Pu-erh tea is a type of fermented tea which comes from a single province in China. Its area of provenance is the Yunnan province in southwest China. Pu-erh tea is similar to many exceptional vintages of champagne and single malt whiskey in the west in that it is aged for long periods of time and it has very special restrictions on what can and cannot be labeled as pure Pu-erh tea.
Pu-erh tea is unique when compared to most western teas in that the leaves have undergone a process of fermentation before you drink the tea. This process can take anywhere from under a year to several decades so different ages of tea will have different flavors as more and more microbial fermentation occurs to alter and steadily mellow out the flavor of the tea leaves over the year.
Depending on what point in the cycle of fermentation you drink your Pu-erh tea, you will have a different experience, but before delving into the subject of the different flavors and aspects to Pu-erh, we must first examine some of the history and manufacturing processes.
Pu-erh has been a specialty tea for some while now, as the good reputation for tea from this particular area has always existed and made for some excellent tea over the years. It is only recently that Pu-erh tea has been purchased on a larger scaled by people who are not Chinese.
The wonders of a free market have brought us one of the most delicious teas you will find, and it would be a shame to ignore it.
The Pu-erh tea is shaped into patties before it is left to ferment over the years. This is a unique feature to the tea as you can break off pieces of the tea throughout the duration of the aging process and taste the difference in flavor that is incurred by the different ages. You will also find that the tea's potency changes over time as it grows older and older.
The beauty of Pu-erh lies in the great evolution of flavors throughout the process and how you can experience it thanks to the manner in which patties or cakes of Pu-erh are shaped and designed for easy access throughout the entire aging process.
The full oxidation process that Pu-erh tea goes through tends to contribute to its reputation for health benefits. This process significantly increases the number of antioxidants present in Pu-erh tea. Pu-erh tea benefits extend beyond a merely higher antioxidant count, however. Traditional tea drinkers from China tend to credit this type of tea with further benefits to heart health and disease
These health benefits tend to include the reduction of bad cholesterol, allowing you to cleanse your arteries of cholesterol buildup over time permanently. Another strong aspect to Pu-erh tea is the protection from heart disease it provides through diminishing your cholesterol build-up. You will, in fact, find that Pu-erh tea is perhaps one of the healthiest forms of tea you can drink due to its nutrient-rich fermentation process.
As the tea undergoes many changes throughout its lifetime, the potency of the health benefits will increase with age, and Pu-erh tea's important immune system bolstering ability begins to shine through after it has been fermenting for quite some time.
It is important to give your tea time to mature so you can appreciate the full extent of its health benefits, you will find that Pu-erh is somewhat unique in this category of tea due to its legitimate application as a medicinal tea.
Pu-erh tea is one of the main teas you will want to try out if you are attempting to lose weight. Amongst the effects of Pu-erh tea, one of the most highly prized is its ability to diminish the drinker's weight over the course of long-term tea drinking. Along with a reduction of bad cholesterol, you will find that Pu-erh tea tends first to diminish your water weight, allowing you to look slimmer within a week of first drinking.
Over the course of a few months of drinking Pu-erh tea daily, you will find that it helps you more efficiently shed weight and keep it off. Pu-erh tea is almost addictive in how well it works for both weight loss and medicinal applications, and more and more people are beginning to swear by it for both of these reasons. It is quite a shame that it is only just now becoming known to the western world on a larger scale.
The taste of Pu-erh tea will evolve along with the age of the tea itself. When the tea is still young, it will have an either bitter or sweet tinge to it. As it slowly grows older, you will find that the tea tends to develop a more nuanced flavor profile with hints of smokiness as the sheer amount of flavor begins to mellow out into a less intense drinking experience.
Brewing Pu-erh tea is quite simple. You will find that it is no more complicated than brewing many other forms of traditional tea. All that must be done before the steeping process is as follows: first, you must break your preferred amount of tea off of the Pu-erh cake. Once this is done, you must rinse the leaves with boiling water and then discard the rinse before beginning the exact steeping process.
Whether you are a fan of the Pu-erh tea caffeine content or you are a fan of the flavor and health benefits, Pu-erh tea has something for everyone, and it benefits from being one of the more popular forms of tea in the traditional Chinese style at the moment