Oct 01 2013 In Tea Journal By Chris
3 New Things I Learned About Puerh Teas
In brushing up for our recent Puerh Tea Tasting in September, I came across some interesting tidbits to include in the presentation. We had our good friend, Steven join in who is our resident ‘Puerh Expert’. He modestly doesn’t agree with the title, but he is one of the most knowledgeable people I know on the subject. He added such intriguing stories about tea to the tasting discussion! During the course of the event, each member of the Discover Teas team had a bit of information to put in to paint a rather comprehensive view of aged teas. Fascinating indeed! Here are a few things I learned:
- Black puerhs are relatively new to the industry, coming onto the market in the early 1970’s. Traditionally only green puerhs were produced and naturally aged to a vintage. Black puerhs incorporate an ‘artificial’ aging method to speed up the process and meet the increased demand for puerhs. Black puerhs go through what’s called ‘piling’ in order to increase fermentation over a shorter period of time.
- Tea leaves for puerhs are typically picked from tea bushes that are of the broad leaf varietal, and will include not only the bud and first two leaves, but also the third and fourth. These older leaves from further down on the plant lend to puerh’s unique flavor characteristics.
- Along with being used for weight loss and increasing metabolism, in the Orient, puerh is believed to counteract the effects of heavy alcohol consumption and quicken recovery from intoxication.
Puerh and Dark Teas are truly a category of their own. You may be surprised that terms such as earthy, musty, briny, sweet, floral, and rich can all be delightfully used to describe tea from cup to cup. If you are looking for a different kind of adventure in your tea journey, consider trying an aged tea.