I remember walking into Chá and asking Aubri what on earth this was.
Aged. Fermented. Highly sought after. Can cause one to develop a bit of snobbery about their preferred taste…wait, is this tea or wine?
Turns out that the finer things like a steak, a bourbon, a good red wine, and evidently tea, like to spend some time maturing before they are ready to deliver the best experience to a person’s palate.
As I scooped out the leaves and black chunks and placed them into my boiling kettle, I could hardly wait.
This tea is apparently the stuff of high society and ancient far-east culture.
I resisted the urge to load it up with honey so that I could taste the nuances of the flavors and tones in an attempt to transport my tastebuds to the far-east origins of this steaming hot brew.
I was not disappointed.
As I savored each sip, I drank deeply of the notes of ginger (which, in my opinion, pairs well with absolutely everything), and the dark black fermented tea leaves.
Now, the taste is one thing, but apparently, there are some health benefits to be had here too.
Pu-erh contains high levels of polyphenols (flavonoids, catechins, and theaflavin), which are known for their antioxidant activity. A few of the alleged benefits of antioxidants are increased fat-burning, improved digestion, and decreased stress. Being a mom of 3 young children, I’m going to go ahead and roll the dice on another cup o’ tea, because I’m pretty sure I could use some help with all of those things!
Another AMAZING benefit that I’m sure most people in our fast-paced American life can appreciate is that Pu-erh can actually help you sleep better! It does have some caffeine, however, the fermentation process of Pu-erh develops microorganisms and phyto-chemicals that are beneficial to our bodies in a number of ways, one of them being better sleep. GABA and theanine have been shown to reduce stress levels and increase production of natural melatonin in the brain! This should decrease stress and improve sleep patterns. Sign me up!
I would encourage you to get down to Chá Fine Teas and grab some of this stuff! There are several flavors to choose from, so you should be able to find something to suit your fancy.
Photos courtesy of The Daily Tea and Living Tea.