Puer Tea: its health properties and contraindications
Chinese puerh tea has been one of the most interesting, mysterious and popular drinks since ancient times. Around it walks a lot of different rumors and myths. Most often these rumors are spread by producers of puerh to increase its popularity and to raise its price, but in any case Chinese tea is a very tasty and healthy drink.
- What is Puer Tea
- Technology of production
- Types and varieties
- Composition and Calories
- Puer Tea Benefits
- General benefits
- For Women
- For Men
- When Pregnant
- What is useful Puer Tea for weight loss
- Harms and Contraindications
- How to choose and store puerh tea
- How to brew Puerh properly
- How to brew Puer Tea Pills
- How to brew pressed Puer
- How to brew loose puerh
- What temperature to brew at
- How many times can I brew
- How to Properly Drink Puer Tea
- How much can I drink per day?
- Can I drink at bedtime and on an empty stomach?
- Interesting facts about Puer Tea
What is puer tea?
Puer tea appeared in ancient times in China, in Yunnan province. It refers to post-fermented teas, that is, those that were subjected to aging by aspergillus - a mold fungus.
This is a unique product for several reasons. For example, it is made from the leaves of a large-leafed tea tree, and the older the plant, the better the quality of the tea. Only large, juicy, fleshy leaves are chosen for production.
It takes a long time for the leaves, once picked and prepared, to reach the right consistency for making tea. The first thing they do is to press them, making them into pucks. The oxidation is done naturally, which takes a long time, most often several years. Such Puerh is considered elite and usually costs a lot of money.
Nowadays the technology has reached a point where this tea is made in a much shorter time. For this process the leaves are piled and watered. This triggers the multiplication of specific microorganisms which can increase the temperature of the leaf pile by their vital activity, which in turn stimulates an accelerated production of juice. Throughout the fermentation process, the piles are monitored by specialists, who must dry the harvested leaves and, if necessary, wet them again, but so that the rotting process does not begin.
The final stage of production is pressing the raw material. The raw material is given a special shape, which may serve as a "business card", indicating its production and the type of tea it produces. One tea bead can weigh as much as three to five kilograms. Nowadays, however, small pucks, which weigh as little as one brew, are more valued.
Types and varieties
There are three main types of puerh tea that are particularly popular around the world:
- Black puerh, which is called "Shu". It is made using a faster method. The tea leaves are usually small, brownish-black in color, sometimes with a bright golden hue. Its flavor is bright, earthy, and bitter. The color of the brewed beverage can vary from scarlet to black.
- Green Puer, also called Sheng. It is prepared according to the traditional recipe. The leaves are large, the color is usually brown with a greenish hue, and the color after brewing is red with a golden hue. The finished drink has a slightly smoky, apple-like smell. Sometimes it smells like dried fruit.
- White. It resembles green puerh, but the leaves of this species are decorated with a white patina. The drink has a pungent aroma of honey and grass growing in the meadow.
There are many more subspecies of puerh which differ in size and structure of leaves, stages of fermentation and additives. One should remember that a perfect tea is one which has been aged for 20-25 years. It has a saturated dark green color. But its price is extremely high.
Some more popular varieties of puerh:
- Milk - milk whey is used to give the necessary flavor, which makes the tea very dark, opaque, and its taste has an unusual creamy flavor.
- A royal tea is a bright red tea that has been aged for 20-30 years. Its flavor can even be called noble.
- Palace tea requires a long and repeated fermentation which results in a very refreshing red or dark colored beverage.
Those who love this unique tea know that its beneficial properties do not depend on the province in which it was made. However, people who have discovered Puer usually choose the same variety of product, as each of them is unique and unusual.
Types of pressed puerh:
- Shaped like a puck or tortilla, the Chinese name is "bing cha." Material from large and very old trees is used to make this type. The weight of such pucks varies from 100 grams to 5 kilograms.
