Pu-erh Tea | Take Two

puerh tea benefits

I am still coffee-free. It hurts a whole lot less now than it did en route, which is part of the motivation to maintain. That and the assertion of control, which is gratifying in its own ways. Because I love love the morning ritual of a hot cup of something dark, I do still drink some decaf (which would be best replaced with cold-press decaf or a root "coffee" but all in good time).

Meanwhile, my am replacement has been Pu'er tea ("pure-er"), which I first wrote about in June '14 after encountering it for the first time at the Fancy Food Show here in NYC. (I've added that post far below as it used to live on my now-retired site).

Pu-erh is my favorite atm because it's beneficial, and beautiful. One tissue-wrapped pod makes three or more cups of dark tea. I steep about 12oz worth twice or three times a day. It's mild, aromatic, subtly stimulative (does contain caffeine) and an excellent antioxidant, diuretic, clarifying companion. As you can see here (~5 minutes steep-time):

puerh tea benefits.jpg

Definitely a tea I'd recommend for transitioning away from coffee, or for times when you need more than herbal. I also have a hard time with green tea on an empty stomach, however pu-erh has been entirely pleasant.


Meet Pu-erh - Benefit-Full Fermented Black Tea

June 29, 2014

puerh tea benefits

Pu-erh (or Pu'er) tea is a type of fermented, dark tea produced in Yunnan, China. In fermentation, the tea leaves undergo microbial fermentation (often 60 days) and oxidation after they are dried and rolled. This process is a Chinese specialty and produces tea known as Hei Cha (黑茶), commonly translated as dark, or black tea (this type of tea is completely different from what in West is known as "black tea", which in China is called "red tea" 红茶). The best known variety of this category of tea is Pu-erh from Yunnan Province, named after Pu-er City.

Pu'er traditionally begins as a raw product known as "rough" Mao Cha (毛茶) and can be sold in this form or pressed into a number of shapes and sold as "raw" Sheng Cha (生茶). Both of these forms then undergo the complex process of gradual fermentation and maturation with time.

Scientific studies report that consumption of pu'er tea leaves significantly suppressed the expression of fatty acid synthase (FAS) in the livers of rats; gains in body weight, levels of triacylglycerol, and total cholesterol were also suppressed. The compositions of chemical components found to have been responsible for these effects (catechins, caffeine, and theanine) varied dramatically between pu-erh, black, oolong, and green teas.

Specific mechanisms through which chemicals in pu'er tea inhibit the biosynthesis of cholesterol in the laboratory have been suggested.

Pu'er tea has also been found to have antimutagenic and antimicrobial properties.

Pu'er tea is widely believed in Chinese cultures to counteract the unpleasant effects of heavy alcohol consumption. In traditional Chinese medicine it is believed to invigorate the spleen and inhibit "dampness." In the stomach, it is believed to reduce heat and "descends qi".
puerh tea benefits

Sources: Wikipedia and Numi Tea at NYC's Fancy Food Show

Want some? Amazon has lovely 5-year aged bulk leaves, which you can buy below.