We are getting ready to roll out two new pu'er teas—an aged pu'er, and a chocolate pu'er. pu'er is a type of tea created from máochá—a mostly unoxidized green tea processed from a "large leaf" variety of Camellia sinensis, found in the mountains of southern Yunnan. Our pu'er teas are also aged in Yunnan.
In late 2008, the Chinese government approved a standard declaring pu'er tea as a "product with geographical indications". This standard would restrict the naming of tea as pu'er, to tea produced within specific regions of the Yunnan province.
When un-aged and unprocessed, maocha is similar to green tea. Two subtle differences worth noting are; this pu'er is not produced from the small-leaf Chinese varietal but the broad-leaf varietal mostly found in the southern Chinese provinces and India; pu'er leaves are picked as one bud and 3-4 leaves, whereas green tea is picked as one bud and 1-2 leaves. This means that older (aged) leaves contribute to the qualities of pu'er tea.
The processing of pu'er is similar to that of green tea—withering, rolling/bruising of the leaf, and wok and/or oven to dry. In pu'er, leaves are not fully dried during pan-frying—leaving a small amount of enzymes which contribute to a minor amount of oxidation to the leaves during drying. The “bruising” of the tea is also important in helping this minimal oxidation to occur. Both of these steps are significant in contributing to the unique characteristics of pu'er tea.
There is scientific research that indicates that consumption of pu'er tea leaves suppressed the expression of fatty acid synthase (FAS) in the livers of rats, and that gains in body weight, levels of triacylglycerol, and total cholesterol were also suppressed. In the laboratory, there is also evidence that pu'er tea may inhibit the biosynthesis of cholesterol which would contribute to the bodies ability manage and lower cholesterol levels. - Kelly.
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