In China, pu’erh (“compressed”, “shaped” tea formed into cakes, or also can be loose) is like a fine wine, tea lovers search for the finest bricks which include a small paper embedded in the tea for authenticity, packaged beautifully in wrapped printed papers. Cooked or raw, ancient tree (typically a 100-150-year-old tea tree), or loose- pu’erh is a tea category all on its own.
The type of tea, time of harvest, and soil all will affect the taste and end result in your cup. Pu’erh tea is treated similarly to a green tea once it is harvested that has been shaped into bricks, cakes, or left loose and allowed to ferment for a time, this ages the tea and increases the depth of flavor and health benefits unique of pu’erh.
Cooked (“dark” or “ripe”) pu’erh tea is darker is color and has distinct smooth dark earthy fragrance, produces a deep maroon liquor and tastes earthy and smooth. Raw (“green”) pu’erh will have flecks of lighter colored tea leaves throughout and has a musty, funky, somewhat earthy fragrance and an astringent flavor. Raw pu’erh is considered a “live tea”, as it is probiotic and will get better, more fragrant and valuable with age.
Pu’erh tea is known to be smooth, flavorful, and is artisanal in the sense that so many elements attribute to the final product, which creates such wonderful, variable end results.
Health Benefits of Pu’erh Tea
Chinese traditional medicine only praises the consumption of pu’erh, where it is commonly known to be an incredible health tonic that is a pleasure to enjoy. Studies have shown that pu’erh is the only tea that raises good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol. It has shown to reduce blood pressure, promote healthy blood circulation, and generally make you feel better. It is amazing for cutting fat in the body, and can help you lose weight when combined with a healthy lifestyle and better choices. Try pu’erh after heavy meals, helping cut the heaviness in a meal.
We suggest following the specific suggestions on your bag of tea, but here are some guidelines.
1-1.5 tsp of pu’erh tea for every 8oz of water. 205F/95C for 2-2.5 minutes.