after the leaves are picked, they are made into a sundried base tea called maocha and then fermented. After that, the leaves are aged and then packed into bricks or cakes.

This tea contains mico-organisms with probiotic properties, which aid digestion and promote a healthy immune system, though it is commonly consumed to aid weight loss. After the leaves are processed, they are steamed and pressed into cakes and aged for several years before they are sold. This process allows the teas to not only improve with age like a fine wine, but many pu-erhs are able to retain their freshness for up to fifty years. 

What is Pu'er?

Pu'er tea is made from a larger leaf strain of camellia sinensis called Dayeh, which are ancient trees with mature leaves that are said to be between 500 and 1000 years old. These trees are usually grown in temperate regions and although they can be harvested year-round, the opportune time to harvest is in mid-spring. Various conditions and environmental factors can impact the flavor profile of pu'er, resulting in a rich experience for the tea drinker's palate of this bold tea that can be smooth, fruity, peaty, grassy, musky, herbal and earthy.


There are two types of pu’er tea – raw or sheng pu'er and ripe or shou pu'er. Raw tea is a naturally fermented tea whose flavor become better with aging, while the ripe pu’er is suitable for drinking immediately. The popularity of pu’er rose in the 1970s with the invention of ripe pu'ers that made production of this tea faster and easier. Today, pu'er continues to be regarded as a highly prized commodity. Even in modern society, a well-preserved pu'er still maintains its value and remains a household treat. 

How Pu'er is Made

Making Oolong Tea manila

1

Withering

Withering (sun drying) is the first processing stage of pu'er teas, and the leaves are first spread out in indirect sunlight. his enhances the tea´s sweetness and prepares the leaves for further processing.

Making Oolong Tea manila

2

Killing Green

Stir-frying the leaves in a wok by hand or in a drying machine to deactivate the enzymes within the leaves.

Making Oolong Tea manila

3

Rolling

Kneading and rolling the leaves by hand or by machine for shaping and further removing moisture from the leaves

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4

Sun drying

After the rolling process, the leaves are scattered out evenly on bamboo mats for drying in the sun. In some factories, rather than sun drying, they will place the leaves in a room with heat or use other heating devices to dry out the leaves.

Making Oolong Tea manila

5

Sorting & Sifting

Finally the dry maocha [loose leaf pu'er tea] is sorted and picked clean of of any larger, older leaves such huangpian [the largest leaf in pu'er picking]. The tea is also examined for various foreign objects that may have snuck in during the processing.

Making Oolong Tea manila

6

Aging

After compression, the pu'er tea is stored in cellars under unique temperature and moisture conditions. These conditions create subtle chemical processes, that further mature and mellow the tea over time. You can drink Pu erh tea after three months of ageing. It takes years, however, before the tea starts to develop that unique aged pu'er flavour.

9 key Pu'er Benefits

  • High in Antioxidants
  • Helps Prevent Cancer
  • Improves Mental Health
  • Improves Heart Health
  • Boosts Alertness and Performance
  •    Aids Weight Loss
  • Strengthens Teeth and Bones
  • Anti-viral & anti-bacterial
  • Lowers Cholesterol Level

How to Brew Pu'er Tea

Green Tea Crepe Cake
  • If you're making pu'er from a compressed form of tea (rather than loose-leaf pu'er), you'll need to gently pry off about a teaspoon or two of leaves. You can use a dull knife to do this.
  • Once you have your pu'er leaves ready to steep, you'll want to 'rinse' them remove the dust that has formed as the pu'er has fermented, as well as to 'awaken' the leaves. To rinse your pu'er, place the tea leaves in a brewing vessel, pour near-boiling water over them and then quickly discard the water.
  • After you've rinsed your pu'er, you're ready to steep it. Use water that's around 90-100°C or at full roiling boil, and steep it for 30 seconds to three minutes. 
  • Pour the tea through a strainer into the cups. Enjoy.

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