A Guide to Pu erh Tea (Benefits, Weight loss, and How to brew)

pu erh tea

Pu Erh tea! Woah such an incredible tea for its taste and the health benefits pu erh tea offers to our body.

Do you know what’s so special in this tea? and Why people are going crazy for Pu Erh tea?

Well, after a brief research about Pu Erh tea, I got to know some of the interesting facts which are not known to many. I’m super excited to showcase all about pu erh tea which you must know.

1. What Is Pu Erh Tea?


what is pu erh tea

Pu erh tea is one of the world’s vintage tea, produced in the Yunnan district which is in the southwestern part of China. Chinese people actually believe in the traditional Chinese medicine to prevent themselves from various diseases and to live a longer life.

There are actually many people who lived a life more than 200 years by adopting this technique. One such man is the 256 year old man named Li Ching Yuen.

So, the Chinese traditional medicine uses herbal treatments and various mind and body practices to cure or prevent health problems.

Pu erh tea is also a Chinese herbal medicine. This tea is made from Camellia plant. Besides to this tea, green tea, Oolong and black tea are also made from the same plant. Though they are obtained from the same plant, the processes involved in making these teas are different. Green tea is fermented, Oolong tea is partially fermented, Black tea is fully fermented and whereas Pu Erh tea is post-fermented. That means Pu erh tea processing includes fermentation and then extended storage. Yet pu erh tea tastes good for its prolonged storage time.

The elements that are present in pu erh tea are Aluminium, Calcium,  Vitamins B1, B2, C & E, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Arginine, Histidine, Cystine and some traces of Zinc, Sodium, iron, Sulfur, and Fluorides.

2. A Quick Walk Through – History Of Pu Erh Tea

history of pu erh tea
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Back in the day, there were several trees which are approximately over 1000 years old. Apparently, the leaves which are plucked from these ancient trees are called as “Wild arbour”. The leaves from these trees are actually gathered or harvested by the locals. Those harvested leaves are sent to a Pu Erh city. This Pu Erh town was named after the tea was produced in those regions.

Subsequently, the harvested leaves are blended with ginger, spices, pepper and milk and then processed by manufacturers. Although the same leaves are used for making different teas like Oolong,  Green tea and Black tea, each one of them is processed uniquely.

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For the production of pu erh tea

The harvested leaves are initially sundried and rolled which is called “Maocha”. Later several complex processes will undergo – microbial fermentation and oxidation process. After the whole processing is done, leaves are aged and then moulded into cakes or bricks.

Slowly people started acknowledging the Chinese miracle Pu erh tea as it became famous. It was widespread throughout the globe. Eventually, warehousing for teas became a practice. Furthermore, people who used to rely on other sources of healthy food also started consuming Pu erh tea because they found that it helped them with digestion and provided nutrients which are not available in their local foods.  So, for its impeccable properties to heal various health problems and as it was not cost effective Pu erh tea became widespread.

In China, the most popularly known black teas are known as archaic post-fermented tea which is known as Pu Erh tea.

3. Health Benefits Of Pu Erh Tea 

As Pu Erh tea undergoes oxidation process, it has ample of antioxidants but less when compared to green tea. These antioxidants and other properties of pu erh tea have the ability to protect our body from several diseases, improves digestion, burns fats and much more.

The Chinese people have diagnosed many health benefits like reduction in weight, heart problems and cholesterol. That’s because pu erh tea is obtained from a natural fermentation process. This process oxidizes the plant leaves. Therefore, oxidation is responsible for an increment in antioxidants.

However, the only snag behind pu erh tea is its long duration of storage. Pu erh tea sometimes will get musty when it’s stored over a period of time. But that’s just in rare cases.

Pu erh tea has actually got a distinct flavour and aroma. The longer it’s stored, the more scrumptious it tastes.

Lets, know some of the benefits of Pu erh tea  for skin and health.

  •  Helps with digestion

Are you having troubles with food digestion? Or are you pigging out all the dishes ending with a protruding tummy?

If so, you are going to face digestion problems for the reasons like when you have eaten too much food,  stress, improper exercise to the body, improper diet plan, consumption of too much caffeine and much more.  Thereby, indigestion will cause heavy abdominal pain and when you’ve such pain you obviously feel like taking a pill.

So, instead of relying on tablets, sip a cup of pu erh tea. Whatever may be the case, pu erh tea comes to rescue to digest the food even after a heavy meal.

This tea not only helps with digestion, the antioxidants in pu erh tea will also speed up the metabolism process. It makes you feel light after that loaded meal. Also, take a proper diet at appropriate timings and in limited portions.

  • Pu tea’s Antioxidant and Antibacterial properties

The antioxidant and antibacterial properties of pu erh tea can prevent the body from harmful bacteria and free radicals.  According to what the researchers have discovered, though pu erh tea has quiet less antioxidant properties than green tea, pu erh tea extracts can inhibit the tumour growth through various mechanisms. 

