What is Puer?
All puer tea comes from the southwest region of Yunnan, China. There are two types of Puer: sheng puer and shu puer. Sheng puer is a simple non-oxidized tea whose finished product will change naturally over time. Shu puer starts out as a sheng puer, but goes through one more deliberate and accelerated "post fermentation" process to speed up this change into a matter of weeks as opposed to years.
Want to learn more? Check out the blog post "The Thing About Puer Tea".
What does it taste like?
Puer can have an earthy, rich, and dark flavor. It can also be sweet and floral with a tingling sensation.
How do you prepare Puer?
Measure three grams* of tea to 6 oz of water. Pour 208-212 degree water over the leaves, and steep for 10-20 seconds. Pour off the water. This is called rinsing the leaves. It removes impurities and allows the leaves to begin opening. Pour in another 6 oz of 208-212 degree water, steep about 30 seconds and serve. The same leaves can be re-steeped in a similar fashion 4-8 times, perhaps adding 15-30 seconds to each steeping time.
Many westerners prefer a stronger brew. Using the same proportions of tea and the same water temperature, Puer can be brewed almost indefinitely: five minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, even 50 minutes. When Puer is steeped a long time it can become as full-bodied and dark as coffee, but it never turns bitter, acidic, or astringent. It just gets stronger, thicker, fuller, and sometimes sweeter. This is a very untraditional preparation method.
* Three grams of Puer is approximately 1 measuring teaspoon. Whether it is a loose leaf Puer or a Puer cake/brick, the quantity should be roughly the same.