So I am (finally) intorducing the last member of the Camellia Sinesis family!
Pu Er (aged/ Pu-erh) Teas: Originated in Yunnan Province in the South of China. This was used by Chinese medicine practitioners for their digestive properties and cleansing action. This remains a Chinese specialty. The oxidation is not enzyme related. They are known as aged teas.
- Two types of Pu Er:
- Sheng: (raw) known for rich taste and medicinal properties. Fermented over a long period of time, from 10-50 years.
- Shou (cooked) rapid fermentation, meant for immediate consumption. Lower quality than sheng.
- Picking: A grading system of 1-9 defines the size of the leaves.
- Withering: Leaves are spread in the sun for a few hours. In industrial processing, the leaves are spread in racks in a room and heated with hot-water radiant heat.
- Heating: small scale heating takes place in pans and lasts for 2-3 minutes. The batches of leaves are far bigger that those used when producing green teas, and are heated by means of wood fires.
- Rolling: rolled by hand on a bamboo mat until they form a large ball.
- Second heating: Sometimes the leaves are heated a second time.
- Second rolling: same method as the first rolling.
- Drying: Leaves are dried in the sun or in a temperature-controlled greenhouse.
- Sorting: All residue is eliminated from the leaves by sorting manually.
- Sheng Pu Er:
- Sorting and grouping: leaves are separated into different grades.
- Compression: leaves are split into groups corresponding to weight. Then they are sprayed with steam to hydrate and soften. The paper indicating the trademark of the tea is inserted. Afterwards, the tea is then pressed under a stone.
- Drying: the cakes are laid out to dry
- Packaging: each cake is wrapped individually and packaged in dried bamboo bark.
- Shou Pu Er:
- Fermentation: leaves are placed in a room and covered with water and a cloth. Next they are exposed to heat and humidity for 45-65 days.
- Sorting: leaves are sorted by machine and then by hand.
- Compression: same process as Sheng Pu Er
- Teas I`ve had: Berry Good ( David`s Tea), Chocolate Orange (David`s Tea), Organic Golden Pu-erh (David`s Tea).
Take a look back at the other members of the family:
Dont forget to vote for your fave family member: