Pu-erh is an unusual large-leafed oolong with a characteristic earthy flavor. The color is very dark, almost red. It is marketed in bulk as Pu-erh or shaped into cakes as Pu'er Cake Tea. Some varieties are cultivated to develop a thin layer of mold on the leaves. (Although this is unusual for most tea, Western tea drinkers ought to keep in mind that mold is also a key ingredient in widely consumed Western products such as cheese.) However, all teas we sell are dry storaged without any mold.
Pu-erh is renowned for its alleged medicinal effects on the digestive tract. Some Chinese, in fact, drink it only as medicine. In any case, it is an acquired taste. The term 'earthy' applies almost literally, as some pu-erh tastes remarkably like dirt. This is not a criticism, but novices should taste the tea before buying it.
It is fermented after processing and then aged. This tea is intentionally aged - green teas are always better fresh. The aged tea, often formed into bricks or cakes of different shapes and sizes tends to get smoother and richer with age. Rare Pu-erh can be 30 years old. Click on a name or picture to get more information on each tea.