The Main Region of China: Yunnan
Pu-erh, the great "connoisseur Tea"
A unique taste and also famous as a medicinal Tea
This tea that will open your palate to a very new experience and whilst also giving you plenty of health benefits. It is a treat and like a good wine it should be slowly drunk while the leaves settle down in the cup. The rule with Puerh tea is the older the better. Some of the best teas are more than fifty years old. It has a strong brown color and distinctive liquorish taste.
A must for any tea enthusiast to try!
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This tea is known for its ancient history , taste and medicinal properties. The leaves come from the Dayeh variety of broad-leafed tea tree in the Yunnan province. This tree may be more closely related to the original ancient tea tree of preglaciation times than the smaller-leaved one. The tea is marketed in bulk as Pu-erh, shaped into cakes as Pu'er Cake Tea and into the bowl-shaped cakes called Yunnan Tuo Cha. It's all hand made and natural.
It looks like "earth" and has a very soothing and unique liquorish taste. Like wine the older the better. Like wine an old pu'erh is for special occasions.
The peoples of the Yunnan-Tibet border have drunk Pu-erh since the Tang dynasty,
according to a Song dynasty scientific reference. The troops of Kublai Khan, "pacifying" the
southwest after the thirteenth century Mongol conquest, are said to have introduced
Pu-erh to the rest of China for its medicinal value.
Tea from these high mountains has traditionally been carried in shoulder baskets through primeval forests for processing and sale in the tea market at the county town of Pu'er. Located in central south Yunnan, Pu'er County itself does not grow tea, but the name it has given to this variety has become internationally known.
Pu-erh is viewed as a mild tea, suitable for young and old, weak and strong.
Yunnan Tuo Cha, a form of Pu-erh, received the Ninth International Food Award
at a conference in Barcelona, Spain, in 1986.
Pu-erh is very special because of a unique combination of factors. It is an unusual large-leafed variety, it enjoys special growing conditions with the combination of climate and soil in the Yunnan mountains, and it is semi-fermented.
The flavour has been described as both earthy and mellow. For some, the distinctive flavour can be somewhat of an acquired taste. For others, however, this flavor will add to the wonderful experience of drinking Pu-erh, and the flavour will seem fitting in a tea prized for its medicinal properties. Some people recommend first getting used to Nuoshan Pu'er, which has less of this distinctive taste. Or Pu-erh may be mixed with a little Yinzhen to cut the "earthy" flavor and create a more subtle taste. Pu-erh is known for maintaining flavor through multiple infusions.
Pu-erh tea is sold loose, or in pressed form named for the shape in which a block is molded. These include: Tuocha, Bingcha, Tuancha, Fangcha.
There is a proverb in Chinese
A daily cup of tea or more, keeps you out of the pharmacy.
Jasmine Teas are Good For:
- Heart (Oolong and pu-erh for cholesterol)
1. Pu-erh is good for digestion
Pu-erh is often taken for relief of indigestion and diarrhoea. Modern medical tests indicate its effectiveness in reducing cholesterol. Pu-erh is customarily kept for a long time, and in Asian tradition leaves with a light coating of mold are considered the best and to have the greatest medicinal effect. However, tests in two universities and a medical center in Japan showed no significant difference between two and twenty-year-old Pu-erh in reducing cholesterol.
2. Helps prevent heart disease
Research indicates that tea may work against heart attacks, strokes, and thrombosis. Tea benefits the health in several ways. Firstly, it acts as a gentle stimulant to the heart and circulatory system. Secondly, it strengthens and keeps the blood vessel walls soft. There is also evidence that the phenols in tea inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract, which could help decrease the cholesterol in the bloodstream. Last but not least,, it may decrease the blood's tendency to form thrombi, or unwanted clots. Often several of these functions operate together against stroke or heart attack. Strokes and thrombosis often occur because the blood vessels have lost their elasticity. Rutin has long been prescribed to keep these walls soft.
3. Fights tooth decay
Tea has turned out to be a double-barrelled threat to tooth decay for both the polyphenols (tannin) and the fluoride it contains. Polyphenols tend to reduce the formation of plaque, while fluoride strengthens tooth enamel so that it can resist decay.
4. Tea against cancer
Considerable research is being carried out on the role of tea drinking in preventing cancer. Out of 25 papers related to health presented at the Hangzhou Symposium, seven reported on research on cancer and tumors. Green tea seems to get the best results, with Lung Ching Preferred. Stomach cancer, the number one cause of death in Japan, is at its lowest rate in Shizuoka prefecture along the coast southwest of Tokyo. One explanation is that Shizuoka is a tea-growing district and its inhabitants drink large amounts of green tea.
