China Sheng Pu-erh


Sheng Pu-erh is the traditional, historic Pu-erh of ancient times. It is the tea that was carried from China over the Tea Horse Route for trading with China’s neighboring border countries for hundreds of years. It is made by a natural process that preserves live microbes on the loose-leaf tea and in the compressed styles, too. It is these microbes that are responsible for transforming the tea by slow fermentation (over years and decades), into sheng Pu-erh. It is slow, natural fermentation that is elemental to the character of sheng Pu-erh.

When sheng Pu-erh is kept in good storage condition, the microbes will thrive and bring beneficial change to the flavor, aroma and color of the Pu-erh. As the Pu-erh ages, it will develop into something very rich and substantial in flavor.

The majority of sheng Pu-erh is sold as loose-leaf tea or mao cha ( rough tea) or is compressed into various shapes such as round beeng chas, tuo chas, rectangles and mushrooms.

Sheng Pu-erh in any form can be drunk young or aged. When young, the tea is sweet, woodsy, and clean tasting. When aged, sheng Pu-erh is rich, beefy, earthy and substantial.

A Note About Tea Trekker’s Pu-erh Selection (July 2019):

We are not sourcing full-size Pu-erh cakes these days as actively as we once were.

When a special tong or two come our way we will grab it, and we will continue with the very drinkable and ‘drink-up-able’ 100gram size of beeng, as well as the loose leaf sheng and shou forms that are basically ready-to-drink; but there are so many dedicated tea people who are really concentrating on Pu-Erh as their primary focus that we will gladly yield to their discoveries in all the various price points. We really need to focus on what our special expertise is, which is East and South Asian tea, and that takes all the time we have!

We do have several full-size beengs in the pipeline and some that we have been aging, but their arrival and release will be sporadic. Over this summer (2019) we expect to re-inventory and release some of the Pu-erh beengs that we have collected and been storing, and we will increase the hei cha selection, but we are not interested beyond a certain price point and/or level of sophistication.

We were once quite enthusiastic about compressed tea and the whole category of Pu-erh, hei cha, etc, and the wonderful story of fermented tea in the history of China and tea, but one can only do so much in a day; so we have committed to only focus on what we can do well, which does not include Pu-erh at this time.

For us, Pu-erh is a fun add-on, and not an integral category. Pu-erh is quite complex and really deserves more attention than we could ever give to it.

Especially right now it is a crazy market again, a repeat of the tone of about a decade ago. With speculators wreaking havoc with pricing, charlatans messing up the information flow, and counterfeiters running rampant, it requires a great deal of time and vigilance to be in the dark tea business. So we leave this category to those with more interest in it (and time) than we have. 

We strongly encourage our customers to be careful and vigilant (especially above a certain price point) as Pu-erh can be very difficult to authenticate, and while some argue that if it tastes good and one can afford it then almost any transaction is okay; on the other hand we firmly believe in an honorable marketplace, so argue that product should be accurately labelled and value assessed using legitimate factors. So buyer beware!

Specific to Tea Trekker Pu-erh  – any  interesting releases of the special Pu-erh mentioned above will not be happening until at least Oct/Nov (to save you from checking our website between now and then) but there will be some very drinkable Pu-erh and hei cha posted in Aug & Sept…

Encouraging you for your interest in all things tea,


lleaf2 Pu-erh steeping instructions

lleaf2 New Tea, Rested Tea, and Aged Tea