Many ways are used to make tea. Fermenting is one of them.
Fermented tea is a class of teas that have undergone a controlled process aging or ripening. It's exposed in open air for a period of time, from months to years. It's the only kind of tea that its flavor can be improved over time.
The exposure of the tea to the open air allows it to in contact with the micro flora, oxygen and humidity which causes it to undergo further oxidation and fermentation. This process changes the smell and flavor of the tea, normally make it mellower.
Among all the teas that are fermented, the most representative one is puer tea, which is also called pu-erh tea or puerh tea. It originated in Puer, Yunnan province of China, and was named after this place. You can find it on the market mostly in the forms of tea cakes tea bricks.
Due to the characteristic that its flavor improves over time, it's a special wedding gift to give in certain areas to symbolize the blessings to the new couples love.
When a tea is fermented, it's pretty dark in color and is called black tea in China and countries that have been influenced by Chinese culture. This is different from what it means in the western by black tea. Western black tea is called red tea in those areas.
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