White buds from old Yunnan Pu Erh trees are used to create this delicate new form of Pu Erh. While a 2012 harvest, these leaves are fermented in the traditional style but only using unopened fuzzy leaf buds. The result is a Silver Needle-like delicate cup, but rounder, with warm notes of wildflower honey and classic Yunnan pepper.
Pu'erh tea gets its name from a county located in southern Yunnan. There are two types of pu'erh tea: sheng ('green' or 'raw') and shou ('ripe' or 'cooked'). Historically, raw pu'erh was created first. It takes years to slowly age, and if properly stored (pu'erh is essentially a 'living tea', much like wine), holds its value and flavour for decades. Due to extreme demand for this tea, the ripe variety was invented about 40 years ago to speed up the aging process. The tea leaves are piled in gently warmed heaps and allowed to carefully ferment. Ripe pu'erh is usually much darker than the raw pu'erh and often smoother. Raw pu'erh tasted when too young (less than several years old) can be incredibly astringent. This quality mellows out dramatically with age. Both are widely revered in China for their soothing, purifying qualities unmatched by other teas.