Incredibly popular and sought after in recent years, pu’er tea is defined both by how it is made and by its place of origin. Pu’er, first and foremost, must come from Yunnan, China, the biological birthplace of tea, where hundreds year old tea trees still grow wild and uncultivated. Pu’er tea is also distinct in that it is fermented, either gradually over time (as in the case of sheng or raw pu’er) or suddenly (as in the case of shou or ripe pu’er).
Very fermented pu’er can taste rich and earthy, while less fermented pu’er can have greener foresty, floral or fruity notes. The most highly sought after pu’er teas though are those from the old wild tea trees whose vast root systems truly do bring the energy of an entire forest into one’s tea cup.