PU ERH AND DARK TEAS

Pu Erh (also written Pu-erh, Puer or Pu'er) is a "dark" tea known for its beneficial properties. It is said to aid digestion and help detox the organism, making it a good choice after meals. It is very popular in China, and is also known to improve with age.

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HEALTH: THE BENEFITS OF PU ERH TEA

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Tea is known to have many virtues, and Pu Erh is valued as a medicinal plant in Chinese medicine.
Pu Erh is said to help detox the organism and aid digestion, making it an excellent tea to enjoy after a meal.
It is believed to encourage weight loss, reduce cholesterol and aid circulation. In the United States, it is even known as the “fat-burning” tea.
It is also thought to be beneficial for hangovers, as it dissipates the effects of alcohol.

THE HISTORY OF PU ERH

Pu Erh dates back to the time when the Pu people, an ethnic minority from Yunnan, began growing tea which they would offer in tribute to the emperor. In those days, tea was compressed into “cakes” to make it easier to transport on horseback. It is likely that the tea would heat up through contact with the animals during the journey, and begin to ferment.

Many centuries later, people realised that cakes of green-leaf Pu Erh, stored for years in warm, humid regions, fermented and developed their particular aroma. These aromas were increasingly prized, and eventually the tea cakes were deliberately stored for fermentation.

A process to accelerate the natural fermentation of Pu Erh was introduced at the end of the 1960s.

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PU ERH PRODUCTION

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Pu Erh is produced by being heated to induce non-enzymatic fermentation, which differs from the method used for black tea.

Before being rolled, the leaves undergo a specific type of roasting, which kills most of their enzymes. This is done in iron pans, heated to 280°C-320°C, into which the leaves are placed and then covered with straw. The straw stops the steam from escaping and allows the leaves to be steam cooked. This is essential as the leaves are old and therefore lacking in moisture. During this operation, the caffeine content of the leaves decreases.

A first rolling is carried out, then the leaves are arranged in piles of about 1m high and covered with a damp cover that will keep a hygrometric level of 85%. This is the sweating process. It lasts about 24 hours and can be repeated several times. The size of the piles and the duration of the sweating period have important consequences for the tea produced; its aroma will be more, or less, enhanced.

AGEING PU ERH

Compressed tea cakes are sold for ageing. In the right conditions, ageing encourages the slow fermentation of the leaves, allowing them to develop their characteristic flavours and aromas.

The ageing process is essential for green tea. It is treated with special care, and the rarest and most prestigious teas can sometimes reach astonishing ages of 40, 50 or even 100 years.

On the other hand, black Pu Erhs can be consumed immediately after production, as their flavours develop during fermentation. If carried out in the correct manner, the ageing of black Pu Erh makes the flavours and tannins smoother and rounder, enhancing the tea’s aromatic balance.

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Our selection
  • Gong Tin Pu Erh
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    Pu Erh Grand Cru from Yunnan, China
    €32.00
  • China Pu Erh Lin Cang 2009
    China Pu Erh Lin Cang 2009
    Dark tea from China
    €11.00
  • Pu Erh Imperial
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    Cooked Pu Erh tea from Yunnan, China
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