Tea Information

The Art of Brewing Green Tea

The Art of Brewing Pu-er Tea

What is Pu-erh Tea?

Pu-erh tea is derived from the large leaf variety of the camellia sinensis plant. The term "pu-erh" is taken from Pu-erh County in the province of Yunnan in China where the tea is produced. The best pu-erh tea is produced in the group of famous mountains: Yiwu, Youle, Bulong, Nannuo Jingmai, Mengsong ect. In Yunnan they are renowned for their climate and environment.

Yunnan pu-erh tea is very famous and excellent; it is known as the world's most ancient tea and the world's finest tea. Studies show that Pu-erh tea is the ancestor of all teas that exist today in the world and it is famous for its great taste, rising value and health benefits.

Pu-erh tea is processed or aged in different ways. Some Pu-erh varieties are purchased raw or green - meaning it has not undergone an extensive oxidation process (hence it is similar to green tea) - and some are purchased in the post-fermented stage where it shares a lot in common with black and oolong tea. Though oftentimes classified as a type of black tea, Pu-erh tea is largely considered to be of a separate variety that holds a different and, many say, higher status.

Pu-erh tea is usually aged and consumed several years after its production. The older the tea, the more valuable it gets. Like a good wine, Pu-erh tea ought to be slowly drunk while the leaves settle down in the cup.

Pu-erh tea is available either in loose-leaf form, in tea bag form, in compacted cake form or in brick form. The cake form of Pu-erh tea usually attracts a lot of attention from tea collectors as many of the older teas were traditionally done in this form.

When aged well, Pu-erh tea produces a pleasant-tasting drink that is often served in Chinese restaurants after heavy meals. The Chinese people recognize its fat-breaking abilities and the tea is often considered the perfect drink to complement an oil and fat-laden feast.

Pu-erh tea typically takes on a dark, strong brown color that's almost akin to that of black tea, but possesses a somewhat mellower, liquor-like flavor.

Pu-erh tea possesses many of the antioxidant qualities found in green tea, black tea and oolong tea.

What kind of tea does Pu-erh teas belong to?

Pu-erh tea holds a unique place in the history of the beginning of tea production in Yunnan. Yunnan is the origin of the big leaves drying green tea that is processed in two ways; direct re-processing of unfermented pu-erh tea and quickly and artificially the fermentation of the tea leaves in a system that has two types, scattered tea and pressed tea. Finished products continue to improve in an ongoing aging process and taste better with time and exhibit a unique quality.

Pu-erh tea has historically been classified in the black tea category. However, there are some objections to this within the industry. Especially in recent years it had been more controversial until 2006. At that time it was determined that big-leaf tea Yunnan tea from certain regions and made from pressed tea or loose leaf tea would be an industry standard. Pu-erh tea is a specialty that does not belong to any category of tea.

In July, 2010, based upon research by geographical specialists designating Yunnan Pu-erh as a specialty tea, this argument is even more justified. Yunnan is the region for growing Pu-erh tea. Also, the directory of import and export commodities in China also puts it in its own category as a specialty tea.

In summary, Pu-erh tea does not belong to black tea and does not fall within any other category of tea - it is a specialty tea with its own category.

How do you brew Pu-erh Tea?

Brewing tea preparation:

  1. Water and tea brewing temperature: use mineral water or purified water, the water temperature to 90 C - 100 C boiling water better.

  2. The set amount of tea: using a tea knife gently scrape the tea leaves from tea your cake or brick. Judge amount according to the number of people for whom you are preparing the tea. If it is only few people then 8 to 10 grams of tea will suffice, although many people prefer 15 to 20 grams of tea for a stronger cup.

  3. Infusing your tea: Put the tea into the pot and then fill with hot water. This process will bring your tea to life and improve its clarity. When infusion is complete ˇV fast with the first cup and longer and longer as you re-use the leaves ˇV pour the tea into a separate cup. Pu-erh tea leaves should not be left in the in the cup while you drink as the result will be a bitter tea.

  4. Brewing equipment options:
    (1) Earthenware pots: suitable for use as tea brewing choice to better show tea color, smell, taste and other quality characteristics. Earthenware pots are generally larger and have a unique, rugged beauty. The classical Pu-erh teapot is linked to Chinese culture, the homeland and is thought best for tea brewing.

    (2) Teapot: a teapot with ventilation and insulation can also be used for brewing tea.

    (3) Tureen Cup: a tureen cup can also be used for brewing tea.

