Pu erh Tea is a fine wine of the Tea world: It tends to get better with age. This is a type of China Black Tea with an outstanding reputation across the globe. Though somewhat of an acquired taste, its uniqueness extends to all aspects of its character and profile. Our are the best Pu erh Tea UK suppliers around. Why not find out for yourself today?
Pu erh (pronounced “Poo-air”) is one of the most oxidised types of Tea available. Growing and production take place exclusively in the Yunnan Province of China. Indeed, like Champagne from France's Champagne region, Tequila from Mexico’s Tequila city area, and Darjeeling Tea from India’s Darjeeling District, “real” Pu erh comes only from Yunnan.
Specifically, 11 cities and 639 towns have received authorisation from the Chinese Government to create it. This is good news for those in Yunnan but, perhaps unsurprisingly, bad news for those in surrounding provinces who, before these new rules, could make their own varieties. A question nevertheless remains unanswered: Why can Pu erh Tea be so expensive?
A few factors influence why Pu erh Tea is so expensive - or, at least, has the potential to be costly. The fact that its production is limited to specific locations certainly has an impact. What’s more, how Pu erh Tea is made - the distinctiveness of the process required - plays a significant role. While it undergoes the usual steps of making Black Tea, it then has an additional last stage.
This is called wet-piling (known locally as “wòdūi”), which involves workers manipulating conditions to simulate a natural ageing process, similar to composting. What often happens next is that the leaves are compressed to make so-called Tea cakes. These can last for decades, even centuries, and are thus rare. A 1950s-era 357g Red Chop Pu erh Tea disc, for instance, can sell for over $10,000.
Yunnan Pu erh Tea tastes different depending on whether you choose Sheng, a “raw” Green Tea, or Shou, a “ripe” Black Tea. The former has existed for many hundreds of years, though it has since fallen into relative obscurity. The latter only dates back to 1973 and is the variety most popular today. The unique processing of Sheng Pu erh, namely the wet-piling, is what leads to its distinct flavour.
It offers a highly-prized complexity, depth and smoothness, often described as earthy and sweet. But it is nevertheless not for everyone. Some people add milk, honey, lemon or sugar to lessen its potency. Others buy an already Flavoured Tea such as our Scottish Caramel Toffee Pu erh Tea. However, for traditionalists, nothing beats the unusual, though delicious, character of “regular” Pu erh.
Another sought after trait is the amount of caffeine in Pu erh Tea. Like Green Tea, Black Tea, White Tea and Oolong Tea, it comes from the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant and, therefore, contains the stimulant within its leaves. Furthermore, according to a 2008 study conducted by the Japanese Society of Agricultural Technology Management, the caffeine levels change during the post-fermentation period of Pu erh.
Steeping Pu erh Tea for longer periods, too, appears to influence how much finds its way into your cup. The broad consensus is that the average serving has between 60-70 milligrams. Those needing help getting out of bed in the morning have, undoubtedly, made a good decision in Loose Leaf Pu erh Tea. Allow us now to move onto whether Pu erh Tea is healthy.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was the first practice to recognise its potential hundreds of years ago. Pu erh Tea benefits, TCM states, extend to influencing one’s “Qi” - the energy that rebalances the body. Those who’re more scientifically minded will be pleased to know that its health-promoting properties now have the backing of numerous reputable institutes.
According to research from Kunming Medical College, China, Pu erh Tea lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol. Meanwhile, according to a 2014 Korean study published in the Journal of Toxicological Research, it also improves the skin’s vitality. And then there’s evidence of it promoting weight loss, preventing liver disease, and even, perhaps most remarkable of all, curing hangovers!
You know the facts from where it originates to Pu erh Tea meanings such as Sheng and Shou. You know, too, that it has high caffeine levels and, when enjoyed as part of a healthy and active lifestyle, provides benefits. All that’s left is to show you how to make Pu erh Tea. The first thing you’ll need to do is decide between Loose Pu erh Tea and compressed Tea Cakes. The following instructions refer to the latter:
1, Use a needle to pry out leaves from the cake.
2, Place the desired amount in a Tea Filter or Infuser.
3, Boil fresh water to 100°C.
4, Pour the water over the Tea-filled accessory.
5, Allow it to infuse for three to five minutes for the best flavour.
How to Serve: Milk, sugar, honey or lemon - the choice is yours. Alternatively, serve black.