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About Puerh Tea

I’ve noticed a few questions going around on the internet about this fantastic tea and this blog is here to answer them! Before we do, let’s quickly dive in to exactly what puer tea is.

Puerh tea is exclusively grown and produced in Yunnan, China. Its history goes back many thousands of years, if that’s of interest please check out one of our other blogs ‘The History of Puerh Tea’. There are 2 forms available, ‘Sheng’ or raw Puerh and ‘Shou’ or Ripe, cooked Puerh tea. Raw has undergone a light processing which makes the tea take greener, fresher and in many cases much more bitter. Importantly, the lighter processing doesn’t kill off the natural bacteria and fungi on the leaf and it will slowly age over time giving way to interesting flavours. Ripe Puerh tea is ‘wet piled’, it goes through a fermentation process that can last several weeks. The profile is very different, very smooth with a dark appearance and taste.

Now, on to the questions!

Is Puerh tea healthy?

Yes, there is nothing in western medicine to suggest otherwise. Both Raw Puerh and Ripe Puerh tea offer slightly different reported benefits such as combating high cholesterol, obesity and regulating blood sugar as well as containing a healthy amount of antioxidants. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) where your body should be a balanced warm (not too hot or too cold) raw puerh tea is seen as ‘hyper cooling’ which could be good for some bodies and not so good for others. Example being, if your body is already too cold then a session of raw puerh tea won’t be beneficial but if your body is too hot then a session of raw would be a good idea. Ripe puerh and other dark teas are seen as ‘neutral’. Whenever I get asked this question, I always say that this tea is absolutely fine in moderation.

Does Puerh Tea contain caffeine?

Yes, it does. In fact any true tea from the species Camellia Sinensis Sinesis or Camellia Sinensis Assamica will contain caffeine unless it’s undergone a decaffeination process. Even then there will probably be a small amount of caffeine left.

Can Puerh tea go bad?

If stored correctly Puerh tea will have an indefinite shelf life and will actually improve over time. If stored badly the flavour will fade and the natural bacteria and fungi on the leaf will die.

How do you store Puerh tea?

It’s best to store Puerh tea at a constant relative humidity of 65. A low humidity will kill the natural bacteria and fungi on the leaf and flavour will fade. Too high humidity will encourage bad bacteria and mould which will spoil your tea. Also make sure to store your Puerh tea away from any bad smells like cooking aromas, drying clothes, cat litter, oil, basement smells. Tea is like a sponge that sucks in surrounding aroma with the humidity in the air.

Which Puerh tea is best for weight loss?

Although there are several unscrupulous companies spouting miracle weight loss with this tea the fact is that the reported weight loss attributes are fairly minor and comparable to any other tea on the market.

Which Puerh tea is the best?

The highest regarded and most exclusive Puerh tea regions are Bing Dao in Lincang county and Lao Ban Zhang. A new 357g cake of Lao Ban Zhang would cost around £1000 or more.

Why is Puerh tea so expensive?

Well, it doesn’t have to be. You can buy young plantation material from lesser regarded areas for less than £10 per 100g. The reason that some areas are extremely expensive is due to low supply and the high demand, especially inside China. It’s just like French wine. Some famous plots may only produce 1000 bottles or in Burgundy perhaps only 10-20 bottles but the demand for those bottles are so high that of course, the price ends up stratospheric.

Why do we rinse Puerh tea?

The first rinse of tea is very important. Not only do you wash away any possible impurities that may be on the tea but your also getting rid of potential unwanted aged aroma and help the tea to ‘wake up’ ready for drinking.

Why is Puerh Tea so popular?

It ticks many boxes for people. There is a broad spectrum of complex flavour that’s appealing.  It’s a tea that you can age and notice the changes in flavour to it over time. The value of the tea will improve and you get the added satisfaction of building a collection.

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