Originating from the mountains of Yunnan, China's dark tea has survived the ages. From a currency of exchange to a gastronomic delight, the cultivation and production of Pu Erh have remained traditional. Discover theorigin of Pu Erh or Yunnan tea.
What is the history of Yunnan black tea?
The history of Menghai black tea in Yunnan begins under the Tang. It was then a product of exchange between merchants from China and Tibet. It is likely that the tea leaves were fermented during the expeditions. TheChinese infusion then produced the richly flavored black tea of today.
What events led Pu Erh teas to the modern era?
During the Ming Empire, Pu Erh teas fell into disfavor. However, in the confines of Yunnan, in Menghai, the culture of the organic tea cake was perpetuated. When the Kings took over the Chinese power, Yunnan black tea regained a place of honor. It is then renamed "Pu Erh tea". Menghai is still the center of its manufacture and production.
Where does the tradition of the tea cake come from?
Originally, Pu Erh tea traveled along theOld Tea Road between Yunnan, China and Tibet. Pu Erh was brewed by nomads who exchanged it for other products. The compression into a wafer facilitated its storage. At that time, the production of tea in bulk was the only existing type. The wafer made it easy for producers to pack it for the road.
How did the tea cake tradition evolve?
The Pu Erh cake has evolved very little over the centuries. The Mao Cha is weighed and placed in a pierced container. The steam relaxes the leaves of the Mao Cha, which are then compacted. The tea leaves are then placed in a cloth and pressed under a stone (or other heavy accessories). Once dried, the leaf cake is placed in a bamboo flip-flop to develop its aromatic notes. After fermentation, the cake is ready.
Where does Pu Erh, the famous Chinese tea, come from?
Pu Erh tea is harvested from tea trees growing in the mountains of Yunnan. Most of the trees are wild and therefore bring tea leaves. However, traces of cultivation in the wild have been found along the road that crosses the mountains of Yunnan.
There are two kinds of Pu Erh teas:
- Sheng Cha, or green Pu Erh;
- Shu Cha, which is the red or black Pu Erh.
The leaves of the dark Pu Erh teas have undergone a gentle fermentation during storage. The taste of this organic tea has more pronounced notes. The producers make luxury infusions.
Is organic Pu Erh really a Yunnan black tea?
Pu Erh is a dark tea originating from Menghai, in the Yunnan region. In China as in Europe, this tea is called black because it has undergone fermentation during storage. However, other European black teas are called red in China.
Which tea plant culture gives Pu Erh tea?
Like oolong teas, Pu Erh teas come from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis. These tea plants grow in the wild in the gardens of the Yunnan mountains in China. It is the larger leaves that are used to form the wafers. First picked in bulk from the wild trees, they are then transformed into wafers by the producers.