Understanding the Difference between Raw Pu-erh Tea and Ripe Pu-erh Tea

Pu’er tea is divided into raw tea and ripe tea rely on whether it is fermented, different crafts also giving them differences in appearance, taste and fragrance. Then what are the specific differences between raw and ripe Pu-erh tea?

Pu-erh, which is tea that has a very unique shape, aroma, flavor, and appearance, is a great Chinese tea to check out. When it comes to the tea in our daily lives, it actually makes a big difference. It doesn’t matter if you are a female, male, child, or an adult the tea is good for you. If you are looking for weight loss, having a nice figure, or lowering your blood pressure, it is for you. On top of that, it has a great taste and flavor that makes it nice to drink.

Yunnan is where this tea has been origin grown and processed. The important thing to note is that this tea can be classified in two main categories: non-fermented and fermented tea. The taste that you prefer will depend on the method of processing the tea that you want to purchase. Generally as a rule of thumb, the more that it sits, the more valuable that it becomes.

The definition of Ripe and Raw Pu-erh

Raw Pu-erh (Puerh Sheng, Non-Fermented Tea): This is a tea that does not go through the piling process, which is called raw pu-erh, it is harvested and stored naturally. With this style of tea, it has a very fresh smell to it, it can be bitter, but generally has a sweet aftertaste.

Ripe Pu-erh (Puerh Shu, Fermented Tea): This tea does go through a piling process which causes it to be a bolder flavor. This tea has a very mild flavor to it, as going through the piling process creates that. It has a very earthy smell, and it is a more mellow tea with thick texture. Because of the fermentation process, the leaves actually present a reddish-brown color.

the Difference between Raw and Ripe Pu-erh

Athe Difference between Raw and Ripe Pu-erh

The Process of Raw and Ripe Pu-erh Tea

Understanding the Difference

See Table Below:

Type Raw Puerh Ripe Puerh
Raw Tea
Cake, tuo cha, and compressed brick.
Ripe Tea
Cake, tuo cha, compressed brick, and san cha.
Processing Processing involves taking fresh tea leave right after they are picked, storing them in a natural manner, and making them into a particular shape listed above. This is done with a sun drying process and a rolling process. Ripened tea is created through a piling process with puerh sheng. The process includes a sun drying process, a rolling and piling process, and molding it into a shape listed above.
When you are processing the raw puerh tea the process is called shai qing mao cha. With the piling process it becomes the shu puerh which is ripened. Piling is a process that was started in 1973 in a factory in Kunming, if tea is listed as ripened before that date, it is not ripened and instead it is a raw method.
Pack and Store Raw tea: Fengqing Daohua Xiang Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2013 Ripened Tea: Fengqing Arbor Tree Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea 2010
Raw Pu-erh
Raw Pu-erh
Storage: store using tea bags that allow it to get clean, dry air and avoid moisture.

Storage: same method as puerh sheng
Aroma flavor Chestnut fragrance and buds fragrance. Mellow and earthy flavor with aroma.
Dry Leaves appear as dark green with brown and white tips that have stripes. The color is maroon and dark chestnut and can actually be referred to as a pig liver color.
Raw Pu-erh
Raw Pu-erh
Bright Yellow
Ripe Pu-erh
Ripe Pu-erh
Dark Red Clear
Taste The taste has a strong fragrance that will help stimulate stomachs. It can also product saliva. This tea has a stronger flavor than green tea. After the piling process and the tea catechins, the bitter taste that it has reduces and it has a deep fragrance and a wonderful flavor.
Leaves Yellow Green
Dark Green
Moist and Soft
Whole leaf even after brewed
Loose Dark Color that is not soft or moist
For you This tea is great for weight loss and for stomach problems, be sure that you are checking it out. This tea will protect the stomach, it can also help with weight loss and it can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol problems.

Advantages of Pu-erh Tea

As a unique geographical indication product in Yunnan, Pu’er tea is made from large leaf species, deeply loved by tea lovers for its unique quality and efficacy. Although Pu’er tea has the distinction of raw and ripe tea, they all work for beauty and weight loss.

Ripe Pu-erh Tea: Treated by pile fermentation process, the ripe tea is tend to be mild accompanied with mellow and smooth taste, which is more acceptable for tea lovers who are just getting in touch with Pu’er tea. In addition, ripe Pu’er tea contains a large number of bacteria that are beneficial to human body, such as trace elements, polypeptide amino acids and minerals. Therefore without any strong stimulation on the stomach but yield a protective layer on the gastric wall, ripe Pu’er tea is suitable for most people to drink.

Raw Pu-erh Tea: Raw Pu’er tea offers rich and full-bodied taste, containing high content of tea polyphenols. Studies have shown that tea polyphenols can inhibit the synthesis and differentiation of fat cells, at the same time maintain stable levels of fat and sterols in the blood, helpful for losing weight and preventing obesity. The best drinking time for raw tea is 1 hour after meal, which can accelerate the digestion and absorption of food, as well as promote excretion of toxins in the body at first time. In addition, raw pe-erh tea is also effective in cleaning intestines and anti-oxidation.

All the Best Tips

You will find that with loose raw pu-erh you are getting a compressed tea. You should make sure to keep it at a consistent cool temperature, with a consistent low humidity levels, outside of direct light sources and airflow, with no strong odors or unpleasant odors in the air..

With compressed pu-erh, you need to know how to store it. You want to make sure that it is convenient to store it, but that you are also doing it correctly so that it tastes the way that you want it to.

With piling, the fermented tea will go through a piling process so that the leaves are able to dry up in the warehouse or wherever it is being processed. With piling, it will get strained with a certain amount of water, the more water, the faster the process goes and the softer that the tea leaves will get. Once this is done, you can drink the tea immediately.


If you enjoyed this article, you might also like to read the following articles:

Pu-erh Cake Tea process

Raw Pu-erh Tea Knowledge

Ripe Puerh Tea Knowledge

Miracle Weight Loss Tea from China – How Pu-erh Tea Can Help You Shed Pounds

  • Good knowledge to understand ,I appreciate your hard work and thought of sharing to all

    • TeaVivre

      Thanks for your praise.
      I’m glad that our information is useful for you.
      Wish you have a nice day.

  • Thank you, very much for the information. I am new to tea drinking and received my first shipment of raw and ripe Pu-erh today. I am looking forward to enjoying my tea drinking.

    • TeaVivre

      Thanks for your appreciation.

      Hope you will enjoy your teas, and if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.

  • the tea should be a process of love and meditation. You may obtain the desired results as a by-product of drinking it, but I believe the spiritual aspects come first.
    Love what you are, and become what you love.

  • This was a really nice post.Thanks a lot for tainkg the time to provide such a nice and informative article. It has given me lots of inspiration. In reality I would like to write something like this also tainkg time and real effort to make a good article but what can I say I procrastinate a lot and never seem to get anything done

  • This article was somewhat helpful. I would like to see a real comparitive analysis of the medicinal differences between the two pu-erhs. I’ve been following your advice and am brewing 4.5 grams of sheng in 240cc water left overnight on a cup warmer. I take my supplements and meds with this as my “morning cup of medicine” primarily for weight loss. Maybe I should drink shu the rest of the day for my heart and vasculature. But a strong cup of raw pu-erh in the morning on an empty stomach makes sense.

    • TeaVivre

      Thank you.

  • Very helpful article. I am enjoying my first experience with pu-erh teas.

Related Posts