Chinese pu'er is a complex tea originated in the endless fields of Yunnan Province in southwest China, the area where most believe the Camellia Sinensis plant was first discovered. A powerful tea with noticeable effect on the human body, compared to other types of tea, and constant references in Chinese medicine. Pu'er tea 普洱茶 is a modern name, named after a tea town in Menghai district of Yunnan, divided into two groups: Raw Pu'er and Ripe Pu'er .
The original version of pu'er tea, raw pu'er 生普洱 in some places is still being produced in traditional methods by tribes and ethnic groups throughout Yunnan province. It is estimated that raw pu'er is the earliest tea exists today, closest to the tea produced in earlier days. The method of producing the raw tea is quite similar to the procedure for green tea (tea with long history of its own). The essential difference is in the natural and refined way in which the leaves are being dried, keeping the leaves' enzymes alive along with a slight percentage of moisture, which together allow a slow fermentation process that extend the shelf life of the tea and improves it. The result is aged raw pu'er that has darkened to shades of brown, gray and black, producing a reddish brown liquor. The qualities of a well-aged pu'er place it at an extraordinary level of prestige and high value.
A later version of Pu'er tea, ripe pu'er 熟普洱, is a modern development of the 1970s from the same tea town known as Pu'er. Raw pu'er leaves that undergo a post process of "accelerated fermentation" under controlled humidity and heat conditions, are named ripe pu'er. The result is a time travel - dark, moldy young tea leaves that seems as they have fermented comfortably for many years. What was probably a source of counterfeits, quickly became another respected group of the Chinese tea family. Today, ripe pu'er is arguably considered the favorite Chinese tea by foreigners, probably due to its strong character and dominant flavors which are more familiar to the western palate.
Our pu'er products come from family-run farms in numerous villages in southeastern Yunnan. There is no end to how deep you can dig into details and nuances in terms of character and qualities between different types of pu'er. Every season we continue to expand our local supply and explore new areas with each visit to our favorite province. We also keep ageing our young pu'er stock by ourselves under precise conditions, to be sold in its peak when the time comes.