What is a non-fermented tea or raw Pu'erh? Raw Pu-erh (Puerh Sheng, Non-Fermented Tea): This is a tea that does not go through the piling process, which is called raw pu-erh, it is harvested and stored naturally. With this style of tea, it has a very fresh smell to it, it can be bitter, but generally has a sweet aftertaste. Pu-erh tea is made from the Yunnan large-leaf varietal of Camellia Sinensis. It is typically processed into compressed cakes, bricks and tuos. Pu-erh is particularly special because it can be aged for decades or longer, always changing and (in most cases) developing more depth and texture. Raw Pu-erh (生茶) is the traditional form of Pu-erh, and is sun-dried and compressed.
What is a fermented tea or a ripe Pu'erh tea? Ripe Pu-erh (Puerh Shu, Fermented Tea): This tea does go through a piling process which causes it to be a milder flavor. It has a very earthy smell, and it is a more mellow tea with thick texture. Because of the fermentation process, the leaves actually present a reddish-brown color.
How is tea fermented? Ripe Pu-erh Tea is a sub-type of Pu-erh tea that has undergone a "wet piling" process. Wet Piling aka "wo dui" was originally applied to Pu-erh in the 1970's as a way to fast age raw pu-erh (sheng cha), making it more palatable and smooth like a fully aged raw pu-erh.
The process is accomplished by piling sheng pu-erh mao cha (uncompressed sheng puer) about a meter high in a covered clean space where it is kept wet and allowed to ferment for 45 days. The pile is often covered with large cloths to retard evaporation of the water and the pile is turned every few days so that the inner contents are not overly fermented, allowing a consistent level of fermentation for the entire batch.
The wet piling process has many other factors that impact the quality of the end product.The ambient temperature and humidity level in the immediate area where the wet piling is done can also impact the process. The size and turning of the pile must be well regulated and the frequency of the turning is largely determined by the "wet piling master" who oversees the whole process.
Are you misspelling Pu'er? No, there are several spellings for the name Pu'er, Puerh, Pu'erh, Pu-erh. You'll see me spell it a couple different ways just depends on the day and the mood. :)
Are your teas and coffees organic? Yes and no. Are they certified organic? No, this is a very expensive certification to get so our farmer has chosen not to get it. Are they grown in a organic manner? Yes, because our teas and coffees are grown at high elevation they don't have the pest pressure they would if they were grown at lower elevations. Higher elevation = less bugs = less need to spray expensive chemicals. Lower elevation = more bugs = more need to spray expensive chemicals.
Brad why do you have a beard? You scare me with that beard. The beard is only meant to intimidate and scare the bad guys. To all others it's a sign of protection just as it protects my face from the elements. That and my three youngest would be freaked out if they saw me without it as they've never seen me without it. :)