Pu erh Tea Benefits and Side Effects
Pu erh is like a fine wine - it gets better with age. It’s an extraordinary, indeed unique, Tea type from China, one that has only recently become popular in the west due to Pu erh Tea benefits.
But what, exactly, does this mean? And what can this infusion do to improve your everyday way of life? We will be exploring its finer qualities in the article below. Topics covered include:
Table of contents
- What is Pu erh Tea?
- Pu erh Tea Nutrition and Calories
- Pu erh Tea Benefits
- Is Pu erh Tea Good for Weight Loss?
- It Can Improve Your Heart Health
- Pu erh Tea for Brain Function
- Helps Improve Digestion
- Drink This Tea for Stress Relief
- Pu erh Tea Can Improve Liver Health
- Pu erh Tea Benefits for Skin Health
- Is Pu erh Tea a Hangover Treatment
- Pu erh Tea Side Effects
- Can I Drink Pu erh Tea While Pregnant?
- Pu erh Tea Caffeine Levels
- How to Prepare Pu erh Tea
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
These are just some of the areas we’ll be looking into throughout this article. There will also be a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section for any and all of your queries.
Once you know the facts, you can try Pu erh Tea health benefits right here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. We pack all of our Pu erh Tea fresh to order, ensuring quality and consistency with every cuppa brewed.
What is Pu erh Tea?
Pu erh (pronounced “Poo-air”) is usually a type of China Black Tea. It is one of the most oxidised varieties available, originating from Yunnan province, China.
The name “Pu erh” derives from the local city of Pu’erh, which is one of the primary production areas. This is where its processing takes place, a method that most often involves compressing the leaves so that they mellow with age.
Loose Leaf Pu erh Tea, despite the name, tends to come in the shape of either a Tea brick or cake. What this does is to allow its flavour to enhance - as well as its price.
A 1950s-era 357g Red Chop Pu erh Tea “disc”, for instance, can sell for over $10,000. Perhaps more importantly, when it comes to Pu erh Tea taste, this beverage offers a highly-prized complexity, depth and smoothness.
Some compare Pu erh to Champagne from the Champagne region of France, Tequila from the Tequila region of Mexico and Darjeeling Tea from the Darjeeling district of India.
This is because the production of so-called “official” Pu erh only takes place in Yunnan. Specifically, only eleven cities and 639 towns in this province can make it. But what is the reason for these strict measures?
In 2008, The People’s Republic of China placed restrictions on the marketing of Pu erh to authenticate the “brand”. It has drawn praise by those in Yunnan who can now control its production, and criticism in neighbouring provinces like Guangdong and Hunan who can’t.
Politics aside, each region in Yunnan that makes Pu erh requires heavy rainfall and warm, humid climates.
It’s worth noting, too, that there are two terms associated with this Tea: Sheng and Shou. The former is a Type of Green Tea, better known as “raw” Pu erh, while the latter is a ripe, fermented Black Tea variety.
Sheng has existed for many hundreds of years. Shou, on the other hand, only dates back to 1973 (introduced to the market in 1975). Regardless of age, Shou is the most famous Pu erh.
Pu erh Tea Nutrition and Calories
Pu erh Tea nutrition refers to its abundance of vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants. While almost every type of Tea, including “regular” Black Tea, has these chemical compounds, Pu erh tends to have more.
This is because of its processing, which, as we’ve established above, is unlike any other. The constituents found in it include, but are not limited to, the following:
Why Pu erh Is Good For You
|Vitamin B-2||Vitamin C||Zinc|
These properties combined combat free radicals in the body, the product of natural, though often harmful, human oxidation. In doing so, it reduces the risk of developing numerous chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and even, potentially, cancer.
It contains only two calories per 8-oz serving, too, making it an excellent weight-loss tool. Yet, there’s more still to Pu erh Tea benefits.
Pu erh Tea Benefits
Modern scientific research has found that Tea, regardless of the type, can improve your health and wellbeing in a multitude of ways. Pu erh Tea benefits, in particular, however, can go above and beyond.
