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      Chinese Pu-Erh Tea Explained

      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.

      How to Make Your Tea Taste Better

      How to Make Your Tea Taste Better

      Making tea is technical work but also delicate work. Every link in the process may impact the tea soup from selecting water, boiling water, selecting equipment, and preparing tea to brew.


      Water selection: try to choose soft water, avoid alkaline water

      Modern scientific research has proved that the influence of water on tea mainly comes from two aspects: the minerals in the water and the acidity and alkalinity of the water.

      Many minerals, calcium and magnesium ions, are generally rich in content and have the greatest impact on the whole process. The hardness of the water can measure the content of the water. The higher the content, the harder the water.

      After the hard water is boiled, calcium and magnesium ions will inhibit the dissolution of tea polyphenols, and tea polyphenols are vital to the tea's flavour. Inhibiting its dissolution, it is inevitable that the tea soup is weak, and the tea fragrance is low turbid. Therefore, try to choose water with low hardness.

      If it is brewed with alkaline water, water with a higher pH level, the tea polyphenols are unstable and will oxidize quickly. For teas with a low degree of oxidation, such as green tea, yellow tea, and Tieguanyin, the normal tea soup colour should be bright light green, light yellow, or yellow-green. If it is alkaline blisters, it will quickly become a reddish colour.

      Generally speaking, ready-made purified water is more suitable for making tea. If you want to go further, you can buy a pH meter to measure the acidity and alkalinity and then buy a conductivity meter to measure the hardness of the water.

      The water should be boiled quickly on high heat, rather than simmered. When the water is continuously bubbling and boiled, the water activity is better. If it is boiled for too long, the oxygen content in the water will decrease, and the activity will decrease.

      If you use tap water to make tea, you need to boil it a little longer. When the tap water is boiling, open the kettle's lid and keep it boiling for about one minute, removing part of the residual chlorine from disinfection and reducing any peculiar smell.

      Different tea sets should be used for different teas

      Green tea: It is advisable to choose a glass cup or a glass pot to watch it dancing in the water. It is not advisable to select a purple clay teapot. The water temperature required for green tea is low, and a purple clay teapot with strong heat preservation will suffocate the green tea.

      Black tea: Use glass tea sets or white porcelain tea sets to observe black tea's soup colour and golden circle easily.

      Oolong tea: If you want to show the exuberant aroma of oolong tea, you can use a porcelain tureen, which is convenient for smelling and will not smoke; if you're going to show its deep flavour, you can choose a purple sand pot, which can better stimulate the tea. The purple sand has good heat preservation and can be heated to ensure the brewing temperature.

      Pu'er tea: Especially for old Pu'er tea, a purple clay pot is suitable. The purple clay teapot has a unique double pore structure and good air permeability, reducing some abnormal gas generated when Pu'er tea is stored. The tea has a better layer and flavour.

      White tea: The raw materials of Baihao Yinzhen are very tender, and the brewing temperature should not be too high. Therefore, it is advisable to make tea with a large mouthful to avoid suffocating the tea, while for white peony, shoumei or gongmei, there are not too many restrictions on the use of tea sets, old white tea You can also boil and drink in a clay pot.

      Baihao Yinzhen



      Proportion: strictly control the proportion of tea and water

      To make a cup of tea soup with a stable flavour, controlling the tea-water ratio is particularly important.

      Choose the right proportions.

      Safe ratio: When it is challenging to separate tea and water, such as when travelling or using mugs, strictly control the tea-to-water ratio at 1.5:100 (that is, 100 ml of water corresponds to 1.5 grams of tea), which is a "safe ratio", even if it keeps suffocating. The tea will be bitter.

      Daily ratio: In daily tea brewing, you should use a tea-water ratio of 1:30 (that is, 30 ml of water corresponds to 1 gram of tea), which is more suitable for multiple brewing and drinking.

      If you don't have an electronic scale, you can roughly determine how much tea you put in as long as you follow the tea's shape and the teapot's volume.

      Green tea: flat green tea, green bamboo leaves, etc., cover the bottom of the pot with a thin layer. Slightly fluffy green teas such as Maofeng and Melon slices account for about 1/5 of the pot volume.

      Black tea: For lighter tea like Qi Hong and Jin Jun black tea, the amount of tea should accounts for 1/5 of the pot volume. Thick black tea such as Dianhong, the volume should be about 1/4.


      Jin Jun black tea


      Oolong tea: Oolong tea has a relatively large amount of tea. If it is in the shape of particles like Tieguanyin, put about 30 pieces. If it is a thick strip of tea like Shanzong and Yancha, add 1/3~1/2.

      Pu'er tea: Put in about 1/3 of the strip-shaped Pu'er loose tea, and pry a piece of the pressed Pu'er tea to cover the bottom of the pot.

      White tea: Baihao silver needles take about 1/3 of the pot volume, while the thicker and older white teas such as Baipeony, Shoumei or Gongmei are very fluffy, and you only need to use about 1/2 of the amount.

      Controlling the water temperature: A critical factor when making tea.

      Green tea: Should not be brewed with water higher than 90°C. Otherwise, the freshness of the tea soup will decrease.

      Black tea: Use water at 85℃~90℃ to keep the sweetest taste. The temperature is too high, and it is easy to be sour and astringent.

      Oolong tea: Use boiling water to brew. Otherwise, the aroma will not be good.

      White tea: Brew it with water below 90°C to highlight their sweetness and avoid bitterness. Gongmei with lower tenderness can be brewed with boiling water.

      Dark tea: Boiling water can brew its thick soup and mellow taste.