KT – Pu Erh Tea
From: HerbalMomma <HerbalMomma@aol.com>
>Wow!!! What a wonderful testimonial!!! What exactly is PuEhr Tea? Can you give me a link to find some information on it? Namaste, HerbalMomma
What is so special about PuErh Tea?
A bit of mystique surrounds PuErh Tea. PuErh comes from one place – Yunnan province in China. The leaves come from the “Dayeh” (large leaf variety of the large leaf tea tree, which is more closely related to the original ancient tea tree of pre-glaciation time, than the more common smaller-leafed tea plant. It is special due to many factors; it is an
unusual large leafed tea variety, and enjoys special growing conditions because of the climate and soil in the Nuoshan Mountains, and has been famous as a ‘medicinal’ tea for centuries. After a minimum of processing similar to an Oolong process), PuErh is aged in deep mountain caves, and a well-aged PuErh (25-30 years) can command a price of $800(US) or more, per20pound!
PuErh in History For centuries, the PuErh tea was carried down from the Nuoshan Mountains 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. Traditionally, the PuErh Tea was formed into bricks or cakes and used as a form of currency. It is thought the Kubla Khan and his Mongolian invaders were responsible for introducing PuErh and the knowledge of its medicinal values to the rest of China
Medicinal Properties of PuErh Tea
In the 1970’s, Chinese doctors in Kumming reported clinical experiments in which drinking PuErh was shown to lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. French researchers at St. Antoine Hospital in Paris duplicated
these results and found that three cups of PuErh tea a day for one month brought lipids down 25 percent in patients, while those on other teas showed no change. These tests showed PuErh performed at least as well as clofibrate, the most advanced medicine for the purpose, without the drug’s side effects. It has since been shown to help reduce body weight. Many report that drinking it after meals relieves any overstuffed feelings and aids digestion. The Chinese claim that PuErh can also lower blood alcohol after drinking, relieve hang-over symptoms, prevent dysentery, and stimulate secretions from the spleen and other organs. People who brew their Kombucha Tea with PuErh are reporting better circulation to the extremities, relief from the pain of varicose veins, and some improvement with peripheral neuropathy. Kombucha brewed with PuErh Tea seems to provide great relief from symptoms of digestive problems such as Acid Reflux, Common Indigestion, IBS, Crohn’s Disease and other related ailments. (SeeKombucha Survey Results)
How is PuErh processed?
Again, the mystique of PuErh. The secrets involving the harvesting,production, and processing of PuErh have been closely guarded for centuries in China. The type of Tea Plant seems to be quite important, and it can be made from Green, White, or Oolong leaves. The tea is collected from growers of a special broad-leafed tea tree, which is said to be related to ancient prehistoric tea plants. The tea is then carefully processed with a type of second fermentation, which gives it its unique characteristics, a mild but very distinctive earthy flavor. Pu-erh is fermented a little longer than oolongs, but far less than Black Teas. Microorganisms play a part here, and contribute during the fermentation , creating the ‘earthy flavor’ that sets PuErh apart from other teas. Many people in Southeast Asia believe that Pu-erh tea with a light layer of mold is the best.
PuErh can be made of green white or Oolong tea and from different types of tea plants. The method of processing used to be the same as that used to process the Chien-An tribute tea from Fujian.
Due to special processing, Pu-erh is low in tannins and has a characteristic earthy flavor. It is thought to improve with age and very old samples can be incredibly expensive.
PuErh is found in loose form, as well as pressed (Tuocha) bowls, cakes, round, oblong, and square shaped. Loose, Green PuErh is a true delicacy,and rather difficult to obtain.
Who Drinks PuErh?
For many centuries, the people of Tibet and China have consumed PuErh Tea to help lower blood pressure, and in ancient texts, PuErh is credited to’clarify the arteries and blood vessels’. The nomadic people at the ‘top of the world’ tend to enjoy their PuErh in a rather unique way. When traveling through that harsh and barren landscape, they carry cakes of blocks of PuErh with them. When tea is needed, it is broken off in chunks or shaved off the block or cake with a heavy, sharp knife. In the darkness of early pre-dawn morning, the designated fire builder will construct a fire fueled by yak dung. The iron boiling pot is placed on the fire, water is boiled for a long period (for purification), and a generous quantity of PuErh is dumped into the boiling water and allowed to boil until sunrise. Here comes the good part=85..into the resulting tea is placed a chunk of rock-salt and generous dollop of yak butter. Many Tibetan refugees, when asked about the things they miss most from their homeland, will tell you that the delicacy they dream of is their beloved ‘butter-tea’. Indeed, this is truly a ‘wake up – ready to face the world’ beverage, and is definitely an acquired taste!
Chances are you don’t have a yak, and neither do your neighbors. Your cupboard may be devoid of rock-salt, and you might be forced to boil water in a conventional teapot on your kitchen range. However, you can enjoy the
distinctive flavor and health benefits of PuErh tea anytime you wish. Remember that PuErh enjoys a true “boil”, unlike its delicate cousin
Enjoy your adventure with PuErh!
From Harmonic Harvest website
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