We now know that it lowers cholesterol, enhances cognitive function, aids digestion, relieves stress and even combats hangovers. And this is just the beginning.
It’s vital to note, though, that most of the following research is still in its early stages. Although it appears promising, it remains paramount that you seek medical consultation should you experience any of the ailments mentioned below.
First and foremost, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company care about the welfare of its customers. We are here to show, not endorse, Pu erh Tea benefits.
Is Pu erh Tea Good for Weight Loss?
Is Pu erh Tea good for weight loss? Yes. And in more than one way. We’ve already talked about how Pu erh Tea calories are minimal at best. This, in itself, makes it an excellent alternative to sugary, fatty soft drinks.
Additionally, according to a study conducted by the United States Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, it can boost the metabolism of fat cells.
Metabolism essentially converts the fuel in your food into energy, which is then used to power nearly everything you do. As a result, by boosting this process, Pu erh diet Tea could enable the body to burn fat quicker and more efficiently.
This might ultimately lead to periods of exercise producing better, indeed more noticeable, results. Still, it won’t do all of the work for you, so keep up those jogs.
It Can Improve Your Heart Health
Pu erh Tea benefits your heart in several ways. First and foremost, and as we’ve already mentioned, it combats free radicals in the body. There is also research from a Chinese study conducted at Kunming Medical College, indicating that, specifically, Pu erh Tea benefits cholesterol, too.
Research in question involved 86 participants with unusually high levels of blood cholesterol split into two groups.
The first group of fifty-five patients drank this Tea three times daily, while the second group received an unnamed cholesterol-lowering drug.
Scientists recorded a 64.29% reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol in the Tea group. The drug group, in comparison, showed only marginally better results with a 66.67% decrease. Ultimately, while the drug was more effective, Pu erh showed great potential as well.
But can Pu erh Tea lower blood pressure? Possibly, although there isn’t enough research to back this claim outright. A better choice for this particular benefit is Hibiscus Tea for lowering blood pressure, a type of Herbal Tea.
As for Pu erh, we await further research, which does, admittedly, already look promising.
Pu erh Tea for Brain Function
Most people are familiar with the effects of caffeine, a stimulating chemical compound that provides a much-needed boost first thing in the morning.
We’ll discuss specific Pu erh Tea caffeine levels later in this blog. Right now, however, it’s worth noting that this constituent also influences brain function - especially when combined with another property in Pu erh, L-theanine.
Many studies have shown that caffeine and L-theanine, when consumed at the same time, can have a relaxing effect without inducing drowsiness. It’s a balancing act of sorts, one that has been proven to increase alertness, reaction times and working memory.
Furthermore, most kinds of Black Tea, including this one, can reduce dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease risks. (See: Black Tea Benefits.)
Helps Improve Digestion
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has long recognised Sheng (raw) Pu erh as an excellent digestive aid. Practitioners believe that it helps to break down food in the stomach and intestines.
The way this works, according to TCM, is that its microorganisms increase the body’s healthy bacterial floral. This is similar to Oolong Tea, which is recommended before, during or after a meal.
But what about fermented Pu erh Tea? Does it have the same ability? Not quite, but it can help in other ways. Preliminary evidence suggests that it reduces the risk of experiencing gastritis, a condition whereby the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed.
It might achieve this by fighting Helicobacter pylori in the gastrointestinal tract. However, fermented Pu erh Tea could also cause digestion-related side effects.
Drink This Tea for Stress Relief
While L-theanine in Pu erh Tea maintains alertness, it can also, strangely, contribute to feelings of calmness. Instead of working with caffeine in this case, L-theanine partners up with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
This leads to it increasing melatonin levels in the body, which is the hormone responsible for stabilising moods while regulating the wake-sleep cycle.
