What is Puer Tea?
Some of you may already have been enlightened by the wonders of Puer tea, but for those of you who have not yet been graced by it’s delights, it’s time that we shared with you our love for this delicious tea, and a little background info to explain what exactly this mysterious beverage is.
Puer (pronounced pooh-err) tea is from the Yunnan Provence of Southern China made from large leaf varietal camellia sinensis processed in a way that allows it’s flavour to change significantly with purposeful ageing. Rather than being oxidised like other types of tea, Puer tea is fermented. When left alone to age, a micro-biotic process transforms the flavour and body of the tea over time.
There are two different types of puer tea; raw and ripe.
Raw puer is the traditional form of puer tea, which does not undergo the piling process. It is simply sun-dried and compressed into cakes, and is enjoyed in all stages, both young (aprox. 1-7 years old) and aged (7+ years old). The flavour and appearance of the tea depends on how hot and humid its storage conditions are.
Ripe puer on the other hand, undergoes a purposeful wet-pile fermentation step which changes the tea dramatically. Initially this process came about as a way to replicate aged raw puer tea, but the intensity of the process, whilst making the tea much darker and smoother very quickly, doesn’t quite replicate the complexity of a ‘naturally’ aged raw puer tea. Thus, it has more become a separate thing to be enjoyed in its own right, rather than being equated with aged tea.
We sell a selection of raw puer sourced by Melbourne based tea guru and Kuura founder, Ayden Graham, who not only makes tea sexy, but is dedicated to getting his hands on the most ethically sourced leaves. He journeys to the tea mountains in Yunnan every year, and spends four months touring regions of the Provence in pursuit of the best teas to bring back for us to relish. Ayden practices 'direct trade’, meaning he buys directly from the local farmers, and ensures smaller individual farmers can participate.
The process of creating raw Puer tea has been practiced by Yunnan locals for millenniums. The tea leaves are dried in the sun before being stone pressed into moon-shaped cakes. The tea is processed in a manner that leaves a number of microbes within the tea still active, meaning that the tea will ripen/ferment slowly via the action of enzymes, fungus, and bacteria, leading to unique aged flavours.
Similar to wine, when left to age for a few years Puer tea changes dramatically. This process creates a distinct flavour profile that only improves with age.
Not only is puer tea extremely delicious, it is well recognised in traditional Chinese medicine for its extensive list of health benefits. Puer is high in antioxidants and vitamin C. The fermentation process of puer means that it develops higher levels of antioxidants than non-fermented teas. Puer is also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, meaning it protects the body from harmful bacteria and helps ease redness, swelling, and other irritation. Puer may also soothe pain caused by inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.
Puer is also well known for its ability to assist in weight loss. Puer suppresses the synthesis of fatty acids, which can help your body stop producing higher levels of fat. Puer tea also encourages your body to produce the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, which work to reduce stores of fatty acids.
Drinking a cup (or in our case ten cups) of puer brewed mindfully in your favourite teapot as part of your morning ritual, is a great way to get your morning caffeine hit and increase your energy levels and mental focus without getting the jitteriness sometimes caused by drinking coffee.
Join us in ensuring the ritual of puer survives. Slow down. Connect. Recharge. Drink more Puer Tea.
Pharmacological Elements: Vitamins B1, B2 C and E, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, aluminium, lysine, arginine, histidine and cystine, linoleic and linolenic acids and trace amounts of zinc, sodium, nickel, iron, beryllium, sulfur and fluorides.
Shop our selection of Kuura Puer Teas and other Kuura teas here or visit us in our Byron Bay store to taste it for yourself.