- Pu’erh, or Dayeh, is a big leaf variety of tea cultivated and picked all year unlike other tea varieties that were unavailable part of the year.
- Although dark Pu’erh tastes a lot like black tea, it isn’t black tea or oolong tea but is a class all its own.
- Pu’erh’s processing is very similar to black tea processing with the exception of some steps. Pu-erh tea is picked, processed and partly fired to allow the leaves to keep some of its moisture and then piled. The natural bacteria that is retained by the leaves result in a process quite similar to making compost.
- The tea is allowed to age underground, which adds unique character to the tea.
- A special characteristic of Pu-erh tea is that like wine, it becomes better with age. Aged tea is actually very valuable and, like vintage wine, can be aged for as long as 100 years.
- The tea is kept in warm but moist warehouses which permits it to slowly mature and mellow through chemical processes over a period of time. One can drink Pu-erh tea after 3 months or 5 years, depending on the vintage desired.
II. Pu-erh’s Origins
VIII. Storing Pu-Erh Tea