Fine wine is to American and European connoisseurs as puerh tea is to their counterparts in Asia. Both fine wine and puerh tea are known by their region of origin, production methods and vintage which all contribute to their unique aromas and flavor profiles. Puerh tea (pronounced pooh-arh), considered the "King of Teas", originates in the indigenous tea trees of Yunnan, China, some more than 2,000 years old. This region of southwest China is the birthplace of ancient arbor tea trees and has come to symbolize the long and rich history of the Chinese tea tradition. Also preserved from its ancient past is the traditional practice of harvesting puerh tea. Puerh leaves are picked in the spring and autumn by mountain villagers who press the tea into round cakes and bricks. These tea cakes are naturally fermented over time under special conditions, creating a therapeutic alchemy of probiotics, phytonutrients, amino acids and antioxidants. This tea does not lose its flavor with time like other teas. Rather, like fine wines, puerh teas' taste improves with each passing year. As a result, these teas become more medicinal and highly treasured over time. It is perhaps because this singular feature, the capacity to improve with age, that puerh is also called "a drinkable antique." Raw Puerh Tea: Younger vintages of raw puerh share similar characteristics to many varieties of green tea from China. However, green puerhs from ancient trees have more sophisticated and complex flavors, unique to their specific regions. As these teas age, they become fuller, smoother and develop their famous full mouth sensation and long-lasting finish. The experience of drinking a well-aged raw puerh is wonderfully unique and enjoyable. Ripe Puerh Tea: Is usually aged using post-fermentation methods developed in the 1970s. Ripe puerh, when well produced, stands out as an incredibly valuable therapeutic herb and equally as an exquisitely enjoyable beverage. High in pro-biotic content, it is famous for its overall health & digestive support. Ripe puerh has a large range of complex flavors depending on many factors. Properly brewed it has a sweet, mellow taste, often described as carrying earthy vibrations. Fine ripe puerh can have a rich and honey like sweetness that is simply delectable.
Various Spellings: Puer, Puerh, Pu'er, Pu-erh
"Puer" is technically correct spelling utilizing pinyin romanization, the national standard of the Chinese language. Puerh is Wade-Giles romanization, which has long been out of use save for scholars. Pu-erh, and Pu'er are modern versions we have all come to accept.
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