Puer Cakes

Puer teas are elemental and mysteriously dark, fermented teas which are robust, earthy, rich and grounding. Puer is often a favorite tea of the truly dedicated tea drinker. This aged tea usually begins with a variety of leaf from exceptionally broad-leaved tea trees.  This tea either left loose or compressed into cakes is then permitted to retain barely enough moisture content that the tea continues to ferment slowly over time. For this reason, puer is best stored open so that oxygen can continue to refine the tea.

There are two general types of puer: Shu (black, or cooked) and Sheng (green, or raw). The raw or Sheng (green) puer is made from mao cha this is lightly steamed and pressed into cakes. It is the sheng puer that demonstrates the miracle of puer. The microbes present in the mao cha that are not destroyed during sun drying work their magic and over 8 to 10 years until raw puer tea is transformed to cooked, green to black. It is the sheng that is most valuable over time and starts to reach is full maturity after around thirty years. 

Shu, or cooked/black puer is more complicated. In 1973, because of a shortage of old cakes caused by the destruction of all things old during the Cultural Revolution, a process was developed for uniformly speeding up the aging process. This process has been well guarded in the past but is relatively simple, but not without skill. Large piles of maocha are wetted and then covered with a large canvas cloth, creating a kind of composting effect. The water drains off as does some of the natural moisture through the weight of the pile. Inside of the pile heat is produced. The pile becomes a rich environment for microbes that thrive in the tea leaves of the Yunnan rain forest.

The tea master’s skill comes into play when the pile needs to be turned. The turning needs to come at the right time, and there are clumps of growth that occur at the bottom of the heap and must be broken up and evenly distributed throughout the pile. When to turn and the attention paid to the details of turning are critical, so that the pile adds a pleasant fragrance to the tea. A poor level of skill turns the heap into an unkempt barnyard smell, flatteringly called ‘earthy’ in the West, and ‘old house smell’ in China.  After the the tea is cooked it is sorted for grade, and then lightly steeped and pressed into cakes, bricks, etc.  Read more...


Green Puer
15 products

Black Puer
8 products

Products

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Jing Mai Teng La Zi Juan (Purple Tea Buds) Green Puer Cake 2011 357g

When Lu Yu wrote his famous book about tea 1200 years ago, he mentioned that the best tea bushes had purple tea buds. This type of tea bush was recently discovered in Teng La, a small area within Jing Mai in southern Yunnan province. The soil and climate of this area is perfectly suited to the purple tea bushes, producing a rich, floral aroma unmatched by tea grown in other areas. The aroma and flavor linger in the mouth much longer than with other puer teas. The rich amino acids and antioxidants create a smooth, mild flavor that is easy to drink all day.


Our price: $195.00
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Ma Guo Tou Shu Bing (Black Puer Cake) 2012 400g

Bright red infusion offers a flavor that is full-bodied but not heavy, with a pronounced sweetness in the aftertaste.


Our price: $68.00
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Nuo Mi Xiang Xiao Qing Tuo (Sweet Rice Fragrance Mini Green Tuo Cha) 2011

This tea is infused with local Yunnan herbs called Nuo Mi Xiang Nen Ye which means "Sweet Rice Tender Leaves." The herb resembles mint with small, fingernail-sized leaves. People of the Dai Minority, who live in Southern Yunnan close to the rainforest, use this herb a lot to cool down during hot, humid days.


Our price: $7.10

Seven Cups Sheng Bing (Green Puer Cake) 2008 400g

A lot of care went into the basic ingredients in this cake. The blend of maocha comes from three different locations...


Our price: $97.00
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Small Ma Guo Tou (Green Puer Cake) 2010 100g

Our Small Ma Guo Tou Green Cake has Lin Cang's rich, robust flavor and a long finish. It also has a high, complex aroma that fills your mouth and nose, which is characteristic of Jing Gu puer. These characteristics are immediately apparent on the first sip. When infused, the relaxed leaves are tender but thick, resembling live leaves still on the bush.


Our price: $16.85
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You Le Mtn. Ancient Tree (Green Puer Cake) 2011 400g

The ancient tea trees give this puer cake a robust flavor and long finish. The forest setting where these trees grow adds a complex floral aroma.


Our price: $74.20
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Yue Guang Bai (White Moonlight) Ancient Tree Green Puer Cake 2009 400g

Smooth and fruity with a full-bodied flavor. A great tea for new green puer drinkers.


Our price: $95.00
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Zao Xiang Xiao Shu Tuo (Date Fragrance Mini Black Tuo Cha) 2007

Zao Xiang Xiao Shu Tuo (Date Fragrance Mini Black Tuo Cha) was created especially for new puer tea drinkers. Each piece weighs 3 grams, yielding a mild cup that is more approachable for new puer drinkers. The producers used 5th grade maocha, carefully fermenting it to give a lightly-cooked Chinese Date fragrance. The flavor is more fruity and less earthy than other puers with a smooth, sweet character.


Our price: $7.90

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