What is Pu’er? It is made from sun-dried raw materials of broad leaf species from Yunnan, China, that has undergone an exacting production process. Classified into raw (non-fermented) or ripe (fermented) tea, it is power packed with complex flavours. Pu’er has abundant amounts of antioxidants and aids in weight loss. Like that apple a day which keeps the doctor away, a cup of Pu’er tea helps lower the big C – cholesterol while also aiding digestion.
Pu’er comes in two forms- loose tea leaves or compressed into various shapes. Traditionally, Pu’er was exported from Yunnan on horses along the Old Tea Horse Road. The tea leaves were compressed to save space for ease of transportation.
Raw Pu’er was first consumed more than 2000 years ago. The general characteristics are its black and yellow-green dry tea leaves, fresh floral aroma, rich aftertaste with golden or amber tea broth. It is appreciated especially by experts and collectors.
Ripe Pu’er on the other hand has a shorter history dating back to the 1970s. It features an accelerated fermentation technique with humidity and temperature to remove the astringency of the raw materials. The reddish brown tea leaves are compressed after fermentation. A strong brew with a woody aroma and mellow full flavour in dark brown tea broth, unlike raw Pu’er which requires storage to acquire its unique characteristics, ripe Pu’er is ready to drink.