Chinese Pu-Erh Tea Explained
Introduction: A brief history of the Chinese Pu-Erh tea
The origin of Chinese Pu-Erh Tea can be traced back to ancient times. Legend has it that a tea connoisseur discovered a unique tea leaf in a mountain cave during the Tang Dynasty. The leaves were not from a tea plant but instead from a wild tea tree growing on the slopes of the Himalayas. The special tea was brought back to China and planted in Yunnan Province, where it's still produced today.
While the history of Pu-Erh tea is relatively unknown, it is clear that it had become a major export product in the early 1900s. The tea originated from the Yunnan province in China and was often gifted to important guests by the Emperor. The name "Pu-Erh" comes from the word for "raw" or "uncooked", which is an accurate descriptor for this type of tea because it hasn't been roasted like other teas such as black tea.
In the west, tea is often consumed as a drink with a taste and aroma that can vary from light to strong. In China, however, tea is more than just a drink: it is an integral part of the culture. The Chinese typically drink Pu-Erh tea: a dark and rich type of unfermented brew that can be stored for years and gets better with time.
Types: The different types of Pu-Erh tea
Pu-Erh tea is a fermented, dark tea originating from the Yunnan province in China. The black tea undergoes a process of oxidation and fermentation with minimal oxidation.
It comes in three grades: A grade, B grade, and C grade. C grade is the cheapest and most common type made from mature leaves. This tea can be aged up to twenty years to produce an aged Pu-Erh tea with a stronger flavour and is more expensive.
Pu-Erh tea is known as "young tea" or "raw" Pu-Erh tea. The black teas undergo a process of fermentation and oxidation before they are pressed into cakes and aged for years. The ageing process adds to the complexity and variety of flavours and elevates the antioxidant levels.
Benefits: What are some of the health benefits of drinking Pu-Erh tea?
The Chinese have been drinking Pu-Erh tea for many centuries. Drinking it usually takes place in two phases. The first is to drink, inhale the tea, swallow it, and then the second is to take a small sip of tea, breathe in its fragrance, and finally spit out the tea. This ritual has been speculated to be a way of honouring the dead. It also purportedly relieves headaches, anxieties, mental exhaustion and chronic indigestion.
Pu-Erh tea has become the most popular drink in rural areas in China, replacing traditional Chinese green tea. Pu-Erh tea is made using fermented leaves that are aged for several months to create a distinctive flavour. The result is a reddish-brown tea with an earthy smell. Traditionally, Pu-Erh tea was used as currency because of its value and stability.
Pu-Erh tea is a black tea made from the plant Camellia sinensis. The ritual of drinking Pu-Erh was developed to offer a profoundly spiritual experience. More recently, this type of tea has been appreciated for its health benefits by many people worldwide. Pu-Erh tea is typically brewed strong with whole leaves left to steep for 3-5 minutes before being strained.
The leaves are aged in piles, undergoing natural fermentation to produce a rich flavour with earthy notes. Pu-Er Tea's popularity has increased in recent years due to its high antioxidants, which are believed to promote health and vitality.
Process: How is puer tea processed?
Puer tea is a fermented, semi-fermented, or dark tea that is a favourite among tea enthusiasts. It is made from the leaves of the native 'Assamica' variety of Camellia sinensis allowed to partially decompose before being lightly dried and rolled into balls, cakes, or bricks.
Pu-Erh tea is a fermented, dark tea. The black tea undergoes a process of oxidation and fermentation with minimal oxidation.
Conclusion: Why should you drink Pu-Erh tea?
The fermentation process also makes Pu-Erh tea healthier than other teas because it removes some of the tannins and caffeine. Puer strikes a balance between earthy flavours and natural sweetness that is both complex and stimulating and calming and grounding.
The leaves are aged in piles, undergoing natural fermentation to produce a rich flavour with earthy notes. Pu-Erh Tea's popularity has increased in recent years due to its high antioxidants, which are believed to promote health and vitality.