Pu’er or pu-erh are a separate group of Chinese teas and are available to two varieites: shen pu’er (green) and shu pu’er (dark).
The pu-erh are exclusively grown and produced in Yunnan, the southern province of China, bordering Tibet.
For the production of pu-erhs, large leaves are used. It is believed that the larger the leaf, the higher the quality of the pu-erhs. The most expensive types of this tea are made from a leaf of tea trees rather than bushes. In the Yunnan Province, there are gardens of such tea trees, with an appearance similar to that of apple or pear orchards. Farmers collect the leaves, process them, and ship them to specialized facilities for further processing.
勐海 大 叶 茶 (C. sinensis Var assarmica CV. Menghai Daye Cha) is the botanical name of one of the most common types of tea trees for the production of pu-erhs.
It is important to say that in most cases the pu-erhs are pressed. You will rarely find a batch that is thick or dense in weight. Why, you might ask? It is well-known that ancient Chinese businesses were not very keen to transporting large cargo shipments of the tea, so they asked the producers of the tea to press the leaves. This radically improved their distribution process.
Though an ancient tea, pu-erh still flourishes in the modern world. In Yunnan, you will find a large concentration of manufacturers dedicated to the production of pu-erh teas.