Pu-Erh Tea is made from older, hairy leaves from a type of tea bush called “broad leaf tea” grown in Yunnan Province, China.
It has an earthy, mellow taste.
The leaves are harvested, allowed to wilt, then heaped up a bit, then allowed to ferment a bit, then dried out.
The leaves are then pressed into bricks that can take many shapes — round, ball, square even mushroom shaped. These are then wrapped in paper, and aged underground. They are usually aged 1 to 4 years, but sometimes up to 50 years. As the tea leaves age, a layer of mould may form on them.
It is sold either by the brick, or loose (shaved off the bricks.)
Pu-erh tea can be divided into three groups, based on processing methods: Pu-erh special tea, Pu-erh green tea and Yunnan black tea.
It also can be classified into two types by its shape: Pu-erh compressed tea and loose tea.
Some special types are even wrapped in pomello rinds instead of paper. Another is made just from the minute, black droppings of some worms that feed on the bricks (sic.)
The tea brews up to have a dark reddish brown colour.
Tibetans add salt to the brewed tea instead of sugar.
Use a knife to shave off the amount you want from the brick.
Use 5 to 6 grams per 8 oz (125 ml) of boiling water.
The tea steeped for a long time. As the tea is not bitter, it can be brewed very strong.