Pu erh Tea
What is Pu erh tea？Pu erh or Pu’er tea, made from the leaves and stems of Camellia plant is a kind of Chinese dark tea. It contains two major types: raw or unfermented Pu’er tea and ripe or fermented Pu’er tea. It also falls into two categories, loose tea and compressed tea based on the appearance. The birthplace of it is Yunnan Province, southwest China.
The unique fragrance of Pu’er tea can last for a long time, the taste is strong and mellow, the soup is orange, and the Pu erh leaves can be brewed several times. The aged Pu erh tea is widely considered to have better taste. The best Pu erh tea brands include Dayi, Chensheng, Fujin, Lancang, Douji and Baohexiang.
Types of Pu erh Tea
1. Raw Tea and Ripe Tea
|Raw or Unfermented Tea||Ripe or Fermented Tea|
|Leaves Color||Turquoise or dark green||Brownness, red brownness or dark brownness|
|Soup Color||Yellow green, bright yellow, red yellow or orange red||Garnet, ruby red, wine red or dark red|
|Taste The flavor||turns from bitterness to sweetness after drinking||Smooth, soft and sweet|
|Brewed Tea Leaves||Green or yellow green in color; the leaves are complete and withy.||Dark brownness or dark in color; leaves are broken.|
2. Loose Tea and Compressed Tea
Loose tea refers to those that leaves keep the original scattered state, which is not compressed during process. This kind of loose tea makes it easier for beginners to watch the appearance and color.
Compressed tea can be classified into cake tea, bowl tea and brick tea. Cake tea is one of the most common compressed tea shape. Bowl tea, or tuo tea is bowl-shaped tea looking like a round bowl in appearance, which is convenient for carrying and brewing. Brick tea is made for transportation purpose, most of which are ripe type, which can be brewed for several times.
Pu erh Tea Benefits
1． Lose Weight
Pu erh tea weight loss effect is significant. If you develop the habit of drinking it, the level of cholesterol and glycerol inside your body will go lower, reducing the risk of overweight, high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis. A healthy body can also get you rid of the racing heart, cerebral hemorrhage and other diseases resulted by obesity.
2. Protect Stomach
A cup of Pu’er tea in appropriate concentration will not do harm to you but bring a protective layer to your intestines and stomach to keep it in a better condition if you drink it regularly.
According to medical researches and clinical trials, the abundant tea polyphenol in Yunnan Pu erh tea can resist bacteria. If you can drink strong Pu’er tea more than 3 times a day, the risk of getting dysentery caused by bacteria can be reduced.
4. Resist Aging
Catechins in tea has an effect on resisting aging, especially aged Pu erh tea, which contains more nutrient substance than the newly made. Pu erh tea can cure acne and bad breath caused by constipation, making you look younger.
5. Prevent Tiredness
Pu erh tea caffeine can stimulate your central nervous system, driving away tiredness after long-time working.
Pu erh Tea Side Effects and Drinking Tips
1. Dizziness. Over drinking or drinking strong Pu erh may result in dizziness. People with low blood sugar or low blood pressure cannot have it in an empty stomach.
2. Diarrhea. It is more likely coming to the beginner. So the advice is to try the light tea that is brewed for the second time.
3. Teeth Stain. The fermented Pu’er tea is rich in tea pigment, which will stay on your teeth if you drink too much.
4. Anemia. Females in their periods should keep away from it, otherwise, tannin will react with iron element in brewed tea, resulting in the blood-making system operates slower.
How is Pu’er tea made?
1. Spread the leaves
The fresh leaves should be spread out to evaporate 30 percent of the water.
2. Deactivating enzymes (“kill-green”)
The leaves are going to be deactivated until there is no smell of herbal.
3. Kneading the leaves
Leaves will be kneaded for 30~40 minutes. You cannot place too much pressure on it.
4. Deblock the gathered tea
5. Dry under sun
These leaves must be placed outdoor to dry under the sunlight. When the water content is less than 10 percent, the loose tea is finished.
6. If you want to get compressed tea, the dried tea should be steamed and then be compressed and shaped in different molds.
When you go through step 1 to 5 or 6, you will get raw tea. Ripe tea needs one more step: ferment naturally.
How to Brew Pu erh Tea
1. Warm all the tea sets to make sure that tea can be heated evenly. Pottery tea set or purple sand tea set are best choices for brewing Pu’er.
2. Put tea leaves into the tea pot.
3. Pour boiled water into the tea pot. After several seconds, pour out the water quickly. This is to clear the leaves and get rid of unwanted taste.
4. Pour boiled water into the pot again. The ratio of the tea and water should be 1:40 or 1:45.
5. Pour the tea into a mug to watch the color. The bright and clear one is the best.
6. Pour the brewed tea into tea cups and taste.
See Also: How to Make Chinese Tea
How to Store Pu erh Tea
It should be put in the place where there is no sunlight but cool and ventilated. Some articles with strong smell cannot be placed around Pu erh tea like soap, camphor or mosquito-repellent incense.
Further Reading: China Puer Tea Exhibition Garden