Ripe Pu-erh Tea

Ripe Pu-erh Tea is a sub-type of Pu-erh tea that has undergone a "wet piling" process.  Wet Piling aka "wo dui" was originally applied to Pu-erh in the 1970's as a way to fast age raw pu-erh (sheng cha), making it more palatable and smooth like a fully aged raw pu-erh.

The process is accomplished by piling sheng pu-erh mao cha (uncompressed sheng puer) about a meter high in a covered clean space where it is kept wet and allowed to ferment for 45 days.  The pile is often covered with large cloths to retard evaporation of the water and the pile is turned every few days so that the inner contents are not overly fermented, allowing a consistent level of fermentation for the entire batch.

The wet piling process has many other factors that impact the quality of the end product.  The water used to keep the pile wet is very important.  It is said that Menghai Tea Factory Brand Ripe Pu-erh teas have such a sweet taste due to the sweetness of the well water on their property.  The ambient temperature and humidity level in the immediate area where the wet piling is done can also impact the process.  The size and turning of the pile must be well regulated and the frequency of the turning is largely determined by the "wet piling master" who oversees the whole process.