Pu'er,or pu-erh, is a fermented tea harvested from the Camellia sinensis plant and primarily produced in the Yunnan province of China. There it is called hēichá (meaning "black tea"). Pu'er is unique in the way it is processed, compared to black, oolong and green teas. After the tea leaves have been roughly processed into maocha to stop oxidation, microbial fermentation of the tea leaves begins. Ripened or aged pu'er will undergo a secondary oxidization and fermentation process caused both by organisms growing in the tea and the free-radical oxidation. It is common for it to age and mature over several years.
Pu'er is also unique in the way it is packaged and sold. For the most part, pu'er is formed into tightly made cakes, creating a variety of shapes and sizes. Its flavor profile can range from earthy, woody and astringent to sweet, bitter and sour, depending on the age and ripeness of the leaves.
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