Wine, beer, whiskey, and tea — which drink is the “odd one out?”
While it seems like tea doesn’t fit the others beverages, the reality is that they’re all created in a similar way. With Pu-erh tea, for example, the leaves are harvested and fermented after being withered, dried, or slightly pan-fired.
Then, after the tea leaves are pressed into discs or cakes, they are aged in different environments, which creates pu-erh tea’s unique flavor profile and personality.
Pu-erh originates from the Camellia sinensis plant and often falls into the “black tea” category because of its very involved processing, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Read on and learn about one of the best beverages you might not be drinking!
Cultivating a Taste for Pu-Erh
So what makes pu-erh tea so different from other teas?
One of its differences is its cultivation process. There are three main ways: plantation bushes, wild tea bushes, or wild trees. (They are also planted at lower altitudes as opposed to the higher altitudes used for other types of tea.) Once harvested and processed, the leaves are pressed into cakes for aging and storage.
The most prized pu-erh teas are harvested from wild tea bushes, grown without human intervention. Then, tea pickers harvest these leaves, process them, and age them in the same manner.
Pressing tea into discs is not something unique to pu-erh tea, but it’s still important to the method. Why? Discs increase the surface area of the tea, which accelerates the aging process. In fact, these finely aged pu-erh tea cakes were once considered so valuable that they were used as currency or gifts.
(If you walk into a traditional tea shop, you might still see those pu-erh tea cakes decorating the shelving by the door.)
The Benefits Of Pu-Erh Tea
The natural oxidation process that occurs when aging pu-erh tea isn’t the same as other teas — it’s the result of fungal, bacterial, or auto-oxidation influences that occur naturally when aging.
This produces many of pu-erh’s unique advantages to your health.
Adding the fermentation and bacteria from pu-erh tea into your diet will aid your body’s digestion, which provides a benefit similar to what you get from kombucha. The difference, however, is that kombucha’s bacterial culture is introduced to the fermentation process whereas pu-erh tea develops it naturally.
(Needless to say, pu-erh tea is an excellent alternative to kombucha.)
Because pu-erh tea is rapidly gaining in popularity, scientific interest has been growing to identify its potential benefits. For example, one animal study showed a daily diet of pu-erh tea aided weight loss and supported the reduction of bad (LDL) cholesterol.
To indulge in these properties, we recommend our certified organic Naked Pu-erh tea, which has been aged for about 5 years. Hailing from Yunnan, China, it offers a sweet, woodsy aroma and mild earthy finish.
Even though it’s sometimes called a “black tea,” pu-erh tea’s processing helps it take on different characteristics — the result is an exquisite, delicious brew that’ll make your day seem just a little brighter.