- The form of the nest, the Chinese name "tocha". In this case, the weight cannot be more than 3 kilograms.
- The form of a brick ("juan cha"). This form is the simplest, there are no special requirements.
- Cube shape ("fan cha"). Very small form, the weight can rarely be more than 100 grams. A hieroglyph is imprinted on one side of the cube.
- Shape of mushroom ("zin cha") - Tibetan tea, which is one of the rarest and highest quality.
- The shape of a pumpkin ("zin gua"). It really resembles a gourd: there are longitudinal notches on the surface of the raw material. In ancient times, this variety was used only by the royal family.
If the shape and weight of the pressed puerh are in any way different, one should be cautious. Most likely, this tea is a fake. Also, the manufacturing process may have been flawed.
Composition and Calories
This tea is especially valuable because it has a very rich chemical composition. Each sip of this elite tea contains a large number of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
The composition of the puerh:
- More than fifteen amino acids that give it great taste qualities.
- All major vitamins including vitamins C, E, A and others.
- Many minerals such as manganese, zinc, chlorine, fluoride.
- Alkaloids (theine and theanine predominate) - they are great for the human body and do no harm.
- Various organic acids.
- Satins, which are produced by microorganisms during fermentation.
The caloric value of tea is about 152 kcal per 100 grams of product. Proteins - 20 grams, carbohydrates - 7 grams, fats - 5 grams.
Useful properties of puer tea
Puer is important to know how to brew properly. If you do everything according to the standard, you can get a drink with not only a great taste, but also a lot of benefits.
The main beneficial properties of Chinese tea:
- Develops attention, improves memory. This can be noticed after the first consumption of puerh, and if you take it regularly, the results will be impressive. It can relieve fatigue, improve concentration, and after drinking it, it becomes easier for a person to assimilate various data.
- It brings the weight back to normal. It is believed that it is an effective tool for weight loss, with its help you can lose weight without exhausting yourself with heavy diets and sports activities. It is able to reduce appetite, speed up the metabolism, stimulate the digestive system and remove excess fluid from the body.
- It also relieves inflammation. Puerh leaves are covered with a plaque that consists of essential oils and phytochemicals (polyphenols). In combination with tanning agents they neutralize the activity of microorganisms that can cause inflammation. In addition, the tea stimulates the adrenal glands, which leads to the minimization of inflammatory processes.
- It improves the function of the organs of the digestive system. If a person abuses fatty foods, this tea reduces the feeling of heaviness in the stomach and quickly removes harmful components from body tissues. It should be consumed by those who suffer from gastritis or ulcers, as it can reduce the acidity of the stomach.
- It fights cholesterol, removes toxic substances. This improves the function of the liver, heart muscle, blood vessels, reduces the risk of arterial disease.
- It reduces the harm of tobacco and alcohol products. Of course, it can not fully eliminate the harm of tobacco and alcohol, but the negative effects are reduced at times.
- It lowers the level of sugar in the blood. Puer is very useful for diabetics. Of course, you should drink it correctly, without adding sweeteners and sugar.
Puer has long been called the elixir of youth and health. It has been consumed for centuries, so these properties are time-tested.
Many of the people who like puerh tea believe that it belongs to the men's drinks. But this is a false statement, women choose this type of tea much more often than men. It is not only very tasty, but also very healthy.
The first thing to note: it can improve well-being, mood, health. But the fair sex should know about the special useful properties of this tea:
- It strengthens the immune system. It can be seen not at once, nevertheless after the consumption of Chinese tea the whole day will feel a rise of strength, and if you drink it in winter, you will notice that the colds will appear much less often. The body with its help increases resistance, so you can avoid various diseases. Puer also improves the heart, blood vessels, digestion, liver, kidneys and urinary system, which makes it a great alternative to other drinks.