Further studies also proved that the natural components of pu erh tea can be used as a substitute for other harmful drugs without showing up any side effects.

Pu erh tea as an antioxidant flush out the harmful toxins from your body. When your body is toxic free then there are also no skin issues like acne, pigmentation, wrinkles and fast ageing process. Therefore, this tea can also be a great body cleanser.

  • Promotes Bone Health

Pu erh tea helps to lower the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.  Osteoporosis is a bone disease. It weakens the bones and makes them fragile. People with this problem will be at high risks of bone fractures, or bone breaks.

The lack of vitamin C, D, K, lack of physical activity, menopause, smoking and drinking are some of the causes of this bone disease.

To prevent osteoporosis you must include calcium and nutrients like magnesium, protein, vitamin K, and zinc which will help to maintain healthy bones.

Apart from those prevention methods, researchers found that consumption of pu erh tea will provide health benefits to fight against osteoporosis.

  • Prevents Constipation

Some of the major causes of bowel movements can be indigestion, lack of exercise to the body, and other health issues. Whatsoever if you’re not getting stools every day or at least in alternate days you’ve constipation problem.

When you drink more water, fruit juices, or other fluids the chances of stool production will be higher. Whereas pu erh tea is also an effective solution to get rid of constipation. 

  • Fights diabetes

 Though you don’t have a sweet tooth they will be a hike in sugar levels after having a meal. Managing the sugar levels is very important to prevent and to stop diabetes.

Pu erh will lower blood sugar levels after the meal and also prevents your body from type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Though you have cravings for high glucose foods, or if you already have sugar pu erh tea will balance out the sugar levels and alleviates diabetes condition.

  • Fights Cancer

The antioxidant properties in pu erh tea will kill the free radicals which cause a lot of damage to the cells and leads to various diseases like cancer.

Several kinds of researchers suggest that pu erh tea health benefits can prevent several diseases like cancer. That’s because of the antioxidants that will flush out the free radicals. They make cells healthy and strong enough to fight over diseases. 

Drink pu erh to reduce or prevent cancer but before consult your doctor if you can include in your diet plan and how often you can drink this beverage?

  • Lowers cholesterol levels

Lowering cholesterol levels is nothing but improving cardiovascular health. Excess amounts of cholesterol can lead to irregularities in the heart. Apparently, pu erh tea is known for reducing the cholesterol levels than the other benefits pu erh tea offers.

You must regulate the bad or so-called LDL cholesterol to maintain a healthy heart. The antioxidants in pu erh tea lower cholesterol which thereby improves cardiovascular health. So, lowering cholesterol and antioxidants will play a predominant role in eliminating cardio diseases and cardio disorders. 

If you don’t want obesity and maintain the healthy heart drink pu erh tea. Many people across the globe drink pu erh tea to prevent from heart diseases and maintain strong and healthy heart. Indeed, pu erh is well known for this benefit.

So, have your cup of tea after a meal or at your regular tea time.

  • Pu erh for Brain disorders

Neurodegenerative nerve issues affect many of your body activities like movement, talking, breathing, balance and heart function.

Some of the major causes of this problem can be alcohol, a tumour, toxins, viruses, a stroke, chemicals and many more.

Degenerative nerve diseases include Parkinson’s diseases, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases. These disturb the brain activities as they’re linked to the brain.  Furthermore, these disorders with the functioning of the heart, ability to talk, body movements and functions.

But sadly, most of the degenerative nerve diseases have no cure. Some treatments may improve symptoms and relieve pain. According to several studies, Pu erh tea has many health benefits in preventing and treating the neurodegenerative disorders.

4. Pu Erh Tea In Weight Loss

  Pu erh Tea in weight loss   Pu erh tea is seriously unreal for the earthy taste and for its phenomenal benefits. This tea is one of the perfect slimming tea in the Chinese inventions. The Chinese people spend a lot of time perfecting teas. There are several other teas like Oolong, white, red, yellow and green tea which can help you to slim down.
Can you imagine that few cups of pu erh tea will help in weight loss?
Yes, because this Chinese tea contains Catechins and Caffeine that are responsible for weight loss. Catechins are the powerful antioxidants. They will increase the metabolism thereby burning fat levels which cause weight loss. Whereas, it’s a well-known fact that caffeine helps you burn more energy by increasing the metabolism. This Chinese healthy beverage will help in weight loss when you consume fresh tea. That being said, the cooked will only keep your stomach fit.

When to drink pu erh tea for weight loss?

