Pu’erh tea is like no other. Everything from its history, the growing process and its health benefits make this tea very special. Today, we’re going to break all of it down for you. After you read what we have to say about pu’erh tea benefits, we’re sure you will want to try some for yourself.
History of Pu’erh Tea
Pu’erh is a loose leaf tea that originates back thousands of years ago in the Yunnan province of China. Large versions of the tea tree grew plenty in this area. This tree is known as the Camellia sinensis, which is where we get other teas such as green tea and oolong teas. It has been said that tea itself actually originated in China during this time. After its discovery, merchants started trading the tea that came from the plant. Since trading would often occur outside of China, merchants would have to walk with the tea for months or even years. When the tea would finally reach its destination, people started to notice something. The tea changed from a green color to a darker color and it tasted much better compared to when it was fresh. This is what makes pu’erh tea so different from all other types.
It goes through an aging process like wine, that makes it have a full and rich taste. Also like wine, pu’erh tea production has many regulations. This ensures that the tea is authentic and is of the best quality. In fact, only tea that comes from the Yunnan province is pu’erh. Many emperors drank this tea for longevity and it soon become a traditional tea in China.
Processing Pu’erh Tea
Unlike most aged teas, this Chinese tea goes through a post-fermentation process. This means that the tea goes through fermentation and an aging process. To start the process, a farmer will pick the best quality leaves. This part is important, as picking certain types of leaves can affect what the end product will be like. Then, the tea gets left out on a mat for a few hours to wither. After this, the leaves enter the “kill-green” step, where they get put into a bowl and are cooked. Cooked leaves then go through a rolling process that bruises the leaves. Sun drying follows the bruising process, which creates ‘maocha’, which is another name for the loose leaf pu’erh tea.
Some factories don’t use sun drying, and will instead create a high-humidity environment for the leaves to dry up.
This whole process takes more than 60 days to occur, which is crazy to think about. But this is what it takes to make high quality tea.
There are also two different types of pu’erh tea; black tea and green tea. The green version is known as ‘Sheng’ pu’erh and black is ‘Shou.’ Both types go through the same processing, but the black type needs an extra step. This extra step involves cooking the tea even further, where it goes through more fermentation.
Pu’erh Tea Benefits
If this tea’s rich history and processing didn’t convince you to buy some, the benefits will. Drinking pu’erh tea, like other teas, has many health benefits. We have a list of 5 pu’erh tea benefits that you might not know about.
- Helps lower cholesterol
Studies with pu’erh tea show that the leaves have a small amount of lovastatin. This is normally a prescription drug that has uses in lower cholesterol. The lovastatin in pu’erh apparently comes from bacteria that lives on the leaves and ferments it. The studies show that drinking this tea over a long period of time can not only lower bad cholesterol, but can also up good cholesterol. So pu’erh could be a much healthier option for high cholesterol over prescription lovastatin.
- Aids digestion
Our stomachs and intestines use healthy bacteria to break down food and get nutrients. Pu’erh tea has micro-organisms and bacteria. When consuming this tea, studies show an increase in healthy bacteria. This can help properly digest foods. For this reason, drinking pu’erh tea after a big meal can help it get through your system easier.
- Weight loss
This is the benefit that everyone wants to see. Pu’erh indeed has weight loss properties. Studies show that the tea can suppress the body’s ability to make fat. The tea caffeine in it, which can increase metabolism and burn fat faster. Also, pu’erh also proves to block visceral fat, which is bad fat, from building up in your body. All of these properties are great, but this does not make the tea a miracle fat burner on its own. It is good to drink the tea while dieting and exercising, but drinking it alone will not burn fat right away. It will take time, but drinking this tea proves to help with the journey.
- Reduces stress
Though the tea does have caffeine, it has been shown to help relax and lower stress. This is because pu’erh has GABA and theanine. These are neurotransmitters that help you relax. These increase the production of melatonin in the brain, which helps keeps a steady mood and improve sleeping.
- Prevents illness
Lastly, pu’erh can help fight off disease and sicknesses. This is because it has antioxidants, which help fight off colds and flus. Do note though, since this tea goes through a long fermentation process, it loses a lot of its antioxidants. Therefore, it might not be as effective for fighting germs like other teas, but it still works. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. These properties also help fight germs and relax your body.
So that’s what makes pu’erh so special. If you’re looking for a very unique taste in your tea, we recommend you check this one out. Not to mention the pu’erh tea benefits are numerous. Before buying this tea for yourself though, make sure it is authentic. Check out our pu’erh tea collection here.