China Shou Pu-erh

Shou Pu-erh is a modern invention, dating from the 1970’s. This process of shou Pu-erh manufacture was created to meet the needs of tea drinkers who wished for Pu-erh that was ready to drink right away and that offered a bold, hearty taste. Prior to the advent of this new-style of Pu-erh, all Pu-erh was sheng Pu-erh, which required decades to age in order for it to reach its dark, strong, and full-bodied style. The new process – shou Pu-erh – came close to that taste in just a few months time and the tea was ready-to-drink when it arrived in the marketplace.

Shou Pu-erh met that demand and has become a very popular style of Pu-er ever since. This accelerated development of flavor is accomplished by exposing the mao cha to a fermentation method in the tea factory that is known as wo dui.

Shou Pu-erh will, under good storage conditions, keep well, mellow and deepen in flavor, although it will not age and undergo the natural microbial changes that sheng Pu-erh does. It is made primarily for fairly immediate consumption, and is sold as loose-leaf tea, and compressed shapes such as beeng cha, tuo-cha, rectangles and melons.

This is the type of Pu-erh drunk daily by people in China. Just as a noble, vintage bottle of Chateau-produced wine is not a daily drink in the West, aged sheng Pu-erh, which can be extremely costly, is drunk for special occasions and given as celebratory gifts.

A Note About Tea Trekker’s Pu-erh Selection (July 2021):

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

When a special tong or two has come our way we have bid on or outright purchased them; and we will continue with the very drinkable and ‘drink-up-able’ smaller sizes of compressed tea (as they come our way – they have been difficult to source for several years now); as well as the loose leaf sheng and shou forms of Pu-erh that are basically ready-to-drink. But there are 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 in a day!

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 (2021) we will be releasing some of the Pu-erh beengs and other compressed shapes 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. What we do offer will be of excellent quality and a very good value.

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, so there will be some real treasures on our website over the next few months.

These interesting releases of the special Pu-erh mentioned above will be happening in July, Aug, & Sept of 2021…while supplies last.

Encouraging you for your interest in all things tea,


lleaf2 Pu-erh steeping instructions

lleaf2 New Tea, Rested Tea, and Aged Tea