Pu-er (often referred to as Pchu-er or Pu-erh) is a specific type of tea that varies between green and black in its processing = it depends on the specific processing, because there are 2 types:
- sheng = green
- shu = black
Each of them is differently specific in taste, but they should always come from the area around Puer village, which is in Yunnan. Originally, the leaves from this area were loaded onto the backs of mules and transported over high mountains (even the Tibetan Himalayas) to the final tea market. During this journey, the tea leaves absorbed the smell and sweat of the donkeys and mules in their joints, and thus regained their much appreciated (and often reviled) “earthy” aroma and flavor.
Traditionally, this type of tea is pressed into tea cakes, nests and other shapes – this has always ensured that the tea is properly aged and stored in a practical manner.
From these very tightly leafed “cakes”, individual batches of tea are extracted using a special blunt knife or tea stiletto.
This original journey is famously recounted in the three-part French documentary The Journey of Horses and Tea.
Basic InfoThis exceptional tea originates from China, where the main variety for its processing is also still grown today. The name of the tea is derived from a town in the Yunnan province, and the specific harvesting and production technology also originates from this area.
Originally, this name was applied to virtually all the teas grown and exported in the province, but nowadays it mainly refers to a particular type of tea, characterised by its sweet taste and the red colour of the leachate.
The taste of Pu-Ehr tea is slightly earthy and compared to other types of tea, it is not so bitter but slightly sweet, many people have to get used to it gradually.
How tea is made
The specific feature of Pu Ehr tea is the production technology, in which the tea leaves are fermented, either naturally or through a controlled process. With this in mind, Pu Ehr teas are then distinguished:
- green (sheng) – for which the harvesting time is most important, for this type the wilted leaves are collected, which are then steamed and dried in coils
- dark (shu) – for which fermentation is achieved through a controlled process that takes up to three months, followed by steaming and drying
Pu Ehr is an aged tea and with time its taste changes, but thanks to the production process it does not gradually degrade but reaches higher qualities and becomes archival.
Contents of active ingredients and health effects
Compared to ordinary black and green teas, Pu Ehr represents a special group in terms of the substances it contains.
It is mainly characterised by its low theine content, but the caffeine content is relatively high. The advantage of this type of tea is its high proportion of health-promoting substances, including antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals (zinc, magnesium, selenium, manganese and others).
Thanks to these substances, it is very suitable for detoxification.
Health benefits of tea
The active ingredients make Pu Ehr very beneficial for health. It is an ideal drink if you are trying to lose weight as it both boosts metabolism and binds unhealthy cholesterol. Thus, Pu Ehr is rightly referred to as a slimming tea.
In this way, it also helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, benefits the heart and lowers blood pressure overall. A very important characteristic of the tea is its anti-inflammatory effect, through which it promotes immunity building and fights infectious diseases.
The antioxidants contained in tea are considered suitable for the prevention of various types of cancer.
The tea can be drunk 2-3 times a day, acts as a comprehensive protection against a number of diseases and is watery in case you need to adjust the affliction. However, the tea is not suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women (due to its high caffeine content), nor should children under 12 drink it.
How to drink the tea
The tea is prepared as an infusion, usually the first infusion is drunk, especially if the tea is made from smaller rolls or finer pieces. All Pu Ehr teas are poured over almost boiling water (98 °C). The steeping time is around 1 minute, increasing slightly from the third infusion onwards.
For the preparation of tea, larger quantities are used, especially if you prefer a stronger taste.
It is also possible to buy it as a portioned tea, but usually the taste of such tea is not equal to loose tea. Portioned tea is always prepared according to the manufacturer’s instructions in only one infusion.
Loose Pu Ehr is sought after primarily for its specific taste, and you will not usually encounter any special flavours.
Various flavors are added to portioned teas, which are usually sold as suitable supplements to diet programs.
Thus, in the case of portioned teas, you may come across various special blends to promote weight loss. Especially for these, there are restrictions on serving to children and pregnant and breastfeeding women.