Pu-erh tea belongs to one of the six main classes of Chinese tea. It encompasses all teas that are compressed during processing. This compression assists to facilitate a post-fermenting process – a distinguishing feature of compressed tea class.
The post -fermenting process assists to increase flavour and thus value of this tea with time.
Whilst typically compressed into tea cakes of various shapes and sizes (disc, brick and ball), loose leaf Pu-erh tea is also available.
All conventional teas are made of leaves from the same Camellia Sinesis plant family. There is however a distinctive difference between Pu-erh tea plant and others: Pu-erh tea plants are of arbour tea trees (Assamica) while most of other teas are made of leaves harvested from tea bushes.
Pu-erh tea has come to the attention of the west as a digestion aid - due to its ability to regulate fat metabolism ( ie the absorption of fat). It has been included as an element in certain weight loss programs.
Read on below for more information behind these and other unique charactoristics of Pu-erh tea.