Ripe Pu’er tea is produced in Yunnan Province from broad-leaf rough tea varietals that have been sun dried. They are usually picked in the early spring before the Qingming festival. The buds and leaves are picked from large trees, and undergo a special production process before they are transformed into raw Pu’er tea. The raw tea then undergoes wet piling and fermentation to become ripe Pu’er. Once fermented the leaves are tender, uniform and red-brown in colour and the liquor is clear, but has a reddish hue.
Ripe Pu’er has a fragrant and heady aroma and it tastes rich and sweet. It is a full-bodied tea that is all at once smooth, mellow and rich. A quality Pu’er should reflect its vintage and have a rich sweet aftertaste. Ripe Pu’er is known for its mild and nourishing qualities after fermentation, and also because it is a tea that keeps well. As the years pass, the tea’s texture becomes richer and thicker, and its aroma becomes more deeply fragrant.