What is Pu-erh Tea Cakes & What are the health benefits?
1. What is Pu-erh Tea?
Pu-erh tea is a special type of fermented tea produced in the Yunnan province of China. These fermented green teas are usually compressed into various shapes, including discs, bowls, mushrooms, and bricks. They are aged for several years to improve their taste and flavor. The most sought-after Pu-erh are those that have been aged for more than 30 years! Pu-erh tea is considered one of the premium types of tea in China because its extremely long aging process required many man-hours to produce just a single cake.
2. Are there different types of Pu-erh Tea Cakes?
Yes, there are different types of Pu-erh Tea Cakes, depending on the region where they are produced and the fermentation process used. For example, the two most popular types of Pu-erh Tea Cakes are Sheng (raw) and Shu (ripe). Sheng Pu-erh Tea Cakes are not as highly fermented and generally display stronger earthy flavors. Shu Pu-erh tea cakes are processed with an extra step of microbial fermentation which results in a smoother taste. Ripe Pu-erh (Shu) tea was originally developed for export because it has little or no astringency and can be consumed by more people around the world who may not enjoy strong-tasting tea.
3. What is the difference between Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake and Ripe?
Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake is the original form of Pu-erh Tea, which has been stored and aged for a long period of time. It has a strong, earthy flavor and is usually recommended for experienced drinkers. Ripe Pu-erh Tea Cake is a newer type of Pu-erh that has been processed with an extra step of microbial fermentation. This gives it a smoother taste and makes it more palatable for people who are new to Pu-erh Tea.
4. What are the benefits of Pu-erh Tea Cakes?
Pu-erh Tea Cakes are known for their many health benefits, which include improving digestion, reducing stress levels, and aiding in weight loss. They are also a great source of antioxidants and can help improve heart health. Pu-erh Tea is especially beneficial for people who suffer from chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
5. How to brew Pu-erh Tea Cake? Step by step guide
When you make Pu-erh tea cakes, you need to make sure that you have the right tools and ingredients. Here is a step by step guide on how to make Pu-erh tea cake:
Step 1. Start by boiling water and pouring it into a teapot.
Step 2. Use a Pu-erh tea knife to unclench the tea cake to get the loose tea leaves. Put tea leaves into a teacup or teapot.
Step 3. Pour boiling water over the tea leaves.
Step 4. Steep for 3-5 minutes, then enjoy!
1. Make sure you use high-quality water, such as spring water or filtered water. Bottled or distilled water will not work well.
2. For the best results, use a teapot with a large enough opening to allow the tea leaves to unfurl and brew properly.
3. Be sure not to steep for too long, or the tea will become bitter. 3-5 minutes is typically ideal.
4. If you are new to Pu-erh tea, start with a lower steeping temperature (around 175-180 degrees Fahrenheit) until you become more familiar with the flavor profile of this tea type.
6. How should I store my Pu-erh Tea Cake?
Pu-erh Tea Cakes should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. They can also be stored in the fridge or freezer if necessary.
7. How does aged Pu-erh tea cake be produced?
There are two ways of production for aged Pu-erh tea cake. The traditional way and the modern way. The traditional way is to use sun-drying, natural fermentation, and storage to make the tea cake. The modern way is to use oven drying, chemical fermentation, and storage.
Sun-drying: Freshly picked leaves from the tea bushes will be spread out on a large screen in the sun. After a few hours, the leaves will be turned over so that both sides can dry evenly. This process usually takes one or two days.
Natural fermentation: After the leaves have been dried, they will be placed into baskets made from bamboo or rattan. These baskets will be stored in a humid environment, typically a mud-brick building. The leaves will ferment due to the microbes in the environment, producing heat and CO2 inside the baskets. After a few months of natural fermentation, the tea cake is ready for storage.
Storage: Once the tea cakes have become solid and hard after natural fermentation, they are taken out of their baskets and are sun-dried again before being stacked into piles on top of wooden board or mesh racks to be aged more slowly under ambient conditions away from direct sunlight.
Oven drying: This easy method does not require expensive equipment or complicated workmanship. It can be done at home with an oven. The leaves are arranged on trays in an oven pre-heated to 110 - 130 C (230 - 260 F) for about 3 minutes and then the temperature is reduced to 80 - 90 C (170 - 195 F) until fully dried.
Chemical fermentation: The process is simple and convenient, not only can produce a greenish-yellow color Pu-erh tea cake or discolored black/red/dark brown Pu-erh tea cake but also has an effect on changing the flavor of the leaves. Tea makers use chemicals such as gypsum(calcium sulfate), sodium carbonate, ammonium chloride, ammonium sulfate, and activated charcoal to speed up the aging and fermenting of Pu-erh tea instead of letting it ferment naturally. After one week or more than ten days of chemical fermentation, you will get a mellow tasting cooked Pu-erh tea.
The traditional way is still the most popular and respected way to make aged Pu-erh tea cake. The sun-drying, natural fermentation, and storage produce the best quality tea cake with a mellow taste and deep flavor. The oven drying, chemical fermentation, and storage produce a tea cake that is not as good in quality as the traditional way, but it is still much better than the fresh green Pu-erh tea. If you are looking for a cheap and convenient way to get an aged Pu-erh tea, then the modern way is the best choice for you.
8. How much caffeine is in Pu-erh Tea Cake?
There is no definitive answer to this question as the caffeine content of Pu-erh tea cake can vary depending on the variety and how it is brewed. However, on average, Pu-erh tea cake contains around 60 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. This is slightly less than the amount of caffeine found in black tea, which contains around 70 milligrams of caffeine per cup.
So, if you are looking for a tea that will help you to stay alert and focused, Pu-erh tea cake is a good option.
9. Are there any side effects to drinking Pu-erh Tea Cake?
Pu-erh Tea is generally considered safe to consume, although it can produce side effects in a few people. These adverse effects include stomach upset, constipation, and dizziness.