Pu-erh (普洱) is also referred to as aged or vintage tea.
Puerh is very popular in Chinese restaurants - It is typically one of the default tea options at Yum Cha, with the other being Jasmine Green Tea. In many Chinese families, Pu-erh is drunk to help digestion.
A special woody earthy flavour, Pu-erh yields a strong colour brew but not bitter at all. Gentle to the stomach, Pu-erh is known in Chinese medicine as a good fat cleanser after eating heavy greasy food.
Some Chinese herbalists would suggest their older patients to drink Pu-erh to help keeping their bodies warm in winter.
Just like fine wine, Puerh tastes better as it ages. This ripe (artificially fermented) Pu-erh is about 2-3 years old. Ready to drink.
Pu-erh (Puerh / Pu erh / Pu er / Po lei/普洱) is strictly speaking one of its kind, as it requires to be aged before deemed drinkable. Coming from Yunnan province in China, it is a 'post-fermented' tea.
Yunnan has had a long trading history with places like Tibet & Nepal. Where in the days before motorized transport, Puerh was transported to these places on the back of donkeys.
The trip would typically take over half a year and what started out as compacted bitter green tea, it would be by the time it reached these markets the puerh we can recognise today.
How do I drink Puerh?
Because in the West we follow the Chinese way of drinking it, it is normally drunk straight without milk or any other additives.
In southern part of China such as Hong Kong, puerh is a Yum Cha favourite, and it’s drunk on its own.
Can I drink Puerh with milk?
In Tibet, they typically drink Puerh brewed with Yak butter or milk. And sometimes with a pinch of Himalayan rock salt to give it a more savoury rounded taste and allow them to consume it as a nourishing soup. So you are welcome you to try it with milk; ideally evaporated or heavier cream milk, if drinking tea with milk is your thing. If milk is not your thing and want to use an alternative, we have found Oat milk to be the most complimentary.
Can I use Puerh in cooking?
Yes, you can cook with Puerh. Here are two FREE recipes using Puerh:
What are the health benefits of Puerh?
Some Chinese herbalists would suggest their older patients to drink Pu-erh to help keeping their bodies warm in winter. And compared to other caffeinated drinks, good Puerh has so little caffeine left in it, that it can be drink as a nightcap before bed.
And in Traditional Chinese medicine Puerh has been shown to lower blood sugar, reduce obesity, and boost immunity. Plus, lowering cholesterol and preventing free radical damage.