Organically grown Pu-erh ("pooh-air") teas are rare teas most notably originating in China and Taiwan. They are loaded with nutrients and are time-honored for their medicinal benefits.
Unlike other tea styles (green, black, white, oolong, etc.), pu-erhs undergo an intentional fermentation process to create a tea considered alive with active healthful bacteria.
There are two main styles of pu-erh teas, specifically Sheng and Shou. Young green or raw (Sheng) pu-erhs steep into a lighter golden brew with similarities of fragrant, though slightly earthy, green tea. Sheng style pu-erh teas can be aged for many decades to impart deeper earthy tastes and aromas that evolve over time. Prized aged pu-erh teas are often sold at auction with the most expensive pu-erh on record being sold in 2019; it was the Fu Yuan Chang Hao tong (cake) which sold for 3.3 million dollars or $36,400 per ounce!
Shou pu-erhs are teas that have been artificially aged with heat and oxidation to somewhat simulate the effect of an aged Sheng style pu-erh. Cooked (Shou) pu-erh teas are quite bold, dark and inky and often have a slightly musky taste reminiscent of soil and leather.
In general, pu-erhs lack the astringency and bitterness often associated with bold black teas and/or green teas, with many pu-erhs having a slightly sweet and well-satisfying finish.
Pu-erh teas are commonly sought after for functionality related to metabolizing fat, controlling cholesterol, their benefits to heart and circulatory health as well as probiotic qualities and digestive enzymes.
For tips on how to prepare pure leaf pu-erh teas, please visit our Steeping Guide page.