Pu Erh is the most important Chinese tea production. Originally from Yunnan, it has conquered the world with its woody taste. Presented in patties or tuocha, Yunnan tea can be black or green. If its journey from the tea bushes to the teapot is epic, this infusion has virtues against cholesterol. Dive into Chinese Yunnan to learn all about Pu Erh.
What are the colors of Yunnan tea?
Pu Erh, often called dark tea from China, is available as green or black tea.
Green Pu Erh: a traditional tea cake
Green Pu Erh tea is of Chinese origin. This drink has been consumed in Yunnan since the 17th century. However, some wild trees suggest an older origin, more than 1000 years old. The making of Green Pu Erh has not changed through time. It remains compressed into a patty without any fermentation. According to the purists, it is the only true Pu Erh.
Opinions on green Pu Erh differ. Some find these products too bitter with a taste of wet earth. Others appreciate their sweet and delicate notes. These differences in taste are sometimes due to the different trees and leaves picked. However, this small tea leaf cake remains the traditional Chinese drink from the Yunnan region.
Black Pu Erh: a post-fermented tea for export
Black Pu Erh is a more modern Chinese production. The tea leaves are oxidized. They change color and taste. The product is then compressed into cakes or bricks. The producers mainly use it for export.
The Pu Erh then develops more powerful infusions with aromatic notes. With a brown color, these products have undergone a gentle fermentation. It is an "old" tea that is often several years old. Compressed into a cake from wild leaves, it keeps for a very long time. The taste of the product becomes woody and sweet.
These Chinese dark teas contain less caffeine than coffee. They come from wild tea trees which give them virtues against cholesterol. It is therefore a health drink par excellence. It is particularly appreciated in Europe, but also in other Asian countries.
Pu Erh: black tea or red tea?
The choice of the color qualifier for Pu Erh, the famous Chinese tea from Yunnan, has already caused a lot of ink to flow. Some producers sometimes use them wrongly on their products. Sold in bulk or in cakes, it is a real Chinese black tea, from tea trees.
In China as in Europe, Pu Erh is called black tea, because it is a post-fermented tea. This puts it in the same category as oolong tea, another 5-star tea whose price reflects luxury. Other black teas are called red teas in China because they do not have a post-fermentation stage in their production.
What is Western red tea?
In Europe,red tea is not a tea. It is an infusion of rooibos, an organic plant from South Africa that is not a tea plant at all. The real tea plant is the Camellia Sinensis, although Pu Erh is also derived from the Camellia Tamiensis.
However, even if it is different, this infusion is very good for health, especially for cholesterol. It can also be combined with teas for original aromatic notes.