Drinking Pu-erh tea is purported to reduce blood cholesterol. It is also widely believed in Chinese cultures to counteract the unpleasant effects of heavy alcohol consumption. In traditional Chinese medicine, the tea is believed to invigorate the spleen and inhibit "dampness." In the stomach, it is believed to reduce heat and "descends qi".
Pu-erh tea is widely sold as a weight loss tea or used as a main ingredient in such commercially prepared tea mixtures. Though there is as yet no empirically backed evidence as to how Pu-erh might facilitate weight loss, the widely proposed explanations include that the tea increases the drinker's metabolism, or that the high tannin content in the tea binds macronutrients and coagulate digestive enzymes, thus reducing nutrient absorption. Although evidence is still sparse, it has been shown that rats experience reduction in body weight, blood triglycerides, and blood cholesterol following a diet containing Pu-erh tea.
Pu-erh's are the only fermented teas, whereas other Black teas are only oxidized. Although Pu-erh teas are usually classified as post-oxidation or, just simply as Black teas, Pu-erh teas can be placed in three types of processing methods, namely: green tea, oxidized tea, and secondary-oxidation. Pu-erhs can be green teas if they are lightly processed before being pressed into cakes. This type of Pu-erh is referred to as maocha if unpressed and as "green/raw Pu-erh" if pressed. While not always pleasant tasting, green Pu-erhs are fairly inexpensive and are known to age well for up to 30 years. Pu-erh can also be an oxidized tea if it goes through slow process oxidation for up to a year. This Pu-erh is referred to as ripened or cooked Pu-erh, and has a more mellow and pleasant flavour. Aged Pu-erhs are secondary-oxidation and post-oxidation teas. If aged from green Pu-erh, the aged tea will be mellow in taste but still clean in flavour.
Brewing Pu-erh Tea
DT teaspoon (2.5 grams) or tea bag per 8oz. cup
Fresh Water Boiling Hot
Steeping Time 3 - 5 Minutes