Pu-erh https://greenelly.com/ is a post-fermented tea that is obtained from the leaves of the Assam variety of tea bush. The collected leaves are dried in the sun, steamed and pressed into briquettes of various shapes. Then they are left to ripen in special conditions where microbial fermentation occurs. This process can last from several months to several decades. During fermentation, tea changes its chemical composition, taste and aroma.
The history of puerh goes back to antiquity. It is believed that the first mention of it dates back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). At that time, tea was a valuable commodity that was transported from Yunnan province to other regions of China and neighboring countries along the so-called “Tea Road”. On the way to the buyer, the tea had time to ripen and acquire special qualities. Later, in order to improve its properties, the tea began to be specially aged.
There are two main types of pu’er: shen pu’er (raw or green) and shu pu’er (aged or black). Shen Pu’er is produced using traditional technology: the leaves are fermented naturally over a long period of time. Shu pu-erh appeared at the end of the 20th century as a result of experiments with accelerated fermentation: the leaves are exposed to high temperature and humidity for several weeks. Shen pu-erh is considered to be of higher quality and more expensive than shu pu-erh, but the latter is more common on the mass market.