Often termed the ‘tea of longevity’, Pu-erh is equally famous for its taste and health benefits. From the Yunnan region in China, this fermented tea has had a faithful following for centuries.
It may come as a surprise that sheng (raw) Pu-erh was produced unwittingly at first. Travelling tea traders during the Ming dynasty were forced to dry their tea cakes in the sun after being dampened by rain, causing micro-organic fermentation to begin. Many of these tea cakes were then kept in storerooms, unlocking deep, rich flavours as the tea aged.
Like fine wine, Pu-erh matures in flavour and increases in value with years gone by. Some Pu-erh on the market can be as much as 30 years old and the most exclusive cakes sell for thousands of dollars per kilogram. As with any delicacy, Pu-erh has become a truly valuable commodity. Tea connoisseurs often have to sort through counterfeit Pu-erh cakes to find a genuine, high-quality cake for their collection.
Experiential value aside, Pu-erh is touted for its powerful ability to assist with good health. Considered by many to be a ‘living tea’, the maturation process of this tea promotes the development of probiotics. Pu-erh is commonly sort after by those seeking support for digestive health, and is best sipped after a meal.
Research has also demonstrated that Pu-erh is naturally a source of Lovastatins, which is due to the probiotic activity within the tea. The main function of Lovastatin is lowering bad cholesterol produced by the liver, which in turn helps reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.
The ageing process of Pu-erh produces an evolving range of flavours, and is a must-try for every tea lover. Described as sweet, bitter, astringent, mellow, earthy and everything in between, the taste largely depends on where the tea is within the ageing process. Part of the Pu-erh experience is slowly sampling the tea as it matures and new flavours emerge over time.
Our 5 year old Toucha Mini compressed cakes are an enjoyable sampler – the perfect size for brewing a small pot of tea. For those looking to add a jewel to their tea collection, our 8 year old Bird’s Nest Pu-erh are encased in a display box for safe keeping.
Try this time-tested tea today!