Extremely smooth for a black loose leaf Puerh (pronounced POO-ar), this tea is also known as a "ripe" or "cooked" Puerh. Robust and surprisingly tasty with milk, it is distinctly earthy with an unmistakable aged flavor.
The Yunnan province, in southern China, is the home of Puerh teas. Puerh begins life as a sun-dried green tea, known as maocha in Mandarin. This tea is piled, dampened, and covered, which allows the natural blend of bacteria and yeast to begin fermenting or composting the tea leaves. The leaf piles are turned regularly to maintain even fermentation. Eventually, a dark brown leaf is produced - a leaf which, if left in hot water for several minutes, brews up as dark as coffee.
Apart from the loose leaf version, several varieties of cakes, squares and bricks of compressed Puerh are available, ranging in size from a few grams to a half kilogram. These forms were once used as currency in the far reaches of the Chinese Republic and some isolated areas apparently still use them in barter today.
Ripe (Shou) Chinese Puerh Tea*.
8 oz Cup
- Scoop a heaping teaspoon of tea into infuser.
- Heat water to 212° F (boiling).
- Pour 8 oz. of water over tea leaves.
- Steep tea for 3-5 minutes (depending on taste preference).
- Remove infuser and enjoy tea.
Simply add to your infuser one heaping teaspoon of leaf per 8 oz. of water and place it in your pot, then add the appropriate amount of 212° F water and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the infuser and enjoy.
Brewing Iced Tea
Though we don't necessarily recommend drinking Puerh Queen iced, our opinion is that a cooled concentrate works best, as regular-strength brew tends to become watery as the ice melts. So, use the above leaf quantities, but half the water, allow it to cool, then pour it over ice and enjoy! The brew will dilute down to proper strength as the ice melts.