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Good morning, friends! I write to you today in hopes that you are all having a wonderful week and to remind you that you are already more than half way through! Today, I want to detail one of our teas that has an interesting history, is often overlooked, and most importantly, is absolutely delicious! In this post we will be highlighting our Pu-Erh tea!
As mentioned, Pu-Erh is grown and harvested in the Yunnan region of China. It was originally traded in markets of the Pu-Erh County then transported by horses and mules along what came to be known as the Tea Horse Roads back to respective towns. The increasing demand for a tea that could be easily transported and did not spoil on long journeys sent suppliers on a frenzy to come up with ways to preserve the tea. Pu-Erh became an especially popular blend as, differently from most other teas, and more similarly to the agings of wine or cheese, Pu-Erh tea only improved in flavor with time. It was found that with the fermentation of the leaves, the tea not only kept fresh but it actually, as mentioned, improved with age. People soon discovered that Pu-erh also helped with digestion, provided other nutrients to their diet, and because it was so affordable, it quickly became a popular household amenity. Pu-erh tea was highly prized and it became a powerful tool for bartering amongst traveling merchants. It became so popular that merchants and travelers needed a better, more efficient way to store, transport, and exchange it. This led to the development of what we know as Pu-Erh cakes. Our store owner, Susan, is the proud owner of one of these cakes (pictured below).