Tea Blog

For the Love of Puer Tea, pt 1. Ripe

Howdy folks! In the spirit of health, wellness, and pure joy, let's talk ripe puer for a moment. Also, check out our newest video on puer.

Puer Fundamentals – Ripe Puerh

What is Puer?
Puer is a variety of fermented tea produced in China. The fermentation style allows the tea leaves to undergo a microbial fermentation and oxidation after they are dried and rolled. This process is a Chinese specialty. There are two types of Puer – Raw and Ripe.

Where is Puer from?
All Puers teas are from a specific region in China – the Yunnan province. Much like true champagne can only be from the Champagne region of France, so must all Puer teas come from this one area of China.

What makes Ripe Puer... Ripe?"Ripened" Puer has been specially processed to imitate aged "raw" Puer tea. Although it is also known in English as cooked puer, the process does not actually employ cooking to imitate the aging process. The process instead manipulates conditions to approximate the result of the aging process by promoting bacterial and fungal fermentation in a warm humid environment under controlled conditions - a technique which involves piling, dampening, and turning the tea leaves in a manner much akin to composting.

When was Ripe Puer created?
The process of making Ripe Puer was developed in the 1970’s to satisfy the demand for aged Puers in mainland China and Taiwan. By controlled fermentation practices (which takes about 60 days), the puers could achieve optimum taste in a fraction of the time it would take to produce its Raw counterpart (which could take 10-30 years).

What to expect:
Ripe puer has an earthy, rich mouth-feel. Bordering on salty or briny, the cup at first has hints of seaweed and a definite savory quality. With multiple steepings, the tea becomes sweeter and mellower. The liquor is a beautiful deep mahogany brown, and can have a syrupy ‘soy-sauce’ viscosity.
Health benefits:
Ripe puer is wonderful for people with digestive ailments or sensitive stomachs. It can help with circulatory issues as well, being that it moves the ‘qi’ or life-force energy of the drinker. It can also increase one’s “inner-heat” and can result in a restorative form of sweating that can help release toxins from the body. Burping is also a common result of drinking high quality puers!


Western style -

Steep as you would any dark tea. Very hot h2o, 3-4 grams per 12oz h2o, and about 3 min steep. reuse those leaves. You can get many steeps from one serving of leaves.

Eastern style:

In gaiwan or yi xing type pot, use 7-10g, very hot h2o, short steeps, appx 5-10 seconds, increasing time slightly per steep. You can get many steeps this way that evolve over the course of your tea session. this is definitely the recommended way!

March Newsletter $25 Orders Free Shipping

Free Shipping on Orders Over $25

Zhi Tea

Spring is finally here and with it a sense of renewal, hope, and a path to wellness. The team here at Zhi would like to offer you any number of our healthy, fully organic teas to keep you in good company during these trying times. To offset some of the shared hardship, we'd like to offer Free Shipping on orders over $25.

We'd like to suggest a few teas and tea types that will boost immunity and support your general health!

Any of our teas with ginger; such as Masala ChaiCacao Chai, Kenya (rooibos) Chai, and Ginger Peach Oolong and best seller, Turkish Spice Mint can help to stave off not only the doldrums but help to keep your body in tune, as well.

Chamomile, the great soother and inflammation reducer, is available pure and also as the main component of Restful Blend.

Antioxidant-rich hibiscus is found in our Berry Hibiscus and Blood Orange.

Any of our artisanal oolongs are a wonderful way to allow the magic of tea to deeply penetrate your frazzled nerves and provide a sense of centering and grounding.

Stay healthy and well, friends. We are all in this together even we are apart.


-Zhi Team

                             Staff favorites!

Ginger Lime Rooibos

Sweet Desert Delight

Ripe Puer 7572 Rare Brick 2001



1023 Springdale Rd, Austin, TX 78721 | Phone 512-220-3839 |  info@zhitea.com

A Time To Pause, Reflect, and Connect

Dear Zhi Tea Friends & Family,

We hope in this time of uncertainty you are finding a moment of stillness to pause, reflect and connect with those you love.

You are in our thoughts as we remain vigilant in these trying times and therefore wanted to give you an update of how we are addressing the coronavirus as well as allow you to share your thoughts.

We will remain open for business as long as it remains safe to do so and have begun working towards helping you, our greatest asset, to continue enjoying the comforts of better times.

Specifically, our retail store remains open (for now) M-F 11-4, with no table service or tea service. Our warehouse is fully operational and we are shipping around the clock. Our website is open 24/7!

