The History of Puerh Tea
Puerh (Pu’er) tea is a dark tea sourced from the Yunnan region of China and is a Chinese speciality, with a history spanning 1700 years. The name comes from ‘Pu’er County’ in the Yunnan Province which used to be a trading post for dark tea during Imperial China. It is believed that the Prime Minister of Shu left the tea plant to the people of the area in approximately AD 220-280, and the history of the tea being exported can be traced back to the 7th century.
Puerh tea is easily identified by the compressed bricks or “tea cakes” that the loose leaves are packed into. This is a practice going back to the Tang dynasty when merchants began packing the leaves in this way in order to make them easier to transport. It was this practice which led to the fermentation and aging of the tea as it travelled, resulting in a highly sought after tea by royalty, leading to the name “Queen of Teas” or “Emperor of Teas”. Chinese royalty enjoyed the flavour and liked to drink it for longevity due to the medicinal benefits. Puerh tea remains popular today as a real treat for the tea connoisseur.