These young teas hail from the triangle formed at the confluence of China, Myanmar, and Thailand. Here, for centuries upon centuries, generations of tea growers have perfected the art of making these fine black teas. To create classic Puer tea, tea leaves are fully oxidized, compressed into a hard disk, and then fermented and aged to mellow their flavor.
Xiao Ba Wang (or Sundance Kid) teas come from younger trees. These teas have a forward-facing fruit flavor with only very slight bitterness. Like fine wine, these teas can be aged in your home—and you will find that the resulting flavor can be every bit as intoxicating!
Puer tea rose to prominence during the Qing dynasty. The ancestors of the dynasty’s emperors were Manchu Emperors who ate unusually large amounts of meat. The Manchus consumed puer tea in copious quantities because of its renowned digestive properties, and the tea was designated as an official article of tribute. Even today, puer tea is sold in the disk like formations favored by ancient Chinese emperors. Some of the methods used to make Puer tea today have remained unchanged from the Tang and Song dynasties. By consuming puer tea today, you can experience Chinese history not as a bygone remnant of the past – but a living, breathing and sensual experience in your own living room.
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