After water, tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Tea culture is so wide and varied, immersed in highly sophisticated traditions, and comes with fascinating areas to explore. Yes, there’s more to this drink beyond just chamomile and lemon.
That said, among tea aficionados, there’s one tea that’s considered one of the best: pu-erh tea. In this article, you’ll learn more about it and why you should try it.
Pu-Erh Tea: What Is It?
Pronounced as ‘pooh-air,’ this tea is a type of fermented and aged beverage hailing from China. It’s derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis var. assamica plant—the same plant used to make the popular green tea, white tea, black tea, and oolong tea. That said, to be called pu-erh tea, the leaves should be cultivated in Yunnan Province, specifically in Pu-Erh County, where it gets its name.
Pu-erh goes through both the oxidation and fermentation processes to create a final product that’s distinctly different from other tea varieties.
Loose Leaf Pu-Erh Tea
If you’re interested in the highest quality tea with the best flavour, then you should choose loose leaf pu-erh tea. This is brewed in a loose tea pot instead of using a tea bag, which allows the flavours to infuse more gently, giving a much more enjoyable mug than a cheaper bag (as well as being better for the environment).
Before Darjeeling, one must take a pit stop at Margaret’s Deck tea lounge Kurseoug
Three Reasons To Try Pu-Erh Tea
- It Has A Unique Flavour Profile
If you’re tired of the usual taste of black tea or chamomile tea, pu-erh can excite your taste buds once more. Despite its dark colour, the flavour of pu-erh tea differs significantly from other dark tea types.
This is because of the aging process. Unlike black tea leaves that darken via oxidation, pu-erh darkens through microbial fermentation.
During fermentation, the microbial activity within the pu-erh leaves changes their molecular compound, giving them their unique flavour profile. The result is often ‘earthy’ and can have different variations from sweet hay to woody mushrooms with herbal flavour notes like aloe or camphor.
In addition, differences in how you store the tea can also produce more diverse hints of flavours. Some pu-erh teas can have notes of sweetness, reminiscent of dried fruit like cherries. Others have a strong hint of scotch with nuances of leather and woodsmoke. You can even get bright and creamy flavour profiles you’d least expect.
In short, a single harvest can develop a wide array of distinct flavour characteristics. This is one of the most exciting aspects of trying out pu-erh tea.
1. It Only Improves With Age
Most popular teas go stale after a specific period. In particular, the lighter the tea, the faster they go stale. However, pu-erh tea is more similar to fine wine—the longer you store it, the better its flavour becomes.
A lemon ricotta tea cake will always go good with tea – here is the recipe
Pu-erh comes with a long shelf life, provided that you store it properly. So, for tea lovers who want to hoard their favourites, this can be a rewarding experience. Choosing young pu-erh teas and waiting for their flavour to change over time is one thing you should definitely consider.
Have you ever done a tea tasting ? How was your experience?
2. It Comes With Numerous Health Benefits
Like most teas, pu-erh also boasts a lot of benefits for your overall health and well-being. Adding pu-erh to your tea collection can help with:
Pu-erh extract has been linked to better weight management and abdominal fat reduction. Its fat-burning properties are said to come from its gallic acid content, which is known to have weight loss effects.
Fermented and aged teas like pu-erh are known to contain polysaccharides. These naturally occurring sugars promote healthy microbial communities in your gut. This, in turn, supports healthier digestion while keeping your immune system ins excellent fighting form.
Like other types of tea, pu-erh is rich in antioxidants that protect your cells against free radical damage and improve immune system function.
- Cholesterol Management
The microbial aging process involved in making pu-erh tea shows has been associated with the production of lovastatin. In its synthetic form, this compound is used to treat high cholesterol. Long-term consumption of pu-erh tea may have the potential to increase good cholesterol while reducing bad cholesterol.
Although not as popular as its siblings like green or oolong, pu-erh tea is among the best types of tea you should get your hands on. Providing pure pleasure for your palate and numerous positive benefits for your overall health, it’s no wonder why pu-erh tea is gaining long overdue recognition.
One of the best places to have morning tea in Kolkata is at Balwant Singh tea Stall –
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