Compared to other tea types, Pu-erh tea is the most oxidized tea. To obtain its unique taste, is often matured that’s why it tends to be a bit expensive. Compared to other types of teas that get musty overtime, the Pu-erh tea’s flavor improves with age just like fine wine. In fact, some rare Pu-erh teas are sold for thousands of dollars in some Asian specialty stores, and some of them are more than 50 years old. Pu-erh tea is so precious because just like great wine regions, the tea’s production is highly regulated to make sure it is authentic. That’s why only aged tea that comes from Yunnan province in China can be called Pu-Erh tea. With that being said, let’s get to know more about Pu-erh tea and what makes it so delicious.
The origin of the Pu-erh tea can be traced back to the Eastern Han Dynasty where they dry leaves of the tea plant in the sun in Yunnan province. The tea plant’s leaves in this region produce large and soft leaves on large and sturdy stems.
Back in the 7th century, people needed a tea that will not spoil on the trip; that’s why they discovered the aged green Pu-erh tea. They also found out that this specific type of tea improved with age, so storing them became a practice. While in Tibet, people drank Pu-erh tea to help them with digestion. Back then, Pu-erh tea was very affordable; that’s why it has become a popular type of tea in these areas today.
Several emperors consumed Pu-erh tea because they liked the taste of the tea that is made with the most delicate leaves, and they also believed that it would prolong their life. Pu-erh tea was also a tribute tea that was offered as a gift to the royal court, which symbolizes great honor and good luck for business.
How is Pu-erh tea Produced?
Pu-erh tea has two varieties, the green and the black, each of them differs by the way their leaves are processed. Both of them go through the same withering, rolling, drying, and steaming process. The only difference is that the black Pu-erh tea goes through an additional step of cooking, which is a term of heaping the leaves in a pile to start fermentation. Both of them are stored for aging. The taste of Pu-erh tea is different from other types of teas because they acquire their unique flavor after they are sun-dried.
In black Pu-erh tea, heaping the leaves into a pile starts a natural enzymatic breakdown process of fermentation that creates heat and somewhat cooks the leaves. This process adds depth and smoothness to the tea’s flavor.
After the long process, both green and black Pu-erh tea leaves are left loose, or they are compressed into different shapes such as brick tea, mushroom shape, cake tea, and bell shape. After this step, the tea is stored in moist and warm cellars to allow them to mature over time. Pu-erh tea is best consumed after three months of storing, and after five years, it starts to have its unique aged taste.
Benefits of Drinking Pu-Erh Tea
- Pu-erh tea has antioxidants – Drinking Pu-erh tea can help prevent cell damage that is caused by free radicals.
- Pu-erh tea has antibacterial properties- This tea can help protect you from harmful bacteria such as E. coli. You can also use the tea to help treat bacteria-driven conditions such as acne.
- Pu-erh tea can help prevent photoaging – Consuming Pu-erh tea can help protect your skin from photoaging that is caused by sun damage. You can also use this tea to make a facial spray or toner but make sure you store it in your refrigerator to prolong its life.
- Pu-erh tea has anti-inflammatory properties – This tea can help ease swelling, redness, and other irritations. It can also help soothe the pain that is caused by an inflammatory condition such as arthritis. You can also apply Pu-erh tea on the skin or drink it to help heal your body from inside and out.
- Pu-erh tea can help reduce bodily toxins – This tea can help eliminate physical toxins that are known to contribute to weight gain.
- Pu-erh tea can help your digestive system – Drinking Pu-erh tea can help enhance your digestion and soothe stomach illnesses. Research shows that Pu-erh tea can help balance the bacteria in the intestines and help digest heavy meals.
Want to know more about the healthy benefits of tea? Follow this link and find out.