Pu'erh (or pu'er) tea is a fermented tea produced in the Yunnan province of china. Pu'erh tea is dried and rolled, and undergoes a microbial fermentation process over many months or years. This tea is sometimes pressed into small blocks or "cakes".
Flavor and color-wise, some brew up light while others can be dark and intensely earthy.
Pu'erh Tea Fun Facts and Trivia:
Pu-erh tea can be aged over time like a fine wine.
From 1999 to 2007, the price of Pu-erh tea went up by ten times, and then drastically dropped to below its original levels. Fortunes were made and lost in this pu'erh tea boom and bust.
Back in 2008, the Chinese government tried to limit where the leaves could be grown in Yunnan Province. It was narrowed down to 11 cities and prefectures and 639 towns. The reason the government intervened was to attempt to establish a brand similar to wines in France or Tequila in Mexico. If the tea was only allowed to grow in certain areas, they would be able to authenticate the brand.
Pu'erh has an active (probiotic) bacteria that deepens the flavor of the tea over time.
Many westerners prefer a stronger brew. Pu'erh can be brewed almost indefinitely: five minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, even 50 minutes. When Pu'erh 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.
Unlike most teas, Pu'erh may be harvested during almost the entire year, being spring tea the most highly valued.