My friend says that pu’erh tea is known to inspire beauty. And, looking at her bright eyes, flawless complexion, and slender athletic build, she’s pretty convincing. Now, I’m pretty sure that drinking pu’erh tea will not transform me into the this year’s most fabulous IT girl, but I do think it can play a role in the kind of thorough, radiant beauty that resonates in a healthy smile and emanates from a cleansed body.
Varieties of Pu’erh Tea
Pu’erh tea hails from the Yunnan province in China where it has been cultivated for over 1700 years—that’s some serious history. Pu’erh is made from fermented tea leaves and comes in three basic varieties: black, green, and white.
- White pu’erh is the rarest kind of blend and is made from young tea buds.
- Green pu’erh is typically the most expensive variety because it is naturally aged and fermented. Some of the more expensive blends are aged between 20 and 50 years.
- Black pu’erh, the most common variety, was invented in the 1970s to mimic the taste of the exquisite green pu’erhs. It is made through a controlled—and much speedier—fermentation process. The type of pu’erh pictured on top is a black pu’erh grown and fermented in Tibet.
Health Effects of Pu’erh Teas on Human Body
Pu’erh teas are known to have some pretty amazing effects on the human body. The biggest and most researched benefits of regular consumption of pu’erh include:
- The ability to significantly lower cholesterol levels
- A significant increase in metabolic rate
- Ability to act as a digestive aid—particularly when large amounts of grease and oil have been ingested.
Pu’erh has long been a part of Chinese medicine and is used to counter the effects of excessive alcohol consumption, as a way to prevent dysentery, and as a vehicle to stimulate glandular secretions. Pu’erh owes these amazing health benefits to both the polyphenols present in the plant matter as well as the microbes created by the fermentation process that the tea undergoes. This winning combination really has the power to cleanse the body from the inside out—and perhaps that’s where that beauty rumor got started.
Taste of Pu’erh Tea
There’s no doubt about it that pu’erh is an earthy taste—full-bodied and rich with the taste of healthy soil. One whiff of this fermented masterpiece as it brews is sure to hit your palate with direct force. It’s really quite unforgettable, and the scent from every tea will be unique. Pu’erh has the power to taste different on a daily basis because its essence is always changing. One thing I have found to be fairly constant, however, is that it always has a smooth finish. It’s an exhilarating delight, and one I hope you’ll waste no time in trying for yourself—if you aren’t already a seasoned drinker!
Brewing Tips for Pu’erh
Order out for your first taste of pu’erh, because drinking this tea is definitely an experience—and it has some brewing particularities that you might want to ease yourself into learning. But don’t be discouraged. Learning to brew pu’erh is one of the joys of the experience, a sort of rite of passage as you begin to fully come to an appreciation of this exquisite tea.
Research your local tea houses or authentic Chinese restaurants to get your first taste of pu’erh. Try it by itself, and try it with a heavy meal and see how you feel after you eat.
I find that there is a lot of truth to the digestive aid benefits of this tea. For me, there is welcome relief in a cup of pu’erh if I’ve indulged a little too much or if I’ve just got a sour stomach. Stay tuned – with a tea as richly fascinating as pu’erh, there is certain to be more articles to come. In the meantime, check out this informative site that chronicles a westerner’s journey to understand all things pu’erh.
Jocelyn Eide is a writer-researcher from Montana, USA, and writes on a variety of insightful topics, including natural health. When she is not working, she is likely doing Yoga.