DROP US A LINE

PHONE / SKYPE

Skype: mistypeakteas
USA +1 916.765.6636

NEWSLETTER

STAY SOCIAL

OUR ADDRESS

1175 Shaw Ave  #104-184
Clovis, CA 93612
USA

COPYRIGHT

You are free to copy, distribute and transmit everything, as long as you attribute mistypeakteas.com or the respective author. Read more about Creative Commons.

We encourage you to use our images (but not for commercial purposes).

Site by Martin Schulze

What is Pu’er tea?

Pu’er tea can be picked today and saved to drink with our grandchildren

Origins

Pu’er Tea, often spelled Puerh or Pu-erh, originated in Pu’er County in southwestern China, in the province of Yunnan. The tea is made from a big leaf (called Da Ye) variety of the Camellia Sinensis tree which first appeared in Xishuangbanna. This area still produces the most respected Pu’er tea; most notably on the 6 Ancient Tea Mountains, liù dà chá shān. Most notably, Nannuo, Yiban, Banzhang, and Yiwu.

Xishuangbanna is the area where the first tea in the world originated, particularly the Sheng Chaa Pu’er.

Varieties

The tea is often referred to as a fermented tea; however, the actual process is called post-oxidation. All teas, no matter black, white, red, green, Pu’er, or Wulong, come from the same tree, the Camellia Sinensis.

China is the only country in the world to produce all 6 varieties of tea. They have been producing tea for thousands of years and have the technique to a perfect science. This is why many tea enthusiasts prefer China’s Tea.

Yunnan tea

Many regions of China, and even different countries, have tried to produce “Pu’er” tea, so in 2003, the Bureau of Standard Measurement of Yunnan Province defined Pu’er as fermented green tea products obtained from the large leaves of tea trees harvested in Yunnan Province [only].

With this, we know that all the Pu’er Tea we drink is only from this region.

Pu’er Tea must meet three criteria

  1. Be made of sun-dried Mao Chaa (loose leaves)
  2. Grown in the Lancang River Basin of Yunnan Province
  3. Be of the Big Leaf Variety of Camellia sinensis (Da Ye)

The four Pu’er types available on the market

  1. Mao Chaa, or loose leaf raw/green Pu’er
  2. Sheng Chaa, or compressed raw Pu’er
  3. Shou Chaa, or artificially aged Sheng Chaa
  4. Aged Sheng Chaa- Naturally aged and matured Green tea. Usually at least 10 years old

Age

The region is noted for its ancient trees, some as old as 1700 years! For the best Pu’er, we recommend a tree at least 100+ years.

This tea owes its specific and unique qualities to the processing method it undergoes. The process allows for the tea to age very well. Much like wine, good Pu’er tea “gets better with time.” However, if you come across poorly processed tea, it will age poorly and may even reduce quality with time.

Tang Dynasty

This tea can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty of nearly 1500 years ago, when the tea was boiled and added to soups for flavor and substance. The popularity of the tea grew quickly and producers found demand growing as far East as Tibet and as far West as Mongolia. With this demand, the Tea Horse Trail was paved. The trails stretch thousands of miles across China and is still walked to this day. Although no longer a functioning tea trail, it is well kept in many areas and remains respected as a monument to the world of tea.

At the time of this increasing demand, the ever-innovative producers began compressing their teas to increase the quantity of tea they could transport across-country. Where before one horse could maybe carry 10 pounds of tea, now they could carry hundreds. These compressed discs, bricks, and various shapes allowed for easy transport and even easier storage once they reached the homes.

Development

As the average Chinese person drinks several cups of tea per day, it is most efficient for them to have their tea stored in compressed cakes rather than large bags. So, the Pu’er Cake(Bing Chaa) was born.. Allow a further description of the types of Pu’er. The two most common types of Pu’er are Shou Chaa (Cooked Pu’er) and Sheng Chaa (Young/Raw Pu’er).

At the time of this product coming to market, most all tea was Sheng Chaa, or Raw Pu’er. However, the recent market-in both China and America- has allowed for the increase production of Shou Chaa, or Cooked Pu’er. Through the demand, and producers attempting different processing methods, there are now four types of Pu’er Tea.

Shou Chaa and Sheng Chaa

Although Shou Chaa is what is most popular in the west now, it is known to be made with the least quality and care. As demand [in China] rose for these prized Aged Sheng Chaa teas, the producers started to artificially create the “aged taste” by submitting the tea leaves to extreme moisture and temperature conditions inducing an age-like appearance and taste. As Aged Sheng Chaa tea can be valued at thousands of dollars per Bing (disc/cake), the next best thing is Shou Chaa.

This technique is not to fool the customer; it is merely to produce a different type of tea. Once one learns more about these precious teas, they will quickly be able to distinguish the differences.

Variety

Each tea is produced for the preference of the customer and each tea drinker has his or her own preference of teas, usually dependent on the time, weather, mood, or desired taste at that sitting.

The absolute most important variable in these teas in the quality of the leaves and the mastery of the producer’s technique. If the leaves are poorly produced, they will not be good loose, compressed, artificially aged, or naturally aged.

