Post-fermentation is a Tea production style in which the Tea leaves undergo a period
of aging in open air and are left to fully oxidize gradually over time. In China, post fermented Tea are often called Black Tea or Dark Tea. These Teas are usually compressed into bricks or cakes to facilitate transport over long distances and they can be aged for many years, sometimes in caves, in order to get a smoother and richer flavour. This requires a minimum of 10 years to mature and gets better with age like fine wine. This process leaves us with a deep and robust Tea with a kind of earthy flavour.
The best known of the post-fermented Tea category is Pu-erh, from the Yunnan Province in China. The highest quality of authentic Pu-erh Teas are made with leaves that are hand-harvested from wild antique Tea trees, sometimes more than 100 years old.
How to prepare a Pu-erh? First, it is important to separate a well-sized portion of the compressed tea for brewing which can be a difficult task. Watch the video on how to break a Pu-erh Tea cake:
Pu-erh should be served in a Yixing Clay Teapot or in a Gaiwan, a type of Chinese
teacup. The ideal temperature is between 85º and 95ºc depending on the quality and the infusion time varies from 30 seconds during the first infusion to 10 minutes during the last infusion.
In traditional Chinese Medicine this Tea is believed to aid in digestion and considered a suitable beverage after a big and heavy meal.
Happy Tea Break. 🙂