Drinking pu erh tea at correct times is important to shed the unwanted fat and to increase the metabolism. Nevertheless, if you drink this beverage at wrong times, it actually shows up reverse effects like you may gain weight. The best time to drink this tea is one hour after a meal and anytime in the evening. If so, then pu erh will remove excess grease, oily substances, unwanted fats, hard to digest fats, leftovers and make you achieve weight loss.

However, if you drink this beverage before a meal, it reverses the positive effects. It can cause you to gain weight instead because it flushes away the unwanted stuff or residue from your stomach. Therefore, it actually increases your appetite making you eat more than required portions.

Besides, to drinking at perfect times you should also maintain a proper healthy lifestyle in order to gain the maximum benefits.

How to drink pu erh tea for weight loss?

pu erh tea weight loss

You must ensure to maintain a balance between diet and healthy lifestyle to lose weight fast. Just like other traditional weight loss methods you need to follow prevention or precautionary steps to achieve weight loss by drinking pu erh tea.

  • When you are drinking this tea, you must also follow a healthy diet plan that includes proteins, salads, fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods will not increase your appetite. They keep your stomach fuller to a maximum amount of time.
  • Besides diet, you need to workout, again just like how you do for other traditional weight loss methods. A blend of healthy diet, exercise and 8 to 10 warm cups of pu erh tea will help you with weight loss. Go with some beginner’s exercises or cardio exercises like swimming, jogging, skipping, brisk walks and running. Exercise for at least 4-5 hours a day.
  • If your strictly very determined to lose weight then give up on other fluids like sodas, alcohol, and soups expect water. Instead, drink two or three cups of this healthy beverage.
  • Most importantly, make a track of your calories you consume daily.

5. How To Brew Pu Erh Tea?

Usually, brewing pu erh tea is an intricate process and need a lot of equipment. It would be hard for a beginner to learn the whole process and to get the complete list equipment.

So, let’s see the easiest way to brew pu erh tea with just three basic household equipment.

how to brew pu erh tea
Things you will need:
  • A teapot or a brewing vessel
  • Whatever you prefer to drink from like glasses, cups or any vessel
  • Hot water
  • Pu erh Tea powder
Step 1: Boiling the water

Firstly, bring water to a vigorous boil until you see the bubbles. Bring the water to boil with a temperature of around 95 degrees.

Step 2: Break the tea leaves and place it into the pot

Pu erh tea is actually processed, moulded to a cake or bricks and then stored for ages. So, you need to separate the leaves from the moulded piece. I know it may seem quite hard to tear the leaves apart. But do some magic!

Now, add those leaves into the pot. You can add leaves approximately up to 1/3 or 1/4 of the pot. But don’t add too much because the dry leaves will expand upon brewing.

Step 3: Rinsing tea leaves

It’s the time to rinse the tea leaves with some boiling water for 10 seconds. Rinsing the leaves with boiling water is certainly a mandatory step to not avoid. Rising of leaves will open the leaves, washes off any dust particles, primes the leaves for steeping and loosen the leaf from moulded or crammed state.

Then pour the rinse water into some glass or vessel. This water can be completely discarded.

The first brew is basically for washing away dust from leaves and is discarded not be consumed. Rinsing leaves will also wash away much of the caffeine content.

Step 4: Steeping the tea

Now, steep the tea leaves with boiling water again. Add more water to the pot and steep for three to five minutes until it changes the colour and taste. However, you should not steep for a longer time because the tea may taste bitter. Depending on the colour and quality it changes colour to pale yellow, dark brown, golden or red.

Viola! The scrumptious earthy flavoured tea is ready now to drink.

6. Brewing Methods That Can Show Up Effects

Basically, the exact proportion of tea to water is 1 gram of tea per 50 millilitres of water. So, as I already mentioned steep the leaves only for a shorter time. Else, your tea may taste bitter which you may not feel likely to taste.

You need to steep the first cup of tea for about 10 to 15 seconds. On further brewing of leaves just brew them for an extra 15 seconds. Not more than that!

Furthermore, there are plethora types of pu erh based on quality, higher grades and age. The top-notch quality tea and higher grades can be brewed up to 10 times to gain the health benefits of pu erh tea.


7. Side Effects Of Pu Erh Tea

Moderate consumption of either tea or coffee will never be a problem. But excess consumptions will certainly lead to side effects. Pu erh tea contains some amounts of caffeine levels which make your body prone to various health issues.

You can consume 8-10 cups of pu erh tea daily but more than that will cause mild to serious health problems like,

  • A headache
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Heartburn
  • Tingling sensation in the ears

So, don’t over consume this tea for the taste or its benefits.

Pregnant women should not take more than 2 cups a day else too much caffeine may cause premature delivery, low birth weight, and harm to the baby.

People with anxiety disorders, heart problems, diabetes, diarrhoea, high blood pressure must consume this tea with caution or after taking advice from your doctor.