The first time I tried Pu-Erh Berry I was taken by its unique flavor and fascinated by its hardiness, its ability to be steeped anywhere from 3 to 9 times. Not only was I interested in its notes of earthiness and touches of creaminess it gave off, I became drawn to the process that goes into making Pu-Erh tea.
Pu-Erh tea is fermented and utilizes the benefits of microbes that live on the tea leaves. Originating from the Yunnan Province of China and named after the market town in which it was first developed, making Pu-Erh is a long, slow, intentional process. It is made from the Yunnan Dayeh tree, an ancient tree whose leaves are said to be around 500 to 1,000 years old.
Pu-Erh is well worth the patience, as its aging process contributes to a tea rich in color and flavor. Once the tea leaves of Pu-Erh have been dried, rolled, and are microbially fermented, shaping the tea’s unique flavor and darkness, the leaves are often compressed into round or brick forms. Pu-Erh has been compared to a well aged wine in its ability to mature, taking on a more complex taste the longer it rests. It can age for 100 years or more. Steeping Pu-Erh first involves awakening the leaves through quickly rinsing with hot water, flushing out the water, and re-steeping. It is often served intentionally in specialized clay teapots like our Yixing Tea Pot.
Our Pu-Erh Berry combines deep earthy notes with a complex smoothness and touch of berry. Drinking Pu-Erh Berry, much like the process that springs it into being, feels like a journey in mindfulness. As a result of Pu-Erh’s fermentation, it hosts a variety of health benefits. Pu-Erh aids in digestion, overall gut health, and supports the well being of our immune system. It is prebiotic, positively affecting our microbiome. Pu-Erh’s caffeine naturally dissipates the longer it ages, making it a perfect non-caffeinated tea for after a large meal, even if late in the day. Pu-Erh is even known to be a helpful remedy for hangovers.
When I had my first cup of Pu-Erh, the ancient, grounded feeling that it conjures hit me immediately. I was struck by the feeling of groundedness and connection Pu-Erh provides when paying deep attention to its character. Knowing the roots of Pu-Erh, its history and involved process, without question informs how we approach drinking it. I find myself wanting to spend more time with Pu-Erh Berry and we hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Pu-Erh’s rich history and complexity as much as we do.
Open Door Tea