The Lure of Pu-erh tea

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by Danielle Beaudette

There are five categories of tea: white, green, oolong, black and dark teas. Pu-erh tea falls under the dark tea category. Dark tea (Hei Cha which translates to black tea in Chinese) is a post-fermented tea. It should not be confused with what we call black tea here in America, which is hong cha, or red tea in Chinese. Dark teas are processed in the Hunan province, Anhua County, Guangdong, and in the Yunnan Province of China. Pu-erh tea from the Yunnan province . . .

. . . falls under the Dark Tea category.

Within the Yunnan province, some of the major Pu-erh producing regions are: Xishuang Banna, Lin Cang, Pu-erh, and Chang Ning. In earlier years Pu-erh tea was highly sought after which led to other provinces trying to copy the tea production. This prompted the Chinese government to approve a standard in 2008 which states that pu-erh tea is a product that can only come from the specific regions within the Yunnan province. Some believe the best Pu-erh comes from an area called the “Six Famous Mountains” in Xishuanbanna, renowned for their climates and environments that produce the unique taste profiles in Pu-erh tea. Pu-erh is surrounded by mystery in the world of tea.