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Pu erh Tea

Pu erh TeaPu erh Tea, The traditional home of Pu erh tea is  Yunnan province, South West China, some  historians believe  all tea can be traced back to Yunnan?, it is a very old area with a long history of tea production… a number of ancient  trees in Yunnan are still producing premium tea today… some are more than 1,000 years old.

The mountains and rain forests of Yunnan offer rich diversity and have proven ideal for growing unique tea’s.

This is the area of Xichuanbanna and the six famous mountains.  At the heart of Yunnan’s South West is the city of Puer, the base of the province’s ancient tea market, and from where “Pu erh tea” derives its name.

Quality aged Pu erh in its uncooked form (naturally aged) is sought after and collectible, especially when the tea leaves are  hand picked in Spring from organic wild trees, these tea leaves known as “old tree Pu erh” are carefully processed, this type of Pu erh if verified and sourced from a reputable tea factory or tea trader…is always sold at a premium price and is highly collectible…

People collect Pu erh tea for many reasons, the common reasons is the enjoyment, taste and history of this unique tea, as well as the health benefits from drinking Pu erh, also carefully aged Pu erh commands a high price which increases with age, so in some cases Pu  erh tea is collected for its investment potential.

Once confined to the more traditional markets of Tibet and Mongolia Pu erh is now becoming accepted world wide, In the early years Pu erh was transported North from Yunnan across arduous mountain trails to be exchanged for much prized, Tibetan horses, this tea trail similar to the more famous Great Silk Road, is known as the Tea Horse Road.

In recent times Pu erh has become sought after in Hong Kong and to a lesser extent the West for its health benefits, it has long been known as a slimming tea as it helps speed up the digestion of meats and fatty foods, this is why it is often offered in Yum Cha  restaurants, many of Pu erh’s health benefits are thought to stem from its slow natural fermentation, this slow fermentation process is why Pu erh tea improves with age. (as well its price increases as it ages)

This natural aging of Pu erh tea can now be sped up,  a process was discovered in 1973 to create fermented Pu erh in about 2-3 months, this Pu erh is known as ripe or cooked Pu erh, though still of good quality, In the eyes of collectors or tea connoisseurs this cooked Pu erh will not take the place of the highly prized naturally aged Pu erh tea.

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