Unlike green and black tea, Pu-erh has a dark brown color. Pu-erh is also known as "dark tea" or "black tea". The process of making this type of tea is different than other types because it undergoes fermentation by yeast and bacteria. This type of fermentation gives the drink its earthy flavor and aroma that many people enjoy.
1. What is Pu-erh tea?
Pu-erh tea is a type of fermented Chinese tea with the unique characteristic of improving with age. The name Pu-erh is not unique to any one location in China but is agreed upon as being produced in Yunnan Province. There are several types of Pu-erh, the most popular being sheng (raw) and shu (cooked). Sheng Pu-erh is “raw” and unrefined, shu is “cooked” or aged. The age of the tea is important, as Pu-erh generally improves with time and becomes more mellow and complex.
The variations in shape, from Pu-erh tea to Pu-erh Tea Cake, Brick, and Tuo Cha, are due to the process of production.
What is Pu Erh Tea Cake?
A Pu-erh tea cake, also known as a "Bing," is a traditional compressed form of tea that comes from the Yunnan province in China. The tea is pressed into cakes that have been molded into various shapes and sizes ranging from round disks to mini-bricks. Pu-erh tea cakes are made by compressing the leaves of a Pu-erh tea plant into a dense, compact form.
What is Pu Erh Tea Brick?
A Pu-erh tea brick is a compressed form of Pu-erh tea that is made by pressing the leaves of the Pu-erh tea plant into a dense, compact form. Pu-erh tea bricks are usually square in shape and can be molded into other shapes, such as rectangles or cylinders.
What is Pu Erh Tea Tuo Cha?
Pu-erh tea tuo cha is a type of compressed Pu-erh tea that is made by pressing the leaves of the Pu-erh tea plant into a ball or torpedo shape. Pu-erh tea tuo cha is the most popular type of compressed Pu-erh tea.
2. What’s the Difference Between Sheng, Shu, and Ripe Pu-erh?
Ripe or cooked Pu-erh is made by adding enzymes that imitate the natural process of aging after baking in a very low-temperature oven for hours. This produces more complex flavors than young sheng or shu. The process of ripening creates a tea that is darker and richer with a mellow, earthy flavor and smooth finish.
What's Sheng (Raw) Pu-erh?
Sheng Pu-erh tea is raw and unrefined. It comes in green or black varieties and can be aged like other types of tea. The flavor of sheng Pu-erh is stronger and more complex than shu or ripe Pu-erh. Sheng Pu-erh is sometimes known as green/raw/uncooked Pu-erh, mountain tea, or just plain old "puer."
What's Shu (Ripe) Pu-erh?
Shu Pu-erh tea is cooked/aged, similar to ripening. Thus, it is also known as "ripe" or "cooked" Pu-erh. Shu Pu-erh tea cake often has a sweeter flavor and thicker body than sheng Pu-erh. It usually contains high concentrations of theaflavin and thearubigins, which are the compounds responsible for the reddish-brown color of black tea.
3. What is the history of Pu-erh Tea?
The history of the Pu-erh tea cake can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty in China (618–907 AD). During this time, tea was traded as a luxury item amongst traders from central Asia. The compressed form diverts the flow of tea for easier transport without impacting quality or taste, making it an ideal storage method for transporting the product over long distances.
During these times, Pu-erh tea cakes were wrapped in paper and stored in bamboo containers. This tradition continues to this day, as Pu-erh tea cakes are often packaged in bamboo wrappers.
4. What is the process of making Pu-erh tea?
The process of making Pu-erh tea is unique and complex, as the tea is fermented over a period of years. The first step is to pick the leaves, which are then withered in the sun or air-dried. The leaves are then steamed and compressed into cakes, bricks, or balls. The tea is then allowed to ferment for several years, sometimes up to 50 years. White or golden tips may be visible in the compressed cakes, which are considered a sign of good quality. The compression slows down oxidation and fermentation. Depending on storage conditions, some Pu-erh will age further over time becoming smoother, darker, and mellower.
5. What does Pu-erh tea taste like
Unlike black teas, Pu-erh is fermented before it is dried and roasted. This fermentation process gives Pu-erh its unique flavor and color. It is a strong-tasting tea that can be brewed several times from the same leaves. The flavor is earthy, musty, and sometimes fruity.
6. What does Pu-erh taste like when it's young?
When young, Pu-erh tastes earthy and woodsy with hints of sweetness. There are many flavors to discover depending on how you brew your Pu-erh: maltiness, licorice, fruitiness, honey, mushroom … If you leave the tea to ferment further it will develop into something much darker and richer with age.
