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China’s Famous Black Puerh Tea

“… possessing an alluring sweet and mellow nature the traditional character of premium black Puerh combines a distinctive soft earthiness with subtle components of chinese herbs, aromatic wood and warm summer fruits”

The origin of black Puerh tea (aka “shou” and “cooked” Puerh) date from the 1970s. During this relatively small period of time black Puerh has easily become the most consumed type of Puerh tea in China. It can be found in the majority of restaurants, tea houses, work places and family homes throughout China.

Both green and black Puerh tea use the same leaf material and have similiar steps during production. The significant difference is a chinese fermentation process known as “Wo Dui” that is similair to composting. Relying on strictly controlled temperatures and high humidity the natural structure of young tea leaves are broken down to remove unwanted flavors of bitterness and other harsh and raw elements. The end product is a smooth and mellow brew that has become the hallmark of black Puerh tea.

It is no secret that black Puerh was invented to resemble aged green Puerh tea. While this has been achieved to an extent, the 2 types of Puerh tea have obvious differences. Even at a young age, black Puerh will generally brew smooth and sweet all the way through. Young green Puerh is often dominated by bitter tannins with harsh elements from the young leaves. During ageing black Puerh will try to retain most of it’s core characteristics. General improvements are made in clarity, sweetness, smoothness while discarding musky flavors imparted during it’s heavy fermentation under production. In contrast extensive changes occur during the ageing of green Puerh. The emergence of new complex flavors and aromas often make aged green Puerh tea nearly unrecognizable from it’s younger version.

“The enticing sweet and silky smoothness of a high quality aged black Puerh is unmatched by any tea”

*For full illustrations accompanying this article please go to puerhcha.com/Articles/Black_Puerh_Tea.htm puerhcha.com/Articles/Black_Puerh_Tea.htm

Varat Phong. is the founder of the Puerh Cha website. His passion and like for Puerh frequently takes him to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in his continuous search for rare and unique teas. For more information, articles and illustrations on Puerh tea please visit the Puerh Cha website at puerhcha.com puerhcha.com

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