There is also research noting that chronic stress disrupts sleep and blood sugar levels, which then leads to increased hunger and comfort eating. This becomes a cruel circle whereby people continue to overindulge, thus causing more stress, until they increase type-2 diabetes risks.
Pu erh, then, can help in two ways. First, it reduces stress and, as a result, Pu erh Tea benefits diabetes.
Pu erh Tea Can Improve Liver Health
Did you know that the benefits of Pu erh Tea might (emphasis on “might”) extend to liver health, too? This is partly due to its weight-loss potential, whereby this Tea decreases fat accumulation.
Some scientists theorise that, while boosting metabolism, Pu erh prevents or even reverses nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Nevertheless, most research has been animal-based, so it largely remains inconclusive.
Another study, meanwhile, has promoted the idea of a Pu erh Tea cancer treatment, specifically for cancer of the liver. It suggested that extracts of the Tea may protect the liver from damage caused by the chemotherapy drug cisplatin.
However, there is no doubt that further research is required, meaning we as a company strictly do NOT recommend its use for this purpose.
Pu erh Tea Benefits for Skin Health
Many of us have stared at an expensive tub of skin cream and wondered if there was a better, perhaps even more efficient way. It appears as if there could be with Pu erh Tea benefits.
But how - and why? Its antibacterial properties, for starters, prevent acne outbreaks. Then there is the fact that it protects the elastin in our skin, which is one of the primary causes of skin ageing.
The answers come from a 2014 Korean study published in the Journal of Toxicological Research. Data established that a treatment using Black Tea, including Pu erh, greatly improved skin conditions in mice.
Additionally, Black Tea anti-ageing properties inhibited wrinkle formation. Whether these results apply to humans, too, remains to be seen. Yet, if proven outright, it could boost the confidence of countless people.
Is Pu erh Tea a Hangover Treatment
Yes, you read that correctly. Pu erh Tea could help to fight that nasty, regrettable feeling after a night “on the town.” Although there is little evidence to back this claim, Traditional Chinese Medicine texts note its ability to lessen symptoms of headaches and nausea.
This is because it reportedly influences “Qi,” which, according to TCM, is energy that rebalances the body.
If you’re more scientifically-minded, it might be worth looking at a Pu erh Tea hangover cure from a different perspective. This beverage, after all, is predominantly made up of water, thus making it an excellent choice for hydration to counter the effects of alcohol overconsumption.
In other words, if you wake up feeling worse for wear, there is nothing better than brewing up a cuppa.
Pu erh Tea Side Effects
The caffeine in Pu erh can, in some cases, cause jitteriness and sleeplessness, especially in those who’re sensitive to its effects. It might also lead to headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea, irritability, irregular heartbeat, tremors, heartburn, dizziness, ringing in the ears, convulsions and confusion.
People living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), in particular, might find it worsening symptoms.
If you have any of the above Pu erh Tea side effects, or suffer from discomfort of any kind after drinking this beverage, you should consider seeking medical help.
We must again stress that The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company is here to show, not endorse, its medicinal value. We’re not doctors, after all, and cannot, under any circumstances, offer out any advice.
Can I Drink Pu erh Tea While Pregnant?
Few studies exist around Pu erh Tea pregnancy consumption. However, largely due to its caffeine content, we urge you to exercise caution.
According to NHS Choices, pregnant women should NOT drink any more than 200 mg of caffeine daily. This is the equivalent of two Coffee cups, four Black Tea cups, five Oolong cups, six Green Tea cups and eight White Tea cups.
When it comes to Pu erh, in particular, which has a little more caffeine than regular Black Tea, the recommended amount is around three cups daily.
Alternatively, you could try a popular Herbal pregnancy Tea, Raspberry Leaf Tea, during your third trimester. As well as containing no caffeine at all, this infusion comes with Raspberry Leaf Tea benefits.
Pu erh Tea Caffeine Levels
Pu erh Tea, like any type of Black Tea, indeed like any type of “real” Tea full stop, contains caffeine. But what, exactly, is the Pu erh Tea caffeine level?
