Pu'erh: A Tea Fermented to Perfection
Fermentation isn't just for grapes anymore. Though the practice is not well known in the western world, the Chinese have been developing richly-flavored fermented teas for hundreds of years, with flavors so complex that one taste is all it takes for you to never go back to your boring black blends. Made from the leaves and stems of the same tea plant used for green and black teas, the difference for pu'erh comes in the processing. Like a fine wine or aged cheese, fermented pu'erh teas mellow with age and improve in flavor, offering an entirely unique tea drinking experience.
Produced exclusively in the Yunnan province of China, pu'erh tea is named after the city that founded it over 2,000 years ago. Today pu'erh is one of the oldest known varieties of tea and the leaves are still picked from ancient centuries-old trees. Pu'erh farmers sell their leaves to processors, who toss them into giant woks that stop the natural oxidation process without killing the tea's natural bacteria. The tea is then dried in the sun and compressed under heavy weights in order to form hard cakes. After months, years or even decades of storage, these tea cakes are sold to people that can appreciate them. The variation in the creation process dramatically affects the final flavor profile of pu'erh. No two cups will ever taste quite the same, and even tea from the same cake will evolve in taste as it continues to age. For those that want to transform their tea drinking into a luxurious exploration of the senses, there is no better tea to drink than pu'erh.
Health Benefits of Pu'erh
The uniquely bold taste of pu'erh has given it legendary status around the world as a health drink. Chinese herbalists have valued the brew for thousands of years because of the healthy dose of probiotics and the high polyphenol levels it contains, which are shown to help reduce stress, detox your body from heavy metals and speed up its fat burning processes. Below are some of the top benefits of drinking pu-erh tea regularly.
Reduction in Cholesterol: Drinking pu'erh has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels while raising HDL levels.
- Aids in Weight Loss: Pu-erh suppresses fatty acid synthesis, meaning that your body is prevented from producing more fat from the food you eat.
- Reduces Stress and Helps with Sleep: Despite its caffeine content, the compound theanine in pu'erh naturally reduces stress levels and improves sleep patterns.
- Cleanses Your Blood: Traditional Chinese herbalism has long used pu'erh as a blood cleanser to remove toxins.
- Aids in Digestion: The probiotic benefits of pu'erh fill your stomach with the necessary bacteria to make digestion easier.
High quality pu'erh is meant to be reused, often dozens of times. In fact, many tea lovers claim that the flavor improves after each infusion. Try our USDA Organic Pu 'erh here