Tea has some effect against cancer because it inhibits the formation or action of cancer-causing substances. Tea may block the action of nitrosamines which can cause cancer, said Dr. Han Chi, and associate professor at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Hygiene under the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine. In a test of 145 types of tea, she and her colleagues rated green tea highest, with a blocking rate of 90 percent. Brick, Jasmine, oolong, and black tea followed in that order.
Another way tea may help fight cancer is through preventing cell mutation. The antioxidation actions of the polyphenols in green tea inhibit mutation of the DNA in healthy cells, which can cause them to become cancer cells.
5. Slimming Effect
On the effect tea has on fat in the bloodstream, Chinese claims that it actually helps reduce the amount of fat in the tissues may seem less extravagant.
6. Longevity and Aging
Long ago in China, tea was an ingredient in immortality potions favored by the Taoists, who were keen on that subject. Still today, perhaps as an echo of those beliefs, claims are made that tea drinking helps one to live to a ripe old age. While it is no magic fountain of youth, some of its benefits can be said to contribute to longevity (stimulation of bodily functions, strengthening the immune system, reducing the chance of heart disease and improving stomach functions). The fluoride in tea can strengthen bones and help ward off osteoporosis in the same way that is strengthens dental enamel.
Caffeine, polyphenols (known as tannins), and aromatic or essential oils are the three main components of the tea.
Medicine made from the tea polyphenols have become part of the treatment for nephritis, chronic hepatitis, and leukemia in China.
Polyphenols contributes to help the cell DNA to reproduce itself and prevent oneself from the cancer.
(b) The essential oils
Or we call them the aromatic oils. They are formed in the tea leaves as they grow. They account for the aroma of the beverage. These substances aid digestion and help emulsify fat.
(c) Low Caffeine
Stimulate the central nervous system and promotes blood circulation. It stimulates the process of elimination and acts as a diuretic promoting better kidney function.
How To Enjoy The Finest Cup of Puh’er Tea ...
You can use the tea bags and simply pour two or three tea spoons of the leaves inside the tea bag, twist the bag and place it in the cup. Alternatively if you do not use the tea bags, simply add the leaves to the cup and let them settle in the bottom, this is “The Chinese way”. With the latter, not only do you enjoy the taste and aroma of the tea, but you also get to see the wonderful display of the leaves and how they “blossom” when they come in contact with the water.
The Water :
An important role in making a nice cup of tea is the quality of water.
The quality of water will affect the way the tea leaves dissolve in and therefore the quality of the tea. Lu Yu said “spring water was best, followed by river water, and then well water”. The amount of minerals in the water seems to have been an important consideration. However, for most people nowadays the problem is that it’s practically impossible to find such “natural” water that is unpolluted. As for tap water, that is often highly chlorinated. The best option therefore is one of the various types of bottled spring water, now available everywhere.
Drinking Tea is an exquisite and traditional ancient Culture that has lasted for over 5000 years; drinking Tea is indeed a Way of Life. Enjoy the ritual of preparing it as much as drinking it. Drink the tea with all your senses; sight, touch; taste; and smell. They all play an important part in the tea drinking experience.
Instructions on how to prepare a nice cup of tea:
1. Use fresh cold water. If you are using tap water, let the cold tap run for awhile first to avoid flat-tasting water. Never make tea with water from the hot tap.
2. While the water is heating, get the tea things ready. (We suggest using the mud pot ( thick ceramic) to make the Pu’er teas).A small mud pot is preferable to a large one, as the amount of boiling water used in a large one may “stew” the leaves and results in flat-tasting tea.
3. Warm the mud pot by rinsing it with hot water.
4. Just before the water in the kettle boils, empty the cups and add tea.
5. A necessary step before adding boiling water to tea is called “rinsing the tea leaves.” It is mandatory in making Pu’er tea, but can improve any type of tea except broken black tea. After the small tea blocks have been added to the mud pot, pour in a little boiling water and drain it off immediately.
6. Next, pour boiling water (100 degrees) into the mud pot to the desired level
and cover. The British style is to keep the pot warm with a padded tea cosy,
but the Chinese avoid this practice, believing that it causes the leaves to stew,
making them bitter and putting the chemical elements out of balance.
7. Let the tea stand. The best tea is made by infusing for a short time rather than steeping for a longer period. 3 to 5 minutes is recommended, with the shorter time preferred. Very fine tea needs an extremely short time.
8. Rinse cups with hot water.
9. Never use cream. The tannin causes cream to curdle. Milk is sometimes used with oolong.
10. Before pouring, stir the tea or shake the pot and then let the leaves settle, Pour into cups through a tea strainer. If lemon and sugar are used with Pu’er tea, put the sugar in first so it can dissolve well.
11. Strain off any tea left in the pot into another warmed pot, and cover it. Don’t let the tea stand with the leaves in.
12. The second infusion. Many people say the second infusion is the best.