Chinese Puer Tea
Pu-Erh tea (also known as aged or vintage tea) is another of China's great treasures and has only recently been discovered in the West. It is unlike any other tea in the world but Westerners can appreciate its similarities to fine wine, with which it shares many attributes.
Like the great wine regions of the world, Pu-Erh Tea production is highly regulated to ensure the highest quality and authenticity. Only aged tea that comes from Yunnan province can be called Pu-Erh tea.
Health Benefits of Puer Tea
Puer tea is most sought-after for its abilities in lowering cholesterol. What is interesting is that the longer the tea is aged, the better the health benefit. However, when aging puer, it is important to store the tea properly in unglazed clay containers. When puer is more aged, there is more lovastatin. Lovastatin is a medication used for lowering levels of bad cholesterol. As a result, pu’er tea is also useful for reducing cardiovascular disease risk. A study has also found that puer can actually increase the level of good cholesterol.
Another benefit of pu’er tea is in its cleansing properties. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is known for its effect on the spleen and stomach, as there are blood cleansing and digestion benefits. Puer fermentation produces micro-organisms and simple sugars that can actually help remove toxins in the blood. The micro-organisms can also increase the levels of healthy bacteria in the stomach and intestines. This means that drinking puer tea after meals can be helpful with digestion.Brewing Instructions:
1.If using an yixing, pour hot water over it to pre-heat it. If using a gaiwan, fill it about halfway with hot water and tilt it a bit so that the water creeps up the side and then rotate it so the inside gets wet all the way around. Then pour the water out. Do the same for any tea cups.
2.The amount of tea to use depends very much on personal tastes. As a good starting point, put around 2 teaspoons of tea leaves in your gaiwan or yixing (assuming it holds 4 oz or 114 ml of water).
3.Pour enough hot water into the vessel to just cover the leaves.
4.Discard the water after 2 seconds. This will rinse the leaves. If you are using a ripe pu’er (see below for info), repeat this process one more time.
5.Fill the gaiwan or yixing with hot water. The temperature should be around 95ºC (203ºF) for regular varieties and 85-90ºC (185-194ºF) for high-quality aged varieties.
6.Place the lid on the vessel and let the tea steep for 20-30 seconds. Then pour the tea into the cup(s) for drinking.
7.For each subsequent infusion, add 5-10 seconds to the steeping time. You can generally get more than 10 infusions out of pu-erh leaves. The higher quality the tea, the more infusions it will give you.
Tea is known to be great for cleansing the body and preventing illnesses, and it can help with the typical caffeine needs. However, puer tea in particular is a holy grail among the wide variety of teas available because of its versatile benefits. If you have high cholesterol, unreliable digestion, unwanted excess fat, or unstable sleeping, then consider trying puer tea for its extraordinary health advantages.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karina Garcia is sales manager of JK Tea Shop, authentic Chinese Loose Leaf tea supplier, for more information, please visit our website at: jkteashop.com