In ancient times of China,Pu-erh Prefecture (now Pu-erh County) included Xishuangbanna, Simao and Lincang areas of Yunnan, where many famous tea mountains were located. Pu-erh was an important town in southern Yunnan and also the largest market for tea trade. Tea produced in these areas was therefore called “Pu-erh Tea”.
Pu’er must adhere to several characteristics to be worthy of its name.
• It must be big-leaf from the Arbor tree
• The leaves must be sun-dried
• It must follow the unique ageing process
• It must be from Yunnan
The climate, soil and environment of Yunnan greatly influence the characteristics and complex tastes of Pu’er, making it impossible to recreate this tea elsewhere and very much a product of Yunnan.
Fermented maocha tea produced in Hunan and Guangdong, along the Laos and Vietnam borders, or anywhere else outside Yunnan falls short on quality requirements and therefore is not classed as Pu’er.
In 2008 the Chinese government declared Pu’er tea as “a product with geographical indications”. This restricts the naming of tea as Pu’er to tea produced within specific regions of Yunnan Province.