7. Why would we want to drink old or aged Pu-erh?
Aged or vintage Pu-erh tend to have deeper and very complex earthy flavors that are unlike any other type of tea in the world. This is due to years of fermentation, oxidation, and aging. Many connoisseurs believe that aged Pu-erh has a "mineral" or "flinty" aroma compared with young raw Pu-erh.
8. Where to buy the best quality Pu Erh tea?
High-quality Pu-erh tea will have a clean, sweet, and mellow cup. It is a good idea to use non-metallic tea ware when brewing Pu-erh tea. You can find them in most Asian markets or from our online store.
9. What are the health benefits of Pu Erh Tea?
The fermentation process enhances the anti-oxidant properties of Pu-erh tea. Pu-erh has been shown to have positive effects on cholesterol levels, digestion, weight control, and blood sugar level. It is also known as a "detox" tea because of its ability to help rid the body of toxins which are believed to be the cause of many health problems. There are many health benefits of drinking Pu-erh tea, including:
Boosting energy levels
Helping to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
Reducing stress levels
Lowering cholesterol levels
Preventing heart disease and stroke
Fighting cancer cells
Improving brain function
10. How to brew Pu-erh Tea?
You may brew your preferred type of Pu-erh tea. The methods for making both Raw Pu-erh and Ripe Pu-erh are very similar.
To brew Raw Pu-erh Tea:
Step 1. Use between 7 and 15 grams of tea leaves to every 500 ml (17 oz) of water.
Step 2. Bring the water to a rolling boil and pour it onto your Pu-erh tea in your teapot or gaiwan.
Step 3. Steep for 1 minute, then strain out all the tea leaves from the tea.
To brew Ripe Pu-erh Tea:
Step 1. Use between 5 and 10 grams of tea leaves to every 500 ml (17 oz) of water.
Step 2. Bring the water to a boil and pour it directly over the Pu-erh in your teapot or gaiwan; discard this initial infusion as it is too delicate for steeping.
Step 3. Steep for 1 minute, then strain out all the tea leaves from the tea.
Step 4. Re-infuse the same leaves for a second and third time, increasing the steeping time by 30 seconds for each infusion.
Water Temperature: Heat filtered or spring water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). Use more leaves when brewing Pu-erh in a tall glass teapot because the steeping time is longer.
Brewing Time: For your first infusion, allow 30 seconds for each 1g of tea. Longer steeps yield bolder flavors.
Recommend using Yixing Clay teapot because it can help to better taste the tea, and keep Pu-erh tea more flavorful.
Use fresh, cold water that has been brought to a boil and then allowed to cool for about 5 minutes.
Use 2 grams of tea leaves for a 6-ounce cup.
A great Pu-erh should have an earthy, musty smell.
Do not steep more than three times or you will be drinking mostly bitterness.
Pu-erh is best brewed in small quantities of water to minimize the bitter taste that results from over brewing. Use just enough to cover the leaves and discard the water 2-3 minutes later.
After that drink Pu-erh tea from the gongfu tea set, you can use between 6-10 grams of tea, and the water temperature is around 95-100 degrees. Brewing time should be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
11. What is the best way to store Pu-erh Tea?
Keep Pu-erh in an airtight container at room temperature. Because Pu-erh is so sensitive to sunlight, it's best to keep it in a dark location.
12. How long will Pu-erh Tea stay fresh?
Pu-erh tea can last up to 10 years if stored properly. Also, as a raw Pu-erh tea is aged naturally over time by the elements it will change and evolve into what is considered a 'cooked' Pu-erh tea. The longer it is aged the better the quality.
13. How much caffeine is in Pu-erh Tea?
Pu-erh teas contain caffeine. It can have anywhere from a trace amount to as much as 15 milligrams per 8 oz. cup. On average, Pu-erh contains about half as much caffeine as coffee.
14. Can Pu-erh Tea help with weight loss?
There is no scientific evidence that Pu-erh tea can help with weight loss. However, Pu-erh does contain caffeine and other antioxidants which may have some health benefits. Consult your doctor if you are looking to lose weight and would like to try Pu-erh tea.
15. What are some of the other health benefits of Pu-erh Tea?
Some potential health benefits of drinking Pu-erh tea include improved digestion, increased alertness, reduced stress levels, and lower blood pressure. However, more research is needed to confirm these benefits. Consult your doctor if you are interested in drinking Pu-erh tea for its health benefits. Pu-erh tea is a unique type of tea that has been gaining popularity in the United States in recent years.
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