Puerh, a variety of Chinese tea produced in Yunnan province, has become considerably more popular in recent years with tea enthusiasts and collectors in the West. Many aged varieties of puerh tea can be very rare, with a price tag to match, but there may be no more unusual one than the curious variety sometimes known as poo poo puerh.
Eating or drinking foods and beverages that have first been excreted by animals is not as unusual a practice as one might think. True coffee aficionados are generally acquainted with Kopi Luwak, also known as civet coffee. This is an unusual and pricey delight that derives its unique flavor by passing through the intestines of a civet (a type of cat found in southeast Asia). Argan oil, a similarly-produced delicacy, is derived from nuts harvested from the excrement of tree-climbing goats in Morocco. No kidding.
Among the many other names for poo poo puerh are grain moth tea, bug s**t tea, chong cha and worm tea. As noted on Pu-erh.Net (a worthwhile resource for all manner of things puerh-related), grain moth tea comes from Hunan, China and is made up of excrement from the larvae of grain moths fed on tea leaves. An intrepid tea adventurer, Mike has also included his tasting notes from experiences with this peculiar tea.
For additional perspective on poo poo puerh, take a look at this article, which also recounts a tasting session. The poo poo puerh in question was described as having “extremely tiny leaves; each black leaf was no larger than the size of the period at the end of this sentence,” and the steeped liquid was “a dark, coffee-colored liquor.” Ultimately, it was determined to be “just the treat for a jaded connoisseur’s discriminating palate!”
For the lowdown on another fearless tea drinker’s experience with this unique tea, have a look at this post by Marshal, from A Tea Addict’s Journal. His meeting with poo poo puerh took place at an old teashop in Hong Kong and the end result was a liquid described as very thick and strong with a smooth texture.
Williams blogs regularly at Tea Guy Speaks.