Pu'er tea has become a common custom and
an increasingly popular trend, not only
among the middle-aged group; the younger
generation has also gradually fallen in
love with it. With tea houses becoming a
most popular industry now, the new generation
of operators is also getting younger.
tea is one of the top ten most renowned
teas of China. It belongs in the black tea
category, with its main production area
in China's Yunnan province. Its superior
geographical environment, with no distinct
four seasons but a tropical highland climate,
contributes to the special characteristics
of Yunnan Pu'er tea.
tea's unique flavour is related to its natural
transformation process. The mature pu'er
tea, having undergone special processing,
is compressed into tea cakes of different
shapes and sizes and placed in the shade
to dry naturally. After that, the tea is
packaged and exported to various places
according to trade demand.
is located at the border of the motherland,
by the side of Xishuangbanna, with rugged
high mountains that made transportation
in the olden days extremely difficult. The
transportation of tea leaves had to rely
on horses and oxen, requiring lengthy travel
time on the mountainous roads. For some
part of the journey, the horses could only
travel twice a year whereas oxen once. The
tea on the horses and oxen is thus subjected
to the harsh journey and in the process,
it acquires unique characteristics, i.e.
that of a bolder taste. Its medicinal effects
are also enhanced.
tea is `a drinkable heritage'. There are
hardly any beverages or foods that possess
dual qualities, that is, they can `be drunk
and be kept'.The saying goes: "everyone
can drink, the older the more precious'.
Young Pu'er tea is a beverage everyone can
afford, but the value of mature Pu'er is
like gold, desirable but unattainable. If
there is a `Pu'er scale', on the left end
we have the `collectible value', synonymous
with `long lasting wealth' which only increases
with time; on the right end we have the
`consumable value', one whose worth depreciates
as you use it. Time is a chip which you
use to balance the two sides. As time passes,
the chip moves towards the left and the
collectible value of the tea increases.
other words, the collectible value of Pu'er
tea is similar to that of red wine; both
are dependent on the year of harvest, the
origin (of vinery and tea plantation), and
a focus on rarity and conservation status.
the quality of Pu'er tea is evaluated: taste
and fragrance. To appreciate Pu'er tea,
besides the tea species, production process
and storage method, the tea set used, preparation
skills and the quality of water also enhance
the Pu'er tea's nature, taste and fragrance.
One can feel the smoothness when the tea
enters into the mouth, and its fragrance
lingers on the top and bottom of the tongue,
and the throat. Good tea should not be blended
with other flavours or bitter elements.
This has to do with the tea's manufacturing
process. Aside from the production process
and storage method, the tea's fragrance
and mouth-feel are affected by the quality
of the tea species. Problems in storage,
production process and tea quality could
result in uncomfortable side effects like
dry throat, difficulty in swallowing or
tight throat after drinking.
time, Pu'er tea has become well recognized.
Besides its superior tea quality, thirst
quenching and rejuvenating properties, it
has special medicinal effects. Pu'er tea's
medicinal benefits have been recorded in
an ancient manuscript - Zhao Xue Ming of
Ching Dynasty wrote: `Pu'er tea is mild
and fragrant ... yet bitter and full of
character, dissolves oil and rids animal
toxins, thus not suitable for the weak.
It eliminates phlegm and improves digestion.
Pu'er tea is very dark in colour, and is
great in dispelling alcoholic effects. The
green type is better, offering considerable
benefits for digestion, clearing phlegm
and improves circulation."
dramatic lifestyle and environmental changes,
people today are constantly living in the
shadow of cancer. In fact, more than 10
years ago, Pu'er tea's anti-cancer properties
and benefits were confirmed by Kunming Medical
Institute of Oncology in Yunnan. In 1991,
this was acknowledged at the international
Asia-Pacific Cancer Conference. The main
health effects of Pu'er tea are: slimming
and reducing fat, reducing blood pressure,
anti atherosclerotic, anti-cancer, cancer
prevention, teeth protection, stomach clearing,
anti-ageing, radiation prevention, dispelling
alcohol effects and beautifying.