Liu Bao & Pu Erh Specialty Teas
Chin Bee Tea
Importer and distributor of premium Chinese tea in Malaysia.
Pu Er Tea
Good quality Pu Er has a character of its own. Often described as bold, deep, dark and earthy or even rich with a mushroom-like sweetness.
Pu Er tea is a fermented tea that’s rich and earthy on the palate. It’s a tea that comes from the mountains of Yunnan, China.
It is also a tea with flavours that are enhanced as the years go by. Pu Er tea is usually bought and stored for a long time – the longer you store the tea, the better it becomes! The older the Pu Er tea, the more expensive it becomes.
Pu Er has a long history. The Chinese have been trading Pu Er tea since the Tang dynasty (618 to 907). The tea is even mentioned in the famed Compendium of Materia Medica edited by Zhao Xue Min of the Qing Dynasty.
In the compendium, Yunnan is explicitly mentioned as a famous province famed for its Pu Er tea trading centre at the house of Pu Er. Its Pu Er tea are sourced from the tea-growing mountains of YouLe, GeDeng, YiBang and LiuDaChaShan of Yunnan.
All Pu Er tea that you drink today originates from Yunnan. Its high elevation, rich soils and species diversity make Yunnan a region that is highly suited for growing Pu Er.
Today, you can buy Pu Er tea in loose leaf form or in compressed forms, such as mushroom, tea cake, bricks and etc.
When you buy Pu Er, know what you are buying – raw Pu Er or ripened Pu Er.
Ripened Pu Er teas (fermented or 熟 shou) are tea leaves that have undergone the wet piling process which is a post-fermentation process.
Raw (non-fermented or 生 or sheng) refer to Pu Er teas that have not undergone the wet piling process. They are stored and matured naturally.
The leaves of Camellia sinensis var. assamica grown around the Yunnan region are generally larger. Once the leaves are plucked by hand, they undergo a process called 杀青 (sha qing which literally means “kill green”) to remove the chlorophyll.
This is followed by 揉捻 (rou nian or kneading) and 渥堆, (wo dui or wet piling).
Wet piling tea is a process used to age tea so that it tastes smooth, not harsh or astringent. In the years of past, Pu Er tea needed to age for at least 3 to 5 years naturally through storage before it can be drunk as tea.
Wet piling speeds up the process so that Pu Er tea can be drunk the moment it is packed and exported. This process produces ripened Pu Er tea.