  5. The selection of the cup: the best selection is a large, crystal-clear, glass cup. This cup is best for observing the beautiful colors of the tea soup. Cooked Pu-erh tea soup looks like amber and agate. A long soak will reclaim its brilliance and not diminished its taste. Uncooked pu-erh tea soup looks clear and smooth, like a film wrapped honey. Following a long soak the color will be the same and it will not diminish the flavor.

  6. The best choice is glass or tureen cup for beginners. The hardness of a glass cup or a tureen cup is better for observing the tea. In addition, with the transparency of a glass or tureen cup the brewer is able to view whether it is good or bad. Some people choose earthenware pot or teapot to enjoy their tea.

Tea brewing basic steps:

1. Prepare hot water and tea sets (tea tray, tea pots, cups, filter etc)
2. Pre-heat the tea pots and cups by putting hot water and then throw water away
3. Prepare and enjoy the tea leaves
4. Put 3-10g tea leaves in the tea pot
5. Add 100'C hot water into the tea pot. Steep the tea for 3 seconds and throw the water away
6. Add hot water again and steep for 10 seconds
7. With the filter, pour out the tea soup to another tea pot; then distribute tea soup to small cups
8. Ready for drinking; repeat steps 6-7 again as many times as you like

What are the 10 most famous teas in the world?

  1. Indian tea: This tea is a staple for Indians in everyday life. Production of tea in India, with the added spices, will vary by region or preferences. Basically, Indian tea is the combination of four materials: rich black tea, milk, spices, and sugar or honey. Cloves, ginger, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon are generally the most commonly used types of spices.

  2. Brown Rice Green Tea: Using rice as a raw material; after soaking, boiling, frying and other processes rolls made with brown rice and green tea are combined into a healthy tea. The soup is a very light green and yellow color. While maintaining the natural flavor of tea the aroma of fried rice is added to create a taste that is fresh, dense and palatable. This tea has the health functions of tea and the nutritional value of rice. Green tea flavor with the aroma of fried rice, add the caramel special fragrance of incense, intertwine them all and you have, indeed, a truly distinctive flavor.

  3. Earl Grey: Lord Charles Grey in 1830 became Prime Minister in England. He was a great reformer. This world-famous hybrid tea flavor is named after him. Legend has it that this tea was a gift to Lord Earl Grey from the Chinese for assistance that he had given them. The tea gets its unique flavor from the oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange. This fruit causes the distinct fragrance which is given off by a freshly brewed cup of Earl Grey tea. The oranges are now cultivated in southern Italy, but its origin is Vietnam and southern China.

  4. Matcha: Tang Dynasty poet Lutang praised Matcha green tea bubbles in a poem praising the shape, color and appearance of the tea. During the Tang Dynasty the raw material and technology for the production of Matcha tea were first introduced. Matcha later spread to the Japanese and ever since this tea has been carried forward in Japan. The Japanese are now the largest users of Matcha tea with wide spread adoption of this tea.

  5. Tieguanyin: This is one of China's top ten teas. It ranged between a green tea, a black tea and a semi-fermented tea. In the 1970s, the Japanese brew "hot tea", swept the world. Today Tie Guan Yin tea drinking has become a mainstay and a symbol of the high quality of life in Europe and America.

  6. Pu-erh: People's interest in Pu'erh tea seems beyond the scope of a mere tea. Its aspects include culture, health care, collection, appreciation, etc. Is Pu-erh tea carrying too much of a burden? Smell the aroma of hot Pu-erh tea soup, it is elegant and fresh. This is a clean and comfortable tea with clarity of texture, thick leaves and a high aroma. It is long-lasting and refreshing. The brewed soup has a brilliant color, a significant finish, goes down smooth and sweet and leaves the breath fragrant.

  7. Chamomile tea: It is native to Europe and West Asia and North Africa. Chamomile is well known in Europe for its powerful health benefits and is used regularly as an herbal tea. It is a golden yellow, sweet tea that is accompanied by a unique, strong, bitter taste. You may wish to consider adding honey, milk or cinnamon. Whether as a warm drink or an iced drink you have a tea that is aromatic and delicious. It can relax, a drink after a meal can help digestion and regularly drinking this tea helps eyesight, liver and blood pressure. The list of benefits from drinking chamomile is so large that it is no wonder that it is known as, "doctor's herbal tea." Due to the fact that it also helps with insomnia it is not suitable for drinking in the morning.

  8. Wishful tea: This tea is also known as Dr. Tea. It is processed from a legume in South Africa. Wishful tea with its rare deep flavor and rich taste is one of Africa's most popular drinks. There are many ways to enjoy wishful tea: you can drink hot, cold, sweet flavor, or with milk added. Wishful tea contains higher levels than normal tea of antioxidants and phenolic compounds. However, it does not contain any caffeine because its tannin content is low.

