Pu Er Sheng & Shou : Characteristics and Differences

April 9, 2017
comments comment comments

Aged teas such as Pu Er, Liu Bao, Liu An, Fuzhuan, and Hei Cha are some the most ancient teas known to mankind. The Pu Er family is said to have the unique ability to not only actively fight cardiovascular illnesses but also reduce excess fat and lower bad cholesterol levels. In fact, the Pu Er Shou and Sheng that are aged over 10 years seem to be the ones that have the strongest effect on our health.

To help us clarify the difference between these two Pu Er’s, here are their main characteristics:


One of the oldest teas to come out of China, the Pu Er Sheng (“raw”), can be identified by its richness and its healing properties. According to tradition, the way to produce this tea is by picking fresh leaves, heating them, rolling them and drying them before being compressing (into a cake shape) and storing them. That will begin the slow fermentation process, which can last up to 50 years.


Due to a growing demand for Pu Ers during the 70’s, the Chinese tea industry put together a new quicker fermentation process which only lasts between 45 and 60 days. By accelerating the transformation of the leaves, this alternate type of fermentation gives birth to a new type of tea, which is now referred to as Pu Er Shou (“boiled”).

As opposed to Pu Er Sheng, these types of leaves are rarely preserved due to the simple fact that their taste doesn’t improve over time.


Additionally to having a distinct production process, these two Pu Ers have many more features that can help you differentiate them. The main one being their shape, here are some more examples:

  • The bing cha cake, normally weighs 357g, but is also available in other formats (100g, 250g etc..);
  • The zhuan cha brick, 250g;
  • The tuo cha “nest” normally weighs 100g or 250g and is also available in the 5g format;
  • The jin gua “pumpkin”, also available in various formats;
  • The 5g cube;
  • Various recognizable shapes (buddha, pig etc..) as a mean to celebrate a specific event;
  • In bulk etc..;


If you fancy the 10 years aged Pu Ers, our team has the following suggestions when it comes to quality/price ratio:

- PuEr Sheng , 10 years: Yiwu Jing Long 2007 ($18/50g) - fallen leaves, fresh mushrooms, fresh, foresty.

- PuEr Sheng, 20 years over : Menghai Hou Gen 1992 ($19/10g) - Deep, mineral, vegetal (lichy).

- PuEr Shou: Macao Scenary 2006 ($18/50g) - Mineral, beets.

- PuEr Shou: Bulang Shan 2006 ($12/50g) - Dry and soft earth, cocoa, potatoes.


Add a comment