Pu-erh, also spelled pu'er, is a type of fermented tea that is traditionally produced in the Yunnan province of China. Pu-erh is made using a unique method of microbial fermentation known as wet piling that is applied after the tea leaves have been dried and rolled. The resulting tea is incredibly dynamic: it oxidizes slowly and develops complex aromas and flavors as it ages. No two pu-erh teas are ever the same: they have vintages much like wine with some blocks of pu-erh being value at thousands of dollars. Yunnan chitsu pingcha is pu-erh that has been processed through high-temperature steaming and pressing to form cakes. This tea cake produces bright red-yellow tea with a pure aroma, refined flavor, and sweet, lingering aftertaste that is light and refreshing.
Uses: Break off pieces of pu-erh cake with your fingers or a tea needle and brew with almost boiling water. We recommend one teaspoon (3 grams) of tea to eight ounces (250 grams) of water with a steep time of 1.5 minutes. The tea leaves should be reused at least three times to fully savor the flavors. Rock sugar can be added for a layer of sweetness if desired.
Sheng pu-erh is fully raw tea that becomes more complex as it ages. Shou pu-erh is the same tea that has undergone an additional fermentation process to yield a darker, earthier tea.