Puerh teas originated thousands of years ago in the Yunnan Province, China, where large-leaf tea trees grow. Puerh gets its name for the town from which it was originally sold to other countries.
One of the more distinctive characteristics of Puerh tea is its many shapes. Puerh teas are available in shaped forms, such as loose-leaf, Tuo-Cha, cake and bricks. Raw Puerh is the traditional form of Puerh, and is sun-dried and compressed. Ripe Puerh is fermented during a 40-50 day period under-going a mellowing process that changes the tea into something dark brown in color.
The health benefits of Puerh includes reducing diabetes, reducing risk of stroke, heart disease and cancer. It also has the ability to break up fats and it is especially effective at aiding digestion after heavy meals.
Puerh teas have a strong, earthy flavor and dark color due to a double fermentation during which the tea leaves actually begin to decompose.