Tea Blendz Pu-erh Tea (pronounced POO-air) is the most oxidized form of tea and often aged. Some pu-erh teas are more than 50 years old, and rare ones sell for many thousands of dollars in Asian specialty stores. Unlike other teas, which get stale over time, pu-erh can mellow and improve with age like fine wine.
You brew Tea Blendz pu-erh tea the same as you would brew our black and oolong teas. Heat good quality water to a vigorous boil. Pour the water over the tea leaves (which can be loose or in a tea ball or strainer), wait 10 seconds, then discard the water. This "opens" the leaves. Add more water and steep long enough to develop color and flavor but not so long that the tea will taste bitter. For pu-erh, two to five minutes is best. Depending on the variety, the color of the brewed tea can be pale yellow, golden, red, or dark brown. Some brewed pu-erh varieties look like coffee and taste very earthy, but connoisseurs often dismiss these as low quality. You can reuse good quality tea leaves several times; tea lovers say that the subsequent infusions taste better and better.
Because it is fully oxidized, pu-erh has a lower antioxidant content than Tea Blendz's white or green tea, but Asian cultures credit it with many health benefits, especially promotion of weight loss, reduction of serum cholesterol, and cardiovascular protection. Some research suggests that pu-erh may help lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk, wherein a Chinese study published in 2009, showed a measurable lowering of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglyceride levels, along with an increase in HDL ("good" cholesterol). We know that tea, in general, is protective against heart disease and cancer.
"I am a great fan of quality pu-erh and have had the good fortune to sample some exquisite varieties during my travels in China. Fortunately, good pu-erh is becoming easier to find in this country. Exploring these complex, venerable teas is a healthy and rewarding pursuit that I highly recommend."
Andrew Weil, M.D.