- It improves the condition of hair and skin. Tea is great for the beauty of women. It cleanses the body of toxic substances, fills it with nutrients. The result is healthy, shiny hair, strong nails, clean, beautiful skin. An important point is that beauty is natural, coming from within. With the help of puerh a girl can preserve her youth for a long time, prevent the appearance of wrinkles, improve her well-being.
- Gives a smile of beauty. Chinese tea gives vivacity, fills with vitality, improves mood. Women start smiling more often and they have a reason for smiling. It strengthens teeth enamel and prevents tooth decay. If you drink Puer regularly, you can keep your teeth healthy and beautiful for a long time.
- Reduces weight. Due to its cleansing and metabolism-accelerating properties, puerh promotes weight loss. Nutritionists often advise to drink it when a woman is on a diet. It should be drunk in between meals. It should not be drunk on an empty stomach. If you drink tea hungry, you can cause damage to the digestive system, because it acts on the esophagus as a strong irritant. This can cause pain, heartburn or even lead to the development of some diseases.
The main thing to remember is that everything has to be in moderation. There are people who think that puerh tea can cure all problems, so they start drinking it excessively often, which leads to problems.
Puer is also very beneficial for men. Among its beneficial properties are the following:
- lowers the level of cholesterol;
- restores liver cells;
- Reduces the risk of cancer;
- removes heavy metals, toxic substances;
- increases appetite;
- It removes toxins - men often like fatty and unhealthy foods;
- It gives you a sense of vigor;
- relieves nervous tension;
- Improves erection by improving blood flow and increasing vascular tone;
- It is an excellent remedy for prostatitis.
Many believe that puerh has a great effect on the potency of men. It is certainly not far from the truth. This tea, which has many wonderful properties for the body, has a beneficial effect on the potency.
Many pregnant women ask whether they are allowed to consume Chinese tea while carrying a child. Those who are used to it and love this beautiful tea do not want to part with it even at this time.
Representatives of the fair sex during pregnancy carefully make up their diet, are careful about harmful products, choosing only foods that benefit the body and can not cause harm to the baby.
Doctors confirm that during the period of fetal development it is not forbidden to consume Puer, because it contains a large number of vitamins and minerals. It perfectly removes edema, has a good effect on the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system, improves health and mood, helps to eliminate toxic substances and has a beneficial effect on the skin. These factors are good for pregnant women, because they can't be treated with pills, but puerh improves it at least a little.
However, you should not abuse it. To avoid adverse effects, it is worth consulting a doctor.
Immediately after childbirth, doctors do not recommend using puerh as it can have a bad effect on the infant's sleep during breastfeeding. When the baby is three months old, you can start drinking tea again, but you should only drink it in the morning and no more than two cups a week.
How Puer Tea Helps You Lose Weight
Due to the exceptional complex of enzymes in Chinese tea, it is an excellent aid in losing weight. Consumption of puerh speeds up the metabolism, which has a beneficial effect on weight loss. The effect of Chinese tea on weight loss is similar to that of spices such as cinnamon.
Harms and contraindications
This wonderful drink with a unique flavor and aroma has almost no contraindications and is not harmful.
Who should not consume puerh:
- People with hypersensitivity to caffeine (intolerance);
- People with stomach ulcers;
- People with urolithiasis and other kidney diseases;
- Not recommended for use in people with glaucoma, arterial hypertension;
- Children under 6 years of age.
Do not drink Chinese tea on an empty stomach - it can irritate the walls of the esophagus. You should not drink it before going to sleep because of its ability to excite the nervous system. Doctors also advise against drinking tea that has cooled down.
How to choose and store puerh tea
- When choosing Chinese tea, the first thing to do is to smell it. The aroma should be clear and distinct, there should be no smell of mold.
- Then you should pay attention to its appearance. If it has been lying around for many years, it will have a reddish tint, but if it is young, it will be green. Chinese tea will never be black.
- There should not be the slightest sign of mold, such as yellow or white dots, on tea briquettes or leaves.
You can visit a tea museum to learn how to get a good feel for these beverages.