How much stimulation can you expect? It depends. A 2008 study conducted by the Japanese Society of Agricultural Technology Management noted that its caffeine amount changes during the post-fermentation period.
Steeping Pu erh Tea for longer periods, too, has an influence on how much of this stimulating chemical compound exists when you drink it. Most agree, however, that the Shou (Black) variety has approximately 60-70 mg per 8-oz cup.
If, then, you’re looking for an extra boost before work, you’d do well by choosing Pu erh Tea benefits.
How to Prepare Pu erh Tea
We have explored several areas of Pu erh, including its origins, nutritional value and, of course, Pu erh Tea benefits. So, now that you know the facts, it’s time to try the Tea.
For the following “How to Prepare Pu erh Tea” guide, we will be using our Loose Leaf Pu erh Tea available here. You might want to consider getting one of our Tea Filters or Infusers, too, before these next steps:
1. Fill the Tea Infuser / Filter.
Add fermented Pu erh Tea to one of our Tea Filters or Infusers.
2. Boil Water.
Put the kettle on, all the while making sure the water is fresh. This will ensure better oxygen levels and, ultimately, better taste.
3. Hold Off Before Pouring.
Briefly allow the water to cool to no more than 96°C. This is the perfect Pu erh Tea brewing temperature.
4. Add the Filter or Infuser to your Mug.
Place your Pu erh in a PORCELAIN cup. Porcelain has the least influence on the taste.
5. Time to Pour the Water.
Fill the mug with the hot water.
6. Let it Infuse / Steep.
Steeping Pu erh Tea should take AT LEAST three minutes and NO MORE THAN five minutes.
7. Consider Additions.
There is the option of adding milk or sugar. Most, however, serve it black.
8. Now You Can Indulge.
Your cuppa is ready to enjoy at your leisure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Have we missed your query? If so, you might find it below in our frequently asked questions (FAQ) section. If it’s still not here, we’d happily talk to you on a personal basis.
Feel free to contact The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company via email or telephone. Alternatively, visit us here at our Pluckley-based factory, nestled away within the stunning vistas of the Kentish countryside.
Yes - and then some! This beverage, as mentioned above, contains a wealth of vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants. These chemical compounds, when enjoyed as part of an already healthy and active lifestyle, come with Pu erh Tea benefits.
In addition to those referred to in the article, Pu erh protects bone health, supports the immune system and regulates blood sugar levels.
This is a big topic, which we’ll be covering properly soon. Briefly, the processing method involves withering, firing (“kill-green”), rolling/forming and drying.
It’s after these steps, however, that the most important, indeed more crucial, stage takes place: wet-piling (known locally as “wòdūi”).
This is where workers essentially manipulate conditions to simulate a natural ageing process - similar to composting.
Buying a Pu erh Tea Cake or Brick is a worthwhile decision because it will last you for many months, if not years. When you want to use it, be sure to not break it up by hand.
Not only would it be challenging, but it would likely result in damage to your Tea. Instead, use some sort of a needle to find the softest spot before carefully wiggling pieces loose.
There isn’t a set way to drink Pu erh Tea for weight loss per se, although at least twice daily is the recommended amount. The best thing you can do, however, is to manage your expectations.
This Tea isn’t an easy, “fix-all” solution to fitting into your favourite pair of jeans. It takes hard work, commitment and perseverance - as well as, of course, exercise and dieting.
Pu erh Tea isn’t for everyone. It is the Marmite of the Tea world, one that, in some cases, for some people, tastes better with additions.
If you, too, are looking to put a little something extra into your cuppa, a small dash of milk makes for a pleasant accompaniment.
There is also the option of having some sugar if you have a sweet tooth. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how you like it.
This depends on the person. Morning, afternoon or evening - the choice is yours.
However, if you find yourself sensitive to the Effects of Caffeine, it might be best to avoid it before bed. And so, another question begs:
Should You Drink Tea Before Bed - at all? That’s another story… and another blog, which recommends several types of Tea to enjoy before heading off to sleep.
