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ThOL272oEqI||right| Documentary: Pu-erh Tea Cake Pressing Factory}}
'''Pu-erh tea''' (普洱茶), also spelled as '''pu'er tea''', is a variety of fermented tea produced in Yunnan province, China. Fermentation is a tea production style in which the tea leaves undergo microbial fermentation and oxidation after they are dried and rolled. This process is a Chinese specialty and produces tea known as [[Hei Cha]] ([[wiktionary:黑茶|黑茶]]), commonly translated to dark, or black tea (this type of tea is completely different from what in West is known as "black tea", which in China is called "red tea"). The most famous variety of this category of tea is Pu-erh from Yunnan Province, named after the trading post for dark tea during imperial China. Real Pu-Erh tea is made of tea leaves harvested of hughe tea trees called Qimao. Initially it was assumed that thoes trees are just very tall [[Assam]] bushes but recent DNA test showed that it's an entire new species. The discoverer named this plant [[Camellia taliensis]] to honor the Dai (Thai) minority which uses this plant traditionally to produce tea. <ref>Bio Med Central: [http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/12/92 Phylogeography of Camellia taliensis (Theaceae) inferred from chloroplast and nuclear DNA: insights into evolutionary history and conservation]</ref>.
=== Ripe pu-erh ===
|250px|thumbnail|right|Cooked Pu-erh tea]]
"Ripened" Shou Cha (熟茶) tea is pressed ''maocha'' that has been specially processed to imitate aged "raw" Sheng Cha tea. Although it is also known as cooked pu-erh, the process does not actually employ cooking to imitate the aging process. The term may come about due to inaccurate translation due to the dual meaning of ''shú'' (熟) as both "fully cooked" and "fully ripened".
=== Pressing ===
|250px|right|A pu-erh tea factory, which steams, bags, and presses the loose leaf pu-erh into tea bricks]]
To produce pu-erh, many additional steps are needed prior to the actual pressing of the tea. First, a specific quantity of dry ''máochá'' or ripened tea leaves pertaining to the final weight of the ''bingcha'' is weighed out. The dry tea is then lightly steamed in perforated cans to soften and make it more tacky. This will allow it to hold together and not crumble during compression. A ticket, called a "''nèi fēi''" ([[wiktionary:内|内]][[wiktionary:飞|飞]]) or additional adornments, such as coloured ribbons, are placed on or in the midst of the leaves and inverted into a cloth bag or wrapped in cloth. The pouch of tea is gathered inside the cloth bag and wrung into a ball, with the extra cloth tied or coiled around itself. This coil or knot is what produces the dimpled indentation at the reverse side of a tea cake when pressed. Depending on the shape of the pu-erh being produced, a cotton bag may or may not be used. For instance, brick or square teas often are not compressed using bags.
* [https://www.teamania.ch/blog/en/the-tea-mountains-of-yunnan The
tea mountains of Yunnan]* [https://teadb.org/puerh-the-body/ Tea DB: Pu’erh, The Body, and Are You Confused Yet!? ]