Puer tea is harvested from tea trees grown from seed with deep root systems that possess high mineral content. These teas are processed in a way to best express and balance the chi, or Earth energy of the tea.
Harvest- Two leaves and a bud
Withering- Reduction of the water in the leaf to make malleable
Kill Green- Application of heat (pan fire) to denature the enzymes that oxidize the leaf
Rolling/Shaping- Manipulating the leaf to lock in the freshness of the leaf and creating the shape of the final product
Drying- The final step to lock in the flavor, character, and stability of the tea.
Post Process Fermentation - Accelerated, dry, or wet aging of the tea where natural flora in the environment ferment the leaf to bring out new character in the tea and a darker color.
Each tea producer will process their tea to their own specification, so additional steps may be applied. The steps above are the basic processing steps.