Oxidized, fermented, and aged. Damp leaves are placed in the hot sun to wither. They are pile fermented and aged in either dry or humidity-controlled conditions for a time ranging from 4 months to many years.
Pu-erh tea is considered the most exotic tea in China and has experienced a resurgence in popularity and culture in recent times. Pu-erh is both an ancient and traditional form of tea preparation, but it has also become a popular tea among urban connoisseurs and those wanting to experience the energetics of tea.
The tropical region where it is grown (Yunnan Province-the birthplace of tea), its incredible range of tastes, its fermentation process, and its unique appearance make pu-erh a must try experience. Under the Tang Dynasty (618-907), pu-erh was developed during the days of the Tea Horse Road, a series of trade routes to Tibet. Pu-erh is packaged as loose tea or compressed into cakes. Historically, the tea was compressed to make it easier to transport on horse, while today, the function is to assist the tea to improve with age.
Sheng (Raw) Pu-erh Tea
Sheng Pu-erh has an incredibly delicious, clean and earthy flavor. Processing sheng pu-erh involves plucking the leaves, drying them briefly in the sun and aging them either loose or compressed. If stored properly, raw pu-erh can age indefinitely and be worth hundreds of dollars. Tea connoisseurs highly value the complexity and unique flavor of aged raw pu-erh.
Prices range from 6.50 – 15.95
Mao Cha, 2004 – Unfinished Tea
Mao Cha is the semi-processed raw leaf material used for making pressed pu-erh tea. Processing involves withering the leaves in the sun, pan-frying, and drying. Mao cha leaves are then ready to be pressed into raw pu-erh discs or bricks, or the leaves will undergo a post-fermentation process to create ripe pu-erh. Mao Cha has a woodsy taste with a sweet and floral finish. Multiple infusions.
Lao Shu Bing Cha, 2011 – Wild Tree Pu-erh
From the old growth tea gardens in the Xishuangbanna jungles of Southern Yunnan, this large variety of pu-erh is marked by its abundance of wild tree leaves. The newly harvested leaves and buds are taken from the ancient forests and left to wither and dry in the sun on bamboo mats. The leaves are steamed before they are pressed into large suns. Experiencing the sweet-and-sour amber brew of Lao Shu Bing Cha is like taking a stroll through the old tea trees of the jungle — humbling and invigorating all at once.
Bulang Mountain, 2008
Comprised of high altitude, first flush, raw arbor leaves from the Mengku tea harvesting region in Yunnan. Bulang Mountain is smooth and richly textured with a pleasant, clean aroma and slightly floral notes. A potent and sweet aftertaste. Multiple infusions.
Purple Leaf, 2012
This purple pu-erh comes from a unique tea bush cultivar that grows in the Yi Wu mountains in Yunnan, China. The tea is harvested only at the beginning of spring when its leaves are surprisingly purple. The purple color is a result of a richness in antioxidants, zinc and amino acids found in the leaves. This tea is particularly valued for its health qualities as well as its fragrant, rich and smooth flavor. Multiple infusions.
Mang Fei Shan, 2007 – Premium Offering
High quality spring tea made from leaves from old arbor trees grown on Mang Fei Mountain of Lincang. Its distinguished leaves have pronounced hairy buds and stout stems. Flavorful, smooth, slightly smoky with hints of sweet vanilla – the perfect tea. Multiple infusions.
Shou (Ripe) Pu-erh Tea
Shou pu-erh is a ripe, black variation that was developed in the 1970s as the demand increased for pu-erh that could be consumed without aging. The tea leaves go through an accelerated fermentation process similar to composting. In turn, compressed tea leaf cakes are steam heated to speed up the aging. This “cooking” creates a darker amber color and deep, earthy taste.
Prices range from 6.50 – 16.95
Ling Dao Been, 2005 – Spirit Path Pu-erh
Ling Dao Been is mildly fermented and aged with profiles reminiscent of wet wood, minerals, and hints of vanilla. It is shaped into a small compressed been or disc and is both grounding and uplifting, clean and dry offering a pleasant aroma with a lingering finish. A classic and perfectly rounded pu-erh ideal for those seeking the middle way. Multiple infusions.
Camel’s Breath, 2004 – Mini Tuocha Shou
Don’t let the name deter you from savoring this pu-erh’s smooth, rounded, & earthy brew. Easily an everyday tea, the dark and sturdy liquor has a real depth of character without overwhelming the senses. A fantastic tea for those new to pu-erh and seasoned tea drinkers alike.