If you have the opportunity to taste Chinese tea before buying it, you should definitely take advantage of it. It is important to pay attention to the color, richness, the appearance of leaves after brewing - if there are no claims to these indicators, then the tea is of the highest quality.
It is not difficult to store puerh tea after purchase. It is important to remember a few important rules:
- Fresh air. Other teas need to be isolated from fresh air, which can destroy their flavor and aroma. But Chinese tea needs it to oxidize. Therefore for the storage of puerh you need to choose a container that will be able to let the air through.
- Light. It can spoil tea, so on no account container for storage can not be transparent.
- Smell. Often people store Chinese tea next to other drinks. But it is wrong - in such a place expensive pueru comes to an end in about a week, because it quickly absorbs foreign odors. If the expensive tea smells of vanilla or some other flavored drinks, it is not puerh, but hay.
- Temperature. The older the puerh is, the more expensive it is, as it keeps oxidizing and acquiring new shades of flavor and aroma. A good temperature for storing Chinese tea is room temperature (about +20-25 degrees). At cold temperatures the microorganisms stop their activity, and at high temperatures they become active, which leads to rapid deterioration of the product.
- Speed of ripening. It is believed that the pancake (puck, brick, etc.) is best broken so that it ripens faster. However, it is worth remembering that you should break the preparation carefully, trying not to damage the leaves, as only tea with whole leaves is best stored and retains all the useful properties.
All these rules for storing Chinese tea are easy to follow. It's just worth choosing a well-ventilated room with no strong extraneous odors (not the kitchen in any case), and prepare a dark cupboard, basket or box with a lid to protect the tea from light.
How to brew Puerh properly
To brew Chinese tea according to a traditional recipe, it is important to know a few important rules:
- Water for brewing should be key, spring or bottled.
- It is best to buy a Chinese cup with a wide neck and a lid, which is called "gaiwan". If this is not possible, you can find any porcelain mug with a lid.
- To divide the pressed Puer, carefully remove small pieces with a sharpened knife or break off a piece carefully.
- The ratio is as follows: 10 grams of tea per 100 ml of water.
How to brew tea:
- Water should be brought to a boil 3 times, after each stage draining about a third of the liquid, cooling it slightly and returning it back.
- After the water boils for the third time, you need to stir it very quickly with a spatula to create a funnel, in which to pour the puerh.
- When the tea starts boiling again, take it off the fire immediately. The main thing is not to let it come to a full boil; the temperature should not exceed 98 degrees.
- After that, you have to wait for the tea leaves to fall to the bottom. Then it can be poured.
Some people use milk instead of water to brew Chinese tea. There are many ways to brew puerh, almost all manufacturers have their "perfect" recipe.
How to brew Puer Tea Pills
To brew Puer pills in the following way:
- Prepare a teapot of porcelain or glass.
- The tablets are carefully crushed so that there are as few broken leaves as possible.
- Leaves are poured into the kettle, which should first be scalded with boiling water.
- Pour water over the leaves.
- After 10-20 seconds the water is poured. You need to wait a little bit for the leaves to cool.
- Leaves again pour hot water and infuse a couple of minutes.
- After all this you pour the ready tea into another bowl, but without the tea leaves, and drink it.
There are also a few more nuances when brewing the tea. For example, the temperature of the water depends on the age of the tea. The older the tea, the higher the temperature should be.
If the tea is bitter, it means that the brew has been overcooked.
How to brew pressed puerh
There is no single way to brew pressed puerh. Everyone decides on their own brewing method which seems to be the most convenient. To find the right method, you need to take into account these subtleties:
- Separate the part from the press. This is done with a special paper knife, but you can also use a simple knife or even your fingers. Separate so as not to damage the leaves. For one brew you will need about 3-5 grams.
- Place the separated tea into a brew pot. Ideal is a clay pot, but you can replace it with a small teapot or a ceramic mug. The main thing is that the container has a lid.