Given the need for most of us to participate in social distancing we will begin offering special shipping and sales promotions, news updates, and forum opportunities to better serve the community and bring us together virtually.

Let's start a dialogue; show us how you are enjoying your tea at home #zhitea on Instagram.

Please be assured, our products are and will continue to be safe to consume. We continue to adhere to the highest standards of food manufacturing and have remained vigilant in daily CDC and FDA mandates for hygiene with our staff and our facility.

As a final note, we encourage you to do your part in supporting local and independent businesses, family and friends who are feeling the financial strain of these uncertain times and let us know how we can better serve you and those around you.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones and we wish you a healthy and prosperous future.


The Zhi Team

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Zhi exists to create moments to Pause, Reflect, Connect. In a world where technology and social media could be barriers to connection, it is often the case that meaningful relationships can be formed that were otherwise less likely. We love that!

Take our fondness for Instagram for instance. Here, tea lovers from all over the world can share beautiful pictures of tea and be connected despite language barriers. A beautiful picture indeed says 1000 words. We love seeing your @zhitea time!

On Twitter, Zhi Tea is able to connect with tea lovers in every time zone. Here, we’re able to answer your questions, have tea chats, and share tea quotes. Reading your #zhitea tweets makes us smile daily.

Love Pinterest? We do too! Browse our curated boards of seasonal inspiration, global tea culture, and easy to make tea recipes. Zhi’s passion for beauty, connection, and tea is expressed here as well. Join us! We love to see what you pin too.

Sign up to follow us on your favorite social media site before the holiday season. We’ll be sharing seasonal specials throughout the year and we want you to enjoy all the great moments. Thanks again for making Zhi Tea part of your love, your life. We love being connected in every possible way! Please say hello however you like best.




Thank you! Zhi honored in ‘Best of Austin’ Awards

Best of Austin 2014Our tearoom is in a flurry of delight! Kettles are whistling, tea cups clinking, tea leaves curling and unfurling.

This is a usual state of affairs at Zhi Tea, but today, it’s in response to a very special gift. Zhi Tea has been named a “Best of Austin” establishment by the Austin Chronicle. Yee haw!

Every year, the Austin Chronicle allows their readers to vote on their favorite local icons ranging from ‘Best Boot Scuffed Dancefloor’ to ‘Best Barbecue.’ They also invite their team of critics to pick their ultimate finds in categories like ‘Arts & Culture’ and ‘Recreation.’ Being chosen in any category is a true honor as it is an opportunity to feel the local love.

This year, Zhi Tea was included in the Food Section of the Critics’ Picks. Our category: “Best Way to Take Back the Tea Party.” We love the clever nod to current events as yes, we do want to take back tea from any possible stigma. Zhi Tea was founded on the effort to elevate tea culture in America.  Tea is amazing! Tea parties rule! Our passion for ultra premium organic tea is an opportunity to ‘be’ the tea culture. We pledge to keep Austin weird by staying enthused and appreciative of all our tea-freaks and tea-nerds, and sourcing the very best tea from around the world for them.

Many congratulations to the Austin Chronicle as well. This was their ultra special 25th Anniversary edition of their “Best of Austin” awards. And again, many thanks to everyone in Austin who makes this city such a great place to work, eat, live. And of course, drink tea.


Rooibos Provence: Zhi’s new tea!

Hello, tea lovers!

Can you feel it?

That sense that something new and amazing is going to come into your life?

A certain whisper of intuition to let your spirit know that a new found joy is on the horizon?

If so, are you ready??

Say ‘yes!’ to our new organic signature: Rooibos Provence.

Smooth, sensual rooibos takes a fruity turn in this caffeine free herbal blend. Juicy black currants give this tea a burst of berry. Elderberries bring their signature taste to the table too, so if you love them in jellies, jams and pies, you’ll love them here as well.  Rose petals and lavender offer amazing floral aromatics but don’t spend too much time on the tongue.  Mmmm. Breathe deep!

We love all our teas here at Zhi, that is a fact; but it has been awhile since a rooibos blend of this calibur has graced our tea room. While rooibos has a tendency to be nutty and savory, in this blend, we experience this tea as sweeter and more fruity than usual. Sound like your cup of tea?

Our superstar rooibos has been Sweet Desert Delight up until this point, and we wonder: will Rooibos Provence take center stage? Only time will tell. Try some today and let us know!