Noble Leaf, 2009 – Imperial Grade Loose Leaf
A high-grade loose leaf pu-erh made with superior quality tippy leaves, this “superior” grade was offered as a tribute to the emperors in China long ago. Refreshing and smooth on the palate, this tea is slightly earthy with hints of nuts and cocoa. Multiple infusions.
Tibetan Mushroom Pu-erh, 2010
One of the most popular shapes in the Tibetan market, this unique mushroom-shaped shou pu-erh has a deep, malty and well rounded infusion. In 1941, this shape of pu-erh was dedicated to the Panchen Lama of Tibet, also known as the Living Buddha, as a tea tribute to him. The pressed “mushroom” shape of this pu-erh was designed to resemble his hat.
Meng Hai Tuo Cha, 2012 – Shou Pu-erh Nest
Meng Hai Tuo Cha is a great tea for those new to drinking “cooked” pu-erhs because it has a well balanced taste between earthy and sweet. This tea is processed by pressing it into large nest shapes (tuo) as a method for storing and shipping. It is one of our darker and ruddier pu-erhs reminiscent of underground caverns where treasures are kept secret.
Zhuan Cha, 2013
This dense, fully oxidized tea, pressed into the shape of a brick, is one of our boldest and down-to-earth pu-erhs in house due to its tempered but strong, robust, smoky and bittersweet flavor. A classic pu-erh. Multiple infusions.
Cha Tou Shou Cha, 2012 – Pu-erh Nuggets
This almost quadruple fermented pu-erh has become quite popular in Yunnan for its well-matured, persistent qualities. Pu-erh “nuggets” are the result of fermenting shou pu-erh. Once pu-erh tea has been oxidized and fermented for four months, it is gathered, processed and stored. Pu-erh nuggets are the clumps of tea which are scraped off fermentation room floors before a new round of tea is manufactured. The resulting brew is dark amber in color, surprisingly sweet and bold in taste, and uplifting to the spirit.
Bamboo Pu-erh, 2008
Traditional “ripe” pu-erh packed into the hollow center of bamboo and roasted over an open fire. This pu-erh possesses a sweet, wood imbued flavor with a thick, creamy mouth-feel.
Himalayan Brick, 2002 – Pressed Gold Tips
The Golden Brick is a high-grade Tibetan pu-erh that contains mostly buds and small leaves. With a strong and thick mouth feel, its rich and complex liquor tastes of woody bark, roasted nuts and decaying wood. Wrapped in bamboo bark for storage, this brick promises tea bliss and pure energy. Multiple infusions.
Shen Qi Old Tree, 2000
The leaves of this tea come from ancient wild tea trees in China’s Yunnan Province in the Simao District, which is the starting point for historic tea trade routes by horse caravan to Tibet and India. This shou pu-erh comes to us in loose leaf from, with very dark, aged, and compost-like leaves. Old, wild tea trees have enormous root systems that contribute to the energetic scope of this tea. This old leaf pu-erh yields an amber infusion, yet boasts complex earthy tones reminiscent of muscat, lichen, and moss. Experience the calm, grounded, and focused spirit of this pu-erh. Mulitple infusions.
Lotus Brick, 2004 – Premium Offering
Lotus brick pu-erh contains more stems than leaves resulting in a brew that contains more trace elements. The taste is mellow, earthy, and slightly floral with hints of sugar cane. Each infusion imbues a peaceful calm energy that blossoms and awakens with each cup. Multiple infusions.
Big Snow Mountain, 2015 – Premium Offering
Absorbing the essence of heaven and earth, this elegant high-grade puerh is named after Snow Mountain located in Lincang Region of Yunnan. A delicate, soft and mellow tea, its earthy aroma and smooth finish bring a grounded calm to the tea drinker. Multiple infusions.
Ripe Pu-erh Blends
Prices range from 5.50 – 7.50
Traditional cooked pu-erh packed into mandarin rinds and stored so as to take on an allure of citrus. Beautiful in both presentation and in substance, this delicious pu-erh gives the sensation of being enfolded in a keen shell of deeply nourishing satisfaction.
A spicy twist on traditional pu-erh tea. This is the ultimate digestive infusion.
We are proud to offer this traditional pairing of dark, earthy pu-erh with the subtly sweet and floral chrysanthemum.