Full disclosure – I am not an aficionado of ph-erh tea. At the same time, I am an aficionado of good travel writing, and this piece by Max Falkowitz fits the bill.
The article starts off this way
At 4,000 feet, the paved part of the road stops. It’s fall, the rainy season in Yunnan, so the dirt trail that follows is more quicksand than pathway. Deep rivulets formed by rain creep along the 40-degree incline; get your leg caught in one and you’re liable to break an ankle on the fall.
And the goal? It is this
Pu-Erh is aged tea. Why is it better? Serious Eats offers these thoughts
Most tea doesn’t so much age as turn stale and dead. But with the right environment, and the right tea, you get something utterly unique: a drink that slinks down your throat and hugs your belly, relaxes your muscles and calms your mind. The best aged tea is medicine you want to gulp, full of bitter chocolate or stonefruit or wet, sweet soil. And for the complexity of what you’re drinking, it can cost way, way less per serving than that bottle of old Scotch.