Our ripe Golden Pu-erh (shou cha) black tea has been aged for five years in a dark cave in Yunnan Province. This aging process in a relatively high humidity environment has mellowed the elemental character of the tea when compared to young Pu-erh (aged about 1 year). As with wine, young pu-erh is considered the least valuable whereas pu-erh 5 years or older is more highly prized. Interestingly the taste of pu-erh becomes more mellow with age and perhaps more acceptable to the western palate.
Ripe, or shou cha, pu erh is fermented. The method of production is very involved. The tea leaves are picked, rolled, withered
in the hot sun, and finally steamed. The steaming process moistens the leaves which are then pressed into cakes without drying. While the cakes naturally dry, the tea takes on an earthy character. Pu erh that gets somewhat moldy before it completely dries is considered the best. Pu erh is then stored for a length of time, never less than 6 months.
Pressed pu-erh is easy to transport and store. About 1000 years ago, tea bricks were carried by mules and people down the Tea Horse Road (now called the Ancient Tea Horse Road). The road connected Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces to Burma, Bengal, Tibet and Central China. It was named as such because tea bricks were often traded for Tibetan ponies. The horses were then used by China to fight nomads in the north.
This pu-erh has been broken up out of the cakes to make it easier to use as a loose leaf tea.
This tea can be steeped many times before loosing it's flavor. Each steep uncovers new flavors.
Suggested Additives: Milk, Sugar, Lemon and/or Mint.
Caffeine Content: Medium.
Antioxidant Level: High.
This tea is packaged in thick, bpa-free plastic bags with a reusable zip lock top to keep your tea fresh. One side is black, the other side clear. All bags are heat sealed.