- Heat the water without bringing it to a boil. The approximate temperature should be about 90 degrees.
- Rinse the tea - pour the water and immediately pour it back.
- Pour the tea back into the hot water and hold for ten seconds. After that, pour it into mugs.
- If the tea is brewed more than once, hold the water longer. One serving can be brewed up to ten times.
- After brewing, rinse the kettle so that each subsequent brew begins anew, with clean water. Then the drink will not be bitter.
Anyone can brew Puer at home, there is nothing complicated about the technology of brewing.
How to brew loose puerh
The loose-leaf Chinese tea is quite familiar to customers compared to tea pills or pressed. Its appearance resembles that of an ordinary tea. It is also easy to brew:
- Pour one or two small spoonfuls of tea into a clay or glass teapot.
- Pour some boiling water, shake and drain to rinse and moisten the tea leaves.
- Then pour boiling water over the leaves, cover and leave for 3 minutes (if someone prefers strong tea, you can increase the brewing time).
- The best way to drink puerh is "pure", without adding sugar, honey or lemon.
If you follow all the nuances of brewing, the process of tea drinking will bring a lot of pleasure.
What temperature to brew at
Because Chinese tea is very unusual and exotic, it is necessary to try to fully comply with all the nuances of brewing.
One of the rules is to observe the required temperature regime. For example, the best temperature for brewing Chinese tea is considered to be 90-95 degrees.
How many times can it be brewed?
Each brew of puerh produces many pleasurable flavors. The higher the quality of the tea, the more times it can be brewed.
On average, puerh can be brewed up to 10 times. Each variety is unique: some can be brewed four times, another will retain its fine taste properties for up to twenty brewings.
How to drink puerh tea correctly
Before you start drinking it, it is important to figure out for yourself how and with what to drink this tea. Some people add sugar, honey, jam and other additives which absolutely interfere with the real flavor and aroma of puerh.
It is recommended to drink Puer without any additives from small bowls or mugs. You should not hurry, but rather drink it in small sips to warm yourself up and enjoy the real delicate flavor of Puer.
How much can I drink per day?
Chinese tea is excellent for daily drinking. But overindulging in it can be detrimental to one's health. To avoid this, it is better to limit it to one or two servings a day.
Health-conscious people know that doctors recommend drinking at least 2.5 liters of liquid during the day. Therefore, you should distribute the volume of puerh so that other liquid foods - juice, water, soups, etc. - can also be taken into account.
It is also important to take into account for what purpose puerh is used: if it is used as a refreshing drink, it is better to drink about 250 ml in the morning, if it is used as a dietary supplement, it is better to divide the brew into two portions of 100 ml.
Drinking three or more cups of puerh a day can discourage both appetite and sleep.
Can it be drunk at bedtime and on an empty stomach
You should not drink puerh before bedtime as it has a strong tonic effect and can excite the nervous system. It is also not recommended to drink it on an empty stomach - it stimulates the production of gastric juice, which can cause pain, heartburn, and gums. The ideal time for drinking puerh is half an hour after a meal.
Interesting facts about puerh tea
There are many rumors and legends about this ancient Chinese tea. Some interesting facts about it:
- As the Chinese sages tell us, in the old days they had this tradition: as soon as a child was born, his father and mother had to make a scone of Chinese tea that year. The reason for this action was weighty: when the child became an adult, he could sell this scone and pay for his own wedding. After all, the older the puerh, the more expensive it is, and 20-25-year-old tea is practically priceless.
- There are rumors that tea is dug into the soil for storage. But those rumors are wrong.
- In China, there is a special institute where young Chinese students thoroughly study how Chinese tea is made. Only after receiving a diploma from this institute can they qualify for prestigious positions at a very good factory.
- Puer is unique because at all times it was drunk by both royalty and commoners.
- The price of Chinese tea is getting higher and higher every year. This is why some Chinese people buy Puer instead of investing money in a bank.
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