Meng Hai may be the most famous region for Pu’er Tea. This high quality tea has none of the stinky sock flavor which scared me off of Sheng Pu’er when I was first exposed to it.
Meng Hai Sheng Pu’er
Location: Menghai, Yunnan
Date Picked: May, 2012
The bitter astringency this tea would have had five years ago has mellowed into a smooth drink with pleasant mouthfeel.
Jing Mai Sheng Pu’er
Location: Jing Mai, Yunnan
Date Picked: April, 2015
Jing Mai tea is prized for it’s subtle complexity rather than the boldness of Meng Hai.
For around a thousand years the Six Great Tea Mountains of Yunnan have produced some of the most prized commodity tea in the world. It was traded through Pu’er city by way of the Old Tea Horse Road to places as far away as Bengal and Tibet, thus the name Pu’er Tea.
The tea was pressed into cakes and bricks and loaded up on mules for the long voyage. The weathering process along this journey was found to affect the tea positively. Today, Sheng Pu’er storage is a complex topic in and of itself.
In the 1990’s the Chinese market began to view Pu’er as a fine tea and the commodities market surged until 2007 when the financial crisis brought prices back to reasonable levels.
Sheng Pu’er, or green pu’er, is a traditional green tea of Yunnan in the Southwest of China. Enzymes in sun dried leaves are never fully fixed, and so this tea is often aged for many years as a slow fermentation process slowly converts this tea into a black tea. It is often pressed into cakes or bowls for storage.