Ripe Pu-er tea, a special microbial postfermented tea originated from Yunnan Province, China, since ancient times, is made from green Pu-er tea prepared from the leaves of Camellia sinensis var. assamica (Theaceae). Chemical investigation on thearubigin (n-BuOH-soluble) fraction of the commercial ripe Pu-er tea, led to the identification of four new flavan-3-ol derivatives, 8-carboxymethyl-(+)-catechin (1), 8-carboxymethyl-(+)-catechin methyl ester (2), 6-carboxymethyl-(+)-catechin (3), and 6-carboxyl-(-)-gallocatechin (4), together with 18 known compounds, including other three flavan-3-ol derivatives (5-7), 10 flavonoid glycosides (8-17), two hydrolyzable tannins (18 and 19), two quinic acid derivatives (20-21), and a purine alkaloid (22). Flavonoid glycosides 8-11 are reported from tea plants for the first time. The thearubigin fraction of ripe Pu-er tea was qualitatively analyzed by HPLC, and gallic acid was found to be the major component. Compounds 4, 6-17, 21 and 22 were tested for their acute activities on insulin sensitivity in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes, but none of them showed significant bioactivity at a concentration of 10 mu M.