Ripe Tea Pile-Fermentation Method

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The complementary relationship between the environment and the microorganisms in dark tea forms the special aroma and taste of dark tea

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The formation of the special aroma and taste of dark tea originates from multiple conditions. Only by mastering these important factors can we have a basic idea and judgment on the production of dark tea.

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Q: What is pile-fermentation?

Why need pile-fermentation? Pile-fermentation is the most important process in the production of Pu'er tea ripe tea and black tea, it is a key step in forming the unique taste of black tea.

Through the moist heat effect of pile-fermentation, it promotes the conversion of the contained substances, reduces the bitterness, makes the taste mellow, eliminates the odor, develops a special aroma, destroys the chlorophyll, and changes the leaf color to dark yellowish brown, which produces the unique aroma of black tea. (Similar to musty, but a fragrance).

Because of the special nature of the pile-fermentation, long time and high temperature, and the large number of batches processed, pile-fermentation trough are usually used. If the family produces in small batches, use clean containers. In addition, the tea used in pile-fermentation must be green tea, otherwise it will not succeed.


The processing of pile-fermentation: The dried green tea is evenly sprayed with water mist to increase the water content of the tea to 30%. Then pile up the tea leaves and cover them with a clean cotton cloth to keep them warm and allow the tea leaves to ferment naturally.

The fermentation temperature should be maintained between 40-60°C. The fermentation time is about 35 days, and it is flipped every 10 days. A total of about 3-4 flips are required.

When in the pile-fermentation, insert a thermometer into the pile of tea to observe the temperature change of the tea leaves. If the temperature exceeds 60°C, the tea leaves need to be spread out immediately to cool the tea leaves. If the temperature is lower than 40 degrees, it means that the water is insufficient, and you should spread out it immediately and add water to raise the temperature of the tea pile.

After 30-40 days of pile-fermenting, the color of the tea leaves becomes dark brown, with a special scent (mouldy fragrance). The flavor of the tea soup is strong and mellow, and the fermenting can be completed and dried.