Pu Erh Tea
Pu Erhs are black fermented teas.
Renowned in China for their antioxidant qualities, they aid digestion and eliminate fats.
- Benefits▪ Pu Erh is a medicinal plant in China.
▪ It helps detox the organism and aid digestion, making it an excellent tea to enjoy after a meal.
▪ Encourages weight loss, reduce cholesterol and aid circulation. Also known as the "fat-burning" tea.
▪ Beneficial for hangovers, as it dissipates the effects of alcohol.
- History▪ Pu Erh dates when the Pu people, an ethnic minority from Yunnan, began growing tea which was offered in tribute to the emperor. Tea was compressed into "cakes" for easy transport on horses. Perhaps tea would heat up by contact with animals & begin to oxide.
▪ Later, people realised that cakes of Pu Erh, stored for years in warm humid regions, oxided to develop their aroma.
▪ These aromas were highly prized, and thus tea cakes were deliberately stored for oxidation.
▪ A process to accelerate the natural oxidation was introduced in late 1960s.
- Processing▪ Tea is obtained by sweating process causing non-enzymatic fermentation
▪ Before rolling, leaves are subjected to a specific form of roasting which kills most of the enzymes.
▪ The leaves are placed in piles on the ground, sprayed with plenty of water and covered with a tarpaulin. ▪ Deprived of ambient air, leaves are subject to action of micro-organisms which develop in the hot and humid conditions, resulting in the formation of sorts of moulds resulting in "ripened" pu erh.
▪ "Rough" forms of tea are still produced by compressing the leaves into nests, bricks or cakes which are steamed and stored in a warm, humid, ventilated atmosphere.
▪ The pu erh obtained using the modern method can also be compressed after the fermentation period and stored with a view to ageing over several years.
▪ Since, the organoleptic profile changes thus dark teas can be kept for decades.