The history of tea culture has been disseminated for thousands of years and many different tea products have been developed over time from common black tea, and green tea, to Pu-erh tea. Believe it or not, there are numerous people who know of Pu-erh tea but few who have actually tasted it. I for one have drunk Pu-erh tea in a beverage shop before, but it has to be known that tea has different grades. A genuine brick of Pu-erh tea costs millions which are incomparable with Pu-erh tea sold in the average beverage shop. Today, let’s go back to the past and explore the history of Pu-erh tea and the secret behind it.
What is Pu-erh?
The emergence of Pu-erh tea. The scent of tea with history.
Pu-erh tea is named after its origin – Pu-erh House in Yunnan Province, which has been spread since the Qing Dynasty. In fact, there are many traces of Pu-erh tea before that time but it wasn’t named “Pu’er”. Nowadays, Pu-erh refers to the tea made from the large-leaf tea species in Yunnan. People who are knowledgeable about tea know that real Pu’er tea is not such a simple tea and requires long history and exquisite traditional craftsmanship before it can be called a good tea.
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“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” – C. S. Lewis
Tea Classroom – Pu’er Tea
The production of Pu-erh tea, meticulous craftsmanship.
Pu-erh tea is distinctively different from other teas and can be identified by its shape, colour and smell. Some forms of Pu-erh tea are firm compressed cakes. Together, let’s discover the exquisite craftsmanship of Pu-erh tea.
At present, the Pu-erh teas that can be seen on the market can differ in appearance and are mainly divided into firm and loose Pu-erh tea. Loose Pu-erh tea is sold after being made into Maoqing tea and firm Pu-erh tea is sold after the tea leaves are pressed into a compact state by autoclaving.
The production program of Maoqing tea is similar to other teas, where the tea leaves that have been harvested, withered, blanched and rolled. The main difference between the different types of tea is the smell which can vary depending on the weather, temperature and state at the time of making. Loose Pu’er is sold after going through these production processes.
Moreover, the firm Pu-erh tea is made into Maoqing tea after the above process. It is divided into two categories, raw tea and cooked tea. Cooked tea is mainly boiled before autoclaving. In the process, thearubigin and theabrownin will be produced, which is the stacking process. This kind of Pu-erh tea will turn into sweet tea after about two months. As for raw tea, the stacking step is omitted. It is placed directly into the autoclave to make firm Pu-erh tea. Therefore, raw tea usually needs to undergo many years of ageing before it becomes drinkable.
The production process of Pu-erh tea：
- Collecting: collect tea leaves
- Withering: reduce the moisture of tea leaves by air-drying tea leaves indoors or outdoors.
- Blanching: use high temperature to prevent tea fermentation.
- Rolling: destruction of tea cells allows quick release of flavours when tea is steeped.
— The above process is the production program of Maoqing tea, which is loose Pu-erh tea —
- Piling: The tea leaves are boiled with water to hydrolyze the intracellular plant protein into amino acids. It converts chlorophyll into thearubigin and theabrownin, which is the production process required for cooked tea.
- Autoclaving: After steaming the soft tea leaves, they are pressured into a compact shape. Different tea factories will have different tea cake shapes, such as tuo-shaped, cake-shaped, brick-shaped or pumpkin-shaped, etc.
Storage of raw Pu-erh tea.
Mentioned above, the raw Pu-erh tea is stored and aged before it can be transformed into a drinkable cup of Pu-erh tea. Additionally, according to the storage environment of Pu-erh tea, it will also affect the subsequent flavour. Mainly it can be divided into dry storage and wet storage.
● Dry storage: the longer conversion time. However, due to long-term and slow conversion procedures, it can make the flavour of Pu-erh tea better but the price is relatively high.
● Wet storage: the shorter conversion time. The tea brew has a light taste and a reddish colour, which is not as sweet and fragrant as the dry-stored product.
“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” – Bill Watterson, The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book
Pu-erh Tea Benefits
What is the value of Pu-erh tea? Why do people collect Pu-erh tea? Is it really for the investment? In fact, there are still a lot of benefits that we haven’t realized. Let’s check together.
Pu-erh tea has many antioxidant components such as vitamin C, vitamin E, tea compounds and amino acids, all of which help the human body to resist oxidation and ageing.
Promote gastrointestinal motility
Because the tea itself is cold, some people with a bad stomach may experience stomach pain when drinking tea. But there is no need to worry about Pu-erh tea as its substances have been transformed and oxidized, so nature is relatively mild, and it also has the effect of nourishing the stomach.
The most common cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, vascular embolism, etc., are mostly caused by the lack of space for blood circulation due to vascular blockage. However, the tea polyphenols and vitamin C contained in Pu-erh tea can help people to resist oxidation, promote blood circulation, and produce invertases that can inhibit blood vessel constriction. Furthermore, tea polyphenols and tea pigments can help blood anticoagulation, avoid the production of blood clots, and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Theabrownin in Pu-erh tea has the effect of inhibiting cholesterol synthesis, which can reduce the content of cholesterol in the blood. In addition, concentrations of triglycerides and free fatty acids inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation. Therefore, many females enjoy drinking more Pu-erh tea to help themselves maintain their bodies.
Do you like me ot Pu-erh tea?
How to make Pu-erh tea?
Making Pu-erh tea is similar to making other teas, yet, the tea brewing method can be changed according to the selected Pu-erh tea such as raw or cooked. The higher the temperature when brewing tea, the more aromatic it will be. But generally, the temperature of raw Pu-erh should not be too high.
Pu-erh tea can be continuously brewed more times than ordinary tea leaves because the substances contained in it are constantly fermented and transformed over time, and the taste is fragrant and long-lasting.
The steps of making Pu-erh tea
- Pry tea: To remove the leaves from the firmly compressed tea. When prying tea, attention should be paid to ensure removing it evenly, this will improve the performance of Pu-erh.
- Put tea: Put the tea leaves into the utensils and brew with the following ratio: 6-7 grams of tea : 100 grams of water
- Wash tea: Discard the hot water for brewing Pu-erh tea immediately after 3 seconds. This is mainly to wash away the dust and impurities on the surface of the tea, as well as to kill the bacteria in the tea. Some people wash tea twice which can be in accordance with personal preference.
- Brew tea: The soaking time of Pu-erh tea does not need to be too long, approximately 20~30 seconds, which can be changed by personal preference. Additionally, the more times the tea is soaked, the more duration flexibility for soaking.
Moreover, Pu-erh tea can actually be cold brewed and hot brewed. The process of making cold brew Pu-erh tea is no different from any other cold brew tea, which can be made by pouring room temperature water followed by leaving it to set in the refrigerator. On the contrary, the time of making tea can be changed according to personal preference which has no definitive answer. Most people will boil Pu-erh tea for more than 20 to 30 minutes. However, the only caveat is that brewed tea is not recommended for raw tea under 15 years of age.
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ABoxTik takes you to explore the history of tea.
How much do you know about the thousands of years of tea history? In addition to the tea from the beverage shops, have you ever brewed a pot of tea for yourself? People always say that tea is not just tea, but experience and understanding. With different people, situations, habits, and also different temperatures, the aroma of the brewed tea also varies slightly. ABoxTik does not only offer a superior range of tea leaves but also delivers the surprise and attentiveness of a Taiwanese boutique. Therefore, this time ABoxTik wants to tell you, that if you also want to know more about tea culture, please continue to pay attention to the update on ABoxTik exquisite tea. Discover more about our Taiwanese culture through tea.