Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:16 PM
AsahinaKimi (20,776 posts)
On Pu Erh, The Other Tea
If I were stranded on a deserted island and could only have one type of tea with me, in unlimited supply, it would definitely be China's pu erh tea from Yunnan Province. It has all of the medicinal properties of green tea, plus other medicinal properties which are unique to pu erh alone. It has a flavor that is complex and yet much smoother and more enjoyable than a cup of a gourmet coffee. So aside from its numerous health benefits, it's just plain good!
One of the things I find so fascinating about pu erh is that it is actually a living tea, which is what makes it so unique. The living cultures within the tea are why pu erh is the only tea in the world that actually improves with age. The living, healthy microbes in the leaves smooth out the flavor of the tea over time, which is why pu erh remains drinkable and enjoyable no matter how long it is steeped. No other tea has this quality. A good cup of pu erh is so rich and dark that it's easy to mistake the tea for a cup of coffee, but once that smoothness hits the tongue, there's no mistaking pu erh for any other drink.
It's no wonder to me why pu erh has always been the choice tea of China's old aristocracy and now the business elite. Though it contains the least amount of caffeine of all the black teas, it is surprisingly invigorating, yet at the same time balancing, so no jitters like coffee. Strategists and leaders historically would drink pu erh when making important decisions that required focus. Business leaders continue this practice today, enjoying a pot of pu erh prior to meetings and negotiations. As a morning boost to start off the day, pu erh is so naturally smooth that no additives are required to enjoy a cup, unlike coffee, which few people actually enjoy plain. For some reason, however, pu erh has a reputation for not being very pleasant to the taste.
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