Pu-erh’s in-depth curing process and maturing of flavour with age often situates it with fine wine or whiskey. There are two types of Pu-erh Shengcha(生茶) or raw and Shoucha (熟茶) ripened. Shengcha is the original Pu-erh, it is lightly oxidised and left to age naturally ideally for 10-15 for years so that it can finish the fermentation process. Shoucha was a process invented in the 1970s to expedite the fermentation and can be drunk young or mature. Pu-erh is distinctive from other teas in that through the aging process it is earthy, rich, smooth and astonishingly complex.
The name Pu-erh stems from Pu-erh County in the Yunnan region of China. The town is part of the Tea Horse Road, an ancient 1000-year-old network of paths, which connected Yunnan, one of the first tea producing regions, with Bengal and India via Burma and Tibet.
Pu-erh is famed for its many health benefits and has been clinically cited to reduce LDL (cholesterols) and balance the flora in the large intestine aiding in digestion.