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Learn About Pu-erh Tea

Learn pu_erh TeaPu-erh Tea is the class of tea that is fermented to a certain extent. Pu-erh Tea gets its name from the market of the city of Pu-erh, in Yunnan Province, China, where this tea was historically brought for sale from the more remote regions of the countryside where the tea is actually grown and processed.
Authentic Pu-erh are made with Yunnan’s famous broad-leaf tea tree varietals.

There are two types of Pu-erh: Raw Pu-erh and Cooked (or “Ripe”) Pu-erh.

Often Pu-erh teas are referred to as aged teas. This is because, unlike white, green, yellow, black, and most oolong teas, which are highly perishable and have a short shelf life, well-made pu-erh teas may be stored and aged for years of enjoyment. Also, unlike other teas, Pu-erh teas are usually exposed to a fermentation process.
Both types of Pu-erh Tea (Raw and Cooked) are made with Sai qing “sun-cured green tea,” which is processed by withering, roasting, rolling, kneading and drying the leaves in the sun.

This is how Raw Pu-erh is made: After it is processed as Sai Qing, the tea leaves can either be left loose or compressed into shapes. At this point the tea may either be consumed in this “raw” green/semi-green form, or properly stored for aging, (which means the tea will be subject to further oxidation and to fermentation).

This is how Cooked (or “ripened”) Pu-erh Tea is made:  It is subjected to a transformation through natural fermentation. After the tealeaves have been processed as Sai qing, they are intentionally fermented in piles by adding purified water and mixing the tealeaves in a well-ventilated, climate and temperature controlled room. This process is similar to composting.

Once the desired fermentation is complete, the tea is sorted, graded, and then processed as either loose pu-erh or it can be compressed into shapes (like tea bricks or tea cakes).

The flavor profile of many pu-erh teas are complex layers of pungent earth, moss, damp wood, with and prevailing sweetness.

Please see the Samovar Pu-erh Teas

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Pu-erh 101

A Golden Mini Pu-erh Toucha (Cake Tea)
A Golden Mini Pu-erh Toucha (Cake Tea)

A lot of customers have been asking about Pu-erh tea, so, I thought I would provide a bit of insight into this really magical brew…

Pu-erh is a category of tea, just like Black tea is a category of
tea. And, just like there are different types of black tea (Darjeeling,
Assam, Earl Grey, etc.), there are countless types of Pu-erh teas.

The one special thing about Pu-erh tea unlike all other teas (White tea, Oolong tea, Green Tea, and Black Tea) is that it is the only tea that is intentionally aged, just like a fine wine or cheese.

With that unique processing method, Pu-erh has an incredibly different flavor and effect than all other teas. Pu-er is dark, rich, smooth, and robust with an incredibly deep flavor that often is characterized by notes of chocolate, espresso, and even coffee–but it is tea!

In the US we are only just beginning to discover the variety and deliciousness of Pu-erh tea and Samovar Tea Lounge is currently the largest supplier of certified organic fair trade pu-erh.

Pu-erh Tea Cake Wraped and Unwrapped
Pu-erh Tea Cake Wraped and Unwrapped

In China Pu-erh is known as a”slimming” tea because of its digestive
benefits when sipped with meals,especially with rich, hearty, or oily meals.

Now, how to decide WHICH Pu-erh is right for you? The best way is just to taste away! The flavor of the different types of Pu-erhs ranges from more chocolaty and espresso like (Palace and the Maiden’s Ecstacy), to more oceanic (Menghai Select), to more green (Sun dried Green Beencha and Green Toucha).