  9. Lapsang Souchong: This is a carefully crafted, finished picking tea. The cord is fat and tight, round and straight, leaves moist, the soup is a flushing red, durable resistance to soak, mellow, with a flavor like Logan berries. It has a strong fragrant smell like the smoke of incense and an alcohol rich soup that tastes like Logan berries. One of its main features is its slightly candied flavor. With the addition of milk the tea it is slightly diminished forming a syrup-like tea that has a unique flavor that is both sweet and refreshing. Lapsang Souchong tea is ideal for meat dishes with curry. A Japanese tea scholar said: ˇ§This tea is the type of tea that you either love or hate, if you enjoy it on your first try you will never give it upˇ¨.

  10. White Tea: One of China's top ten teas. This tea was the tea of royalty during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.). White tea comes from the delicate buds and younger leaves of the Chinese Camellia sinensis tea plant. These buds and leaves are allowed to wither in natural sunlight before they are lightly processed to prevent oxidation or further tea processing. This preserves the characteristic flavor of the white tea. The name white tea comes from the fine silvery-white hairs on the unopened buds of the tea plant, which gives the plant a whitish appearance. It produces an apricot colored tea with a clear, fresh flavor.

What are the characteristics of Pu-erh tea?

Pu-erh tea is like a rising star. Unlike other teas it has a collectible value like appreciation of fine antiques. The color of pu-erh tea is as red as agate and a pleasure to gaze upon. It also has a rich aroma, a mellow taste and a sweet after taste; all very pleasing to the palate. Pu-erh tea has the following characteristics:

  1. The historic origin of pu-erh tea lies in the big six tea mountains in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. Fog in these production forests on both sides of the Lancang River spreads the aroma for miles, creating the sweet flavor that makes you want to drink a cup of pu-erh tea.

  2. Many varieties pu-erh tea are produced from Yunnan big leaves, also known as the large-leafed trees, The buds was big, full and contain a chemical composition that is particularly rich, this is why pu-erh tea is exceptionally fragrant with strong, sweet alcohol taste.

  3. Pu-erh tea is processed or aged in different ways. Some pu-erh varieties are purchased raw or green-meaning it has not undergone as extensive oxidation process (hence it is similar to green tea)- and some are purchased in the post-fermented stage where it shares a lot of commonalities with black and oolong tea. The leaves are then processed two in two ways: direct re-processing of unfermented pu-erh tea and quickly and artificially through the fermentation of cooked processed teas. This type of system has two types; scattered tea and pressed tea. Finished products continue to improve with the natural aging process and, as time goes by, only taste better with a unique quality.

  4. Pu-erh tea is available either in loose-leaf form, or in tea bag form, or in compacted cake form, or in brick form, etc. The cake form of pu-erh tea usually attracts a lot of attention from tea collectors as many of the older teas are traditionally done in this form. Additionally, pu-erh is made into pills, types of candy, Toucha, cylindrical tea, Pumpkin, gold ingots and son on.

  5. While other teas have a short shelf life and are considered spoiled after only two years, pu-erh teas - particularly in their cake form-continue to age and become more fragrant and valuable as time goes by. Through natural aging and the slow ripening process of etherification a unique style of ancient fragrant flavor is achieved. Like a fine wine aged well, the flavor of pu-erh tea becomes more intense over time and the quality improves. In research studies pu-erh big leaf tea exhibits significantly higher levels of the 16 components that make up the tea aroma characteristics of ancient flavor compared to small leaf teas. Most of these components are for the formation of tea fragrance and the sweet alcohol taste in the ancient flavor. Long store pu-erh tea can produce fascinating Date flavor, Lotus flavor, the Senate, fragrant incense and camphor wood.

  6. Pu-erh tea can be enjoyed many ways: you can brew a cup, you can boil a cup, a mixed drink can be fermented or unfermented, you can put butter in your pu-erh drink and other methods.

  7. Pu-erh tea is appreciated as a collectible tea among many people. It can be collected according to its shape, according to its age, according to its production batch or according to its origin. Both fermented and unfermented pu-erh tea are highly prized and collected. There is little wonder that people love this tea that is good to drink, can be collected and has multiple health benefits.

  8. Pu-erh tea is a way of life. People who drink pu-erh tea say "do not drink, do not know, a drink for them forever". Something is missing in a day without pu-erh tea. The mystery and flavor of pu-erh tea captivates those who love it.

  9. Pu-erh tea can be enjoyed year round; it can be drunk by men and women and people of old ages. You can drink fermented pu-erh tea before retiring for the night without it affecting your sleep.

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