Pu-erh is one of the oldest types of tea in China with a history of over 1700 years, tracing back to the Eastern Han Dynasty. During its height of popularity, the tea was freely traded even used as money for the bartering of goods. Pu-erh gets its name from the city of Pu-erh in south-western China where the trade for Pu-erh was conducted. Not far from Pu-erh are the areas of Xishuangbanna and Simou, where cultivation and processing of the tea is carried out today.
Unlike other teas, the processing of pu-erh is carefully guarded. In the past, trespassers mistaken as spies on pu-erh tea farms were known to be killed. To this day, the secrets of processing pu-erh remains ruthlessly guarded and it is only in China where genuine Pu-erh tea can be produced. The most basic processing methods include roasting the leaves right after they’re picked. After being roasted, theleaves are sun-dried before being steamed slightly and allowed to ferment. Some pu-erh manufacturers ferment the tea twice, making the flavor more intense.
Pu-Erh tea is known for being a great tea to drink for digestion, especially after a heavy meal. It also helps lower cholesterol which has been confirmed by several customers who drink a lot of it. Dr. Oz likes this tea for it’s fat shrinking ability.
Pu-erh’s post-fermentation process is similar to wine, cheese and saurkraut. The aging process allows the tea to develop added complexity in character. Some would say the tea has an earthy, moss like character. With active microbes living within the tea, pu-erh evolves with each passing year.
Pu-erh is traditionally compressed and packed into tea cakes or bricks to age. This originated from the natural aging process that happened in the storerooms of tea drinkers and merchants, as well as on horseback caravans on the Silk Road. This method made it easy to transport the tea by horseback and reduced the damage to the tea during travel.
Two antioxidant compounds, theabrownin and gallic acid, activate enzymes in our body responsible for fat metabolism. These antioxidants shrink fat tissue and help the body keep fat off weeks after ingestion. Plus, the caffeine in pu-erh helps speed metabolism, making the body more efficient at digesting a meal. Enjoy some today!