What is Pu-erh Tea?
Many tea varieties get a lot of press. Green tea is widely touted as being a cure-all for what ails you, chai tea is a posh favorite at cafes around the world, and black tea is as well known as the sun. But Pu-erh tea is a variety that hasn’t gotten as much publicity until recently. If you’re curious about this amazing tea, here’s some basic information for you.
What is Pu-erh Tea?
Pu-erh tea is a traditional tea that comes from the Yunnan Province of China. In southern Yunnan province, there’s a small city named Pu-erh, from which the tea originates. In China, these teas are viewed as extremely valuable, and the processing techniques and methods have been strictly guarded for centuries. Pu-erh teas have a very distinct flavor that occurs due to its maocha base. This base is made from sun-dried leaves and then fermented and aged. Finally, the aged leaves are packed into bricks or cakes that look like little bowls.
How Do You Brew Pu-erh Tea?
You brew this tea the same way as you would any other loose leaf tea. First, you should heat water to a spirited boil. Then, pour the water over the Pu-erh cake or brick and wait for about seconds. Discard the water. This helps the tea leaves open up and revive to deliver their full potential. Finally, you’ll want to pour more water over the leaves and let them steep. Don’t steep it too long as that can cause the tea to become bitter. For Pu-erh tea, two to five minutes is a good amount of time to steep.
How is Pu-erh Tea Different?
Pu-erh tea is not like most teas. Where most teas are relatively translucent, Pu-erh tea looks more like coffee. It also has a much richer flavor than other teas which is very earthy and rustic. Some people say that these qualities make the tea “low quality”, but that’s not true. Pu-erh is a very high-quality tea that simply has different properties than regular teas. If you like a strong flavor, robust earthiness, and a savory drinking experience, you’ll love Pu-erh tea.
Does Pu-erh Have the Same Health Benefits as Regular Tea?
Pu-erh is a fully oxidized tea, so it doesn’t have as many antioxidants as other teas. However, the Chinese have long claimed that Pu-erh is an effective aid for everything from cardiovascular care to weight loss and everything in between. Many people say that they have experienced reduced cholesterol thanks to Pu-erh, and some doctors have even recommended Pu-erh to their patients as an aid in cholesterol management. While no significant scientific studies have been done on the tea, there are plenty of people who tout the tea’s health benefits, so it’s worth a try.
Pu-erh is a distinguished, unique tea with a flavor and boldness that’s hard to pass up. If you’ve never tried it, you should give it a chance. Keep in mind that Pu-erh comes in many varieties and can be yellow, red, or even black in appearance. Try a few varieties and see if Pu-erh tea is a good match for you.