It is best to try each tea, and see what one likes. Also, invest in teas that you DO like. Shou Chaa does NOT get better with age, yet the others will. A low quality tea will likely never get better, yet a Sheng Chaa, properly produced, will be good on day one or year 50.

Our part in the story

Once the individual sits down with the tea, they are responsible for bringing out the best character in that tea. It is best for one to learn the proper technique of preparing each tea, as all have different methods.

There is forever more to learn about this wonderful art. We encourage you to learn through drinking. Sit quietly with each tea, at least once, and learn of its’ character and understand the effort put into its wonder. Pu’er tea has been and will always be. Enjoy it.

History of Pu’er: Tea is more than a beverage; it is a lifestyle.

The discovery of tea

As one looks into the history of this sacred leaf, we all end up in the same place: a monastery. While the stories may differ from land to land, one thing remains the same. Tea was first used to reach enlightenment and to allow the monks countless hours of meditation. While the priests of Rome spread wine in Europe, the monks of china shared tea leaves throughout the East.

Pu’er tea was the first tea the world ever saw and some of the first trees ever picked still grow today in the region Misty Peak collects their tea. As Qigong, Tai Chi, Meditation, and yoga spread across the world, one doesn’t have to look far to see tea as their faithful companion.

Tea’s role in life

The emperors, lamas, Buddhas, and monks of highest order would receive the finest teas, for it was most important for them to feel the best and be in the best spirits. Now, Misty Peak brings you the purest of Pu’er tea the world has seen, fit for those who see tea not merely as a beverage, but as a way towards something more.

Our purveyor, Nicholas, started his search for tea before ever drinking it. From studying religion in America, to yoga in India, to doing years of meditation retreats in Asia, he continued this search for something with more substance, something that was easier to share than words and dogmas. When sitting amongst perfectly manicured plantations in Eastern China or machine cut bushes in Japan, he knew there had to be something more honest, more pure.

Pu’er tea to the West

After samplings upwards of 1,000 teas across Asia, he was welcomed in by a young man to try his tea in Xishuangbanna, a mountainous region in Southern Yunnan China. This ended up being the night that changed everything. After 12 hours of drinking his fresh crop of Raw Pu’er and hiking amongst his ancient trees, he finally found what all else could not offer. Chaa Dao, or the way of tea, is truly a path one takes towards something more; and with this warm welcome from a stranger, grew a brotherhood that has lasted a lifetime.

Through this journey, Misty Peak is now able to provide the world with a tea that is made with the love of one family, the passion of expert craftsmanship, and an understanding that great tea helps us feel our best.

Our tea is from Xishuangbanna, in Yunnan, China

How many types of Pu’er are there?

Raw (Green or Sheng) Pu’er

The unprocessed and crude version of Pu’er Tea. This tea has not been oxidized and is green in color(both in leaves and in liquid). The tea is picked, withers, fried, rolled, then sun-dried. Errors can not be hidden behind aging or processing, so quality is very important here.

Aged raw (Aged Green or Lao Sheng) Pu’er

Depending on who you ask and where you are, this is green Pu’er that underwent the normal process of Raw Pu’er, then was left to age with the elements and environment around it. The leaves darken along with the liquid and any bitterness slowly turns into a sweetness. The tea is said to become more well-rounded with time. We consider any Pu’er older than 2 years from the harvest-date to be aged.

Ripe (Black or Shou) Pu’er

Tea that has undergone an additional process after being raw Pu’er. The process, founded in the 20th century, speeds up the maturation/aging of the tea in order to get the tastes and aromas of an aged tea without having to wait. The process is much like that of composting, with careful attention to temperature, humidity, and turning the tea. This is often a blacker tea with bolder, perhaps, more earthy flavors.

Raw Pu’er has two subcategories: Spring and Autumn

Introduction

The season in which any tea is picked greatly determines its taste, look, and value. Many of the World’s famous teas are prized for the Spring harvest, Pu’er is not to be excluded. Spring Pu’er is picked for about three months usually beginning in late January or early February, depending on the region. Autumn is generally picked beginning around September.

Spring

Spring Pu’er is known for its smooth and mellow flavor, usually not nearly as bold as a great Autumn Pu’er. The leaves are generally smaller, as they are new to the tree/bush, and after sitting dormant over the winter, sprout with a tremendous amount of vibrant energy and usually caffeine is more noticeable in this tea. Depending on how early or late in Spring, the rainfall rate will effect the growth rate which effects the amount of nutrients that had time to build up in the leaves. The flavor is very refreshing and the feeling is vibrant.

Autumn

Autumn Pu’er is known for its bolder flavors and reminiscent of a stone-fruit or earthy taste. The rainy season is coming to a close and the leaves grow large and sit on the branch collecting flavor and depth. The energy is much more comforting and the taste is sweet and smooth. The color is more amber-like as opposed to the bright green of a Spring Pu’er.

Summary

Think of it as the difference between Easter and Thanksgiving. During Easter we have flowers just blossoming onto the fruit trees and the weather is cooler and more floral of a feeling, so the tea has notes of those blossoms. In Thanksgiving, we have much bolder and darker colors and the flower that was once on the tree has turned into fruit and the weather is warmer and more comforting. The teas of this seasons are just that, warmer and bolder, tasting more like fruit than like flower. The difference is subtle but certainly noticeable.