Tea 201 – Pu-erh Tea – Shu Pu-erh

shu pu erh Tea 201   Pu erh Tea   Shu Pu erh

Shu Pu-erh

Pu-erh tea: the wine of teas. I know by now that some of you know what Pu-erh is based on my article on Chinese Mythology: The Legend of Pu-erh. But those of you who had not read it, here’s a quick rehash as to the 101 on Pu-erh tea:

Pu-erh is characterized by the fact that it is packed into tight, hard cakes and allowed to go through an aging process of fermentation (very similar to wine) for a determined amount of time based on the taste and texture that the tea producer wants (also similar to wine!)

There are two main types of Pu-erh tea based on their characters. Today we are going to talk about Shu Pu-erh:

Shu Pu-erh is also known as “ripened” Pu-erh, created in the 1970s to accommodate the growing need for aged Pu-erh in China and Taiwan. In order to make Shu Pu-erh, you will find that there are a lot of similarities between Sheng Pu-erh and Shu Pu-erh until the initial drying.

Once picked, the leaves are withered then heat treated with a wok to stop oxidation. Then the leaves are left to dry in the sun. If the weather is not favorable, the tea is then heated in a large oven to try and replicate the process. This is not preferred because it can change the quality (and therefore taste of the tea). Then the leaves are arranged in piles and allowed to ferment in a way that is not so dissimilar to compost. Tea producers actually need to be careful with this step because if left to run amok, then the tea can actually decompose and lose any appeal. This process can take up to 60 days depending on the tea producer. Once finished the tea is steamed in order to be pliable again and shaped into the typical cake shape.

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Tea 201 – Pu-erh Tea – Sheng Pu-erh

sheng pu erh Tea 201   Pu erh Tea   Sheng Pu erh

Sheng Pu-erh

Pu-erh tea: the wine of teas.  I know by now that some of you know what Pu-erh is based on my article on Chinese Mythology: The Legend of Pu-erh.  But those of you who had not read it, here’s a quick rehash as to the 101 on Pu-erh tea:

Pu-erh is characterized by the fact that it is packed into tight, hard cakes and allowed to go through an aging process of fermentation (very similar to wine) for a determined amount of time based on the taste and texture that the tea producer wants (also similar to wine!)

There are two main types of Pu-erh tea based on their characters.  Today we are going to talk about Sheng Pu-erh:

Sheng Pu-erh is also known as raw and green Pu-erh tea (Chinese茶; pinyin: shēngchá or Chinese茶;  pinyin: qīngchá)

.  There are two types of Sheng that are solely based on whether or not they are completely post-fermented or not.  For this type of tea, the longer it is aged, the more complete the polyphenols saccharomyces and non-saccharomyces oxidations are.

In fact, there are those that liken Sheng Pu-erh to simple green tea (with a few notable differences)

Sheng is normally left in the sun to dry naturally.  However if the weather is not permitting then the tea producers will continue this process but through light heating.  This is not done lightly as it can affect the quality of the tea.  Afterwards the tea is pan fried in a wok to stop any natural oxidation from occurring.  Then the leaves are rolled and rubbed to be shaped, dried again and then finally placed into stone molds to give them that characteristic Pu-erh ‘shape.’

What do you all think? I would like to try this Pu-erh.  I know that it would have the similar ‘grassy’ flavor of a green tea…but the shapes must be fun, too.  Right?

Posted in Article, Pu'erh Tea, Puer, Pu’erh, Tea, Tea 101, Tea 201 | 2 Comments »

Morning Cup #10 – September 30th 2011

MorningCup Morning Cup #10   September 30th 2011

Morning Cup is a daily segment where I post what I am drinking this morning with a quick pic of my beverage and some initial thoughts. These posts are not thorough reviews, and haven’t been put through my standard review process.

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Posted in Bagged Tea, Chinese Tea, Morning Cup, Numi Tea, Pu'erh Tea, Puer, Pu’erh, Tea, Tea Bags | No Comments »