It’s a common misconception that EVERY Pu erh Tea type is expensive. If you’re hoping to buy a famous, decades-old variety, then sure, it might be a little dear.
When it comes to The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, though, our range of Pu erh Teas is very reasonably priced - without compromising on quality. Why not find out for yourself?
Sure! If you want. Just remember its caffeine content, especially if you’re pregnant or caffeine sensitive. It’s worth noting, too, that there are hundreds of other Tea types out there - all of which are well worth trying.
You could mix things up like Pu Yi, the last Emperor of China, who drank Pu erh in the winter and Dragon Well Green Tea in the summer.
If you store your Tea well (i.e. in an airtight container away from sunlight), there is no reason why your Pu erh should go “bad”.
This does come with a downside, though, because storing Pu erh as such restricts airflow and humidity. As a rule of thumb, the more airtight the container, the slower the ageing process.
If, then, ageing is important to you, consider storing it in a clay jar.
According to some, this beverage reaches its “peak taste” in about sixty years, at which point it begins to degrade over the next forty years.
Other people, however, have held onto Pu erh Tea bricks for several generations. In fact, the oldest Pu erh, known as The Gold Melon Tribute Tea (金瓜贡茶), dates back some 200 years - although it’s for display only.
It can be. We’ve mentioned it briefly in the blog above but, before 1973, Pu erh was exclusively Green Tea.
Before this period, it went by the name “Sheng,” meaning “raw.” Nowadays, some recognise Pu erh Black Tea, a relatively new creation, as “Shou,” meaning “ripe” or “fermented” Pu erh Tea. Whichever one you decide upon, you’re undoubtedly in for a treat.
Yes - in moderation and depending on your personal circumstances. This relates to Pu erh Tea side effects, which tend to arise after overconsumption of this Tea.
Drink NO MORE THAN 2-3 cups daily to avoid headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea, irritability, irregular heartbeat, tremors, heartburn, dizziness, ringing in the ears, convulsions and confusion.
Pu erh comes from Camellia Sinensis - The Tea Plant, which is also from where we get the likes of “regular” Black, Green, White and Oolong Tea.
The difference between each type takes place at the factory, whereby the leaves undergo varying levels of processing.
Herbal Teas such as Peppermint, Camomile, Hibiscus and Lemon Balm, meanwhile, are not “Teas” in the conventional sense.
Most of the same rules apply to drinking Pu erh Tea while breastfeeding that we’ve talked about concerning pregnancy.
This means that you should avoid consuming more than 200 mg of caffeine in Pu erh Tea daily.
We’re not experts, however, and would recommend you speak to a doctor, nurse or another medical professional if you have any concerns.
Sure - not that we’d recommend it. The choice is yours, of course, but most would agree that this infusion tastes best hot.
Whatever you decide to do, be it hot or cold, with or without milk, brewed for three minutes or five minutes, be sure to buy from us.
The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company guarantee you’ll love our products - including our Pu erh Tea range.
In theory, yes. You can reuse Tea leaves several times, although the infusion they create will taste slightly different each time you brew them.
Pu erh has a characteristically earthy flavour, which might diminish over time with repeated uses of the leaves. Your best option, then, is to stock up on fresh, top-quality leaves right here with us.
We keep mentioning this, but we’ll mention it once again. When it comes to “where to buy Pu erh Tea,” you should look no further than The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company.
We pack almost all of our products, including Pu erh Tea UK, fresh to order. This is our way of ensuring not only quality but also consistency with every cuppa brewed. What’s not to like?
Pu erh Tea - what is it good for? The answer, which we hope you have discovered for yourself here in this blog, is “a lot.”
From promoting weight loss to improving heart health; aiding digestion to serving as a Pu erh Tea diabetes treatment, this infusion has it all.
Now, you can try it here, all the while realising the full potential of Pu erh Tea benefits. Start your journey with us today.