Pu-erh TeaPublished:August 4th, 2010
What is Pu-erh Tea?
Pu-erh tea is made from a large leaf variety of Camellia sinensis, and its name comes from the Pu’er county in China. It can be either raw or ripe, depending on the processing method. Pu-erh tea cannot be easily be classified because of this. Pu-erh teas can be drunk immediately or aged for years, and as such are classified much like wine vintages.
The young leaves and shoots of this variety of tea are covered with fine hairs. Pu-erh leaves are often compressed into tea cakes and wrapped in various materials.
Unaged and unprocessed pu-erh tea can be considered a type of green tea, while aged pu-erh tea can be confused with black tea.
Health Benefits of Pu-erh Tea
Pu-erh tea has a unique ability to further age during post-fermentation processes. Similar to fine wines, pu-erh tea contains active ingredients that made it famous as ‘living tea’. These active ingredients are the source of health benefits of pu-erh tea.
For hundreds of years, Pu-erh tea has been recognized as a medicinal tea and a wonder tonic. It can prevent heart disease and cancer, controlling diabetes and removing toxins from the body. It can cure dysentery, inflammation, improve eyesight, blood circulation and revive those who have been intoxicated with alcohol.
Anti-aging and weight loss benefits have also been documented in ancient scripts and famous books in Chinese history.
Several years ago, a study conducted in France proved that Pu-erh tea could lower cholesterol and proved to be just as effective as the most advanced medications available for lowering cholesterol.
History of Pu-erh Tea
Pu-erh tea is one of the oldest type of tea in China, with a history that can be traced back to Eastern Han Dynasty, 1700 years ago. Pu-erh tea was offered as a tribute tea to the Chinese Emperor and was revered as a traditional medicine. Collectors of Pu-erh tea follow closely the transformation of this tea with each passing year.
Best Way to Drink Pu-erh Tea
In traditional Chinese restaurants, Pu-erh tea is served with dim sum dishes because of the tea’s ability to break down fat and oily food, aiding digestion.