How to choose Pu’er on Taobao. Part 1

 In our previous articles we told you where is it better to buy Chinese tea and described the mystery of the Chinese tea ceremony. In this article we would like to tell you how to choose a high-quality Pu’er.

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Apart from the incredibly deep and original culture, the Celestial Empire is well known throughout the world for its tea culture. It’s known for its 1,500 types of Chinese tea and each of them deserves a specific article. But now we would like to tell you about the most famous sort – Pu’er. It is noteworthy that the tea was named after the village in Yunnan province. But this sort of tea has never been produced in the very County but only brought for sale there from all over the surrounding area. Today Pu’er takes a special place among Chinese teas and we would be glad to prove this fact.

Traditionally there are two kinds of Pu’er: green (Shen Pu’er) and black (Shu Pu’er). Even though both kinds of tea are Pu’er, their taste and production technology are significantly different.

Sheng Pu-er is considered an authentic tea. Its fermentation occurs in natural way and lasts for at least several years. Age of Shen Pu’er is an advantage and always affects the quality and price. High quality Shen Pu’er has a fruity aroma,  it tones your body and mind. It contains a lot of vitamins and minerals which help to preserve health and beauty. Accelerating of the toxins elimination is one more advantage of Pu’er. It is widely known that Chinese women were able to maintain the natural women beauty for many years precisely because of green Pu’er as well as this is the primary remedy against hangover for men. Tea leaves are green or dark green and brewed tea has a light green or light brown color.

Shu Pu-er has appeared in China only in the 50s of XX century owing to the accelerated controlled fermentation. This technology enables production of ready-to-drink tea from the same raw materials in much shorter terms, thereby reducing some of the price compared to Shen Pu’er. High-quality black Pu’er has typically rich aroma of tree bark, nuts and dried fruits. A slight smell of smoke is inherent to Shu Pu’er too. Leaf color is very similar to most ordinary black tea but the brewed beverage obtains rich burgundy, brown or black color depending on the welding.

You can find Pu-er in such packagings:

  • Mini-tuocha. Small packaging is like a “bell” or “cap” has 7-8 grams. Most often there is Shu Pu-er inside. This is single serving and provides about 3-4 welding.
  • Tuocha. Its shape resembles a nest or a bowl. Usually tuocha contains good quality raw materials. Entire leaves and even flushes (tea twig with a few leaves) could be founded in tuocha. Usually there is Shu Pu’er inside too, but also meets Shen Pu’er.
  • Brick. This packaging has shape of rectangular block which are available in 50, 100 and 250 grams. The price and quality of bricked Pu’er is similar to tea in tuochas.
  • Bing. Its specific shape resembles the flattened cake. These packages are available in 100, 357 and 400 grams. Why 357? This is the fact that Chinese pack 7 bings per one transport package. Such a package should have a standard weight – 2.5 kg (2500g), and thus each bing should have 2500/7 = 357,14 ≃ 357g.
  • Palace Pu’er or “scatter”. It is valued for easy handling. The brewing process is easier and tea can be bought in small portions. The most common for Shu Pu’er.
  • Dragon Lumps. Usually this is irregularly shaped small lumps. The specific luster of lumps points on high quality of raw materials. Usually dragon lumps tea is completely dust-free but still requires a soaking before brewing. It also has a compelling rich aroma.

In the second part of this article we’re going to suggest you to choose high- quality Pu’er on Taobao. We’ll be glad to represent some lifehacks and practical tips that turn boring searching to the interesting and exciting experience!

Stay tuned! To be continued…

Wish you a pleasant shopping

with Taobao FOCUS.