A "second crop" (er shui) tea picked during the months of June and July, this Pu-erh is characterized by fat, succulent leaves which have been pressed into small, convex bowl shapes called Tou cha, and is prized for its distinct, earthy flavour.
Each Tou cha is individually wrapped in paper, a style originating from the trading route of the Tuojiang River. Due to special processing, Pu-erh is low in tannins and has a characteristic earthy flavour. It is one of the few teas that gets better with age and is good for many infusions of the same leaves.
Famous as a medicinal tea, Pu-erh, a large-leafed tea from the Yunnan province, acquired its name from the market town of Pu-er where the tea was originally processed and sold. The leaves are grown high in the mountains and then labouriously carried in shoulder baskets down through the forests and into the town. They are most commonly formed into bricks or cakes and traditionally used as a form of currency.