Monday, March 10, 2014

All My Tea from China

These are the two teas we purchased from China.

Two and a half months ago, on a whim, I visited a Chinese website, called This place, it seemed to me, was the Chinese version of Everything could be bought there. I had a wonderful time browsing through their photo voltaic solar panels, through their electronics like cellphones and tablets, down to hand warmers.
Because both Jo and I are avid tea drinkers, I thought I would try an experiment. I visited their thousands of teas, looking for an ancient tea, called Puerh Tea. We had seen it in large blocks when we were in Sitka, Alaska. It just gets better with age. I found a Puerh Tea that was 20 year old. It was sold in a dainty, embroidered bag for a ridiculously low price of $7.59, with free shipping. While browsing, I came upon an Oolong Tea that seemed to offer promise and, for $5.32; I threw it into the package.

What I had neglected to put into my calculations was Chinese New Year. A few days after I placed my order, 1.6 billion Chinese stopped working for two weeks. Not only did that include the YOYO Tea Store  No.525997, but the China Post and every other worker in the whole country.

As a result, my package took two and a half months to make the journey from mainland China, all the way across the Pacific to the little town of Estero on Florida’s west coast.

But, as luck would have it, the package arrived today, just five days before we are due to head north to our new adventure at Honeymoon Island State Park on Florida’s west coast.

It was with great anticipation that I boiled our water for the first taste test. You are instructed by Chinese tea makers to pour the boiling water over the tea and immediately toss the boiling water out. In this way, you rinse the tea of impurities and harshness. We did as instructed and then re-filled the pot. Ah. Mellow, smooth and gentle. What an amazing tea. And the beauty is you can refill your pot at least five times with boiling water, using the same little compressed capsule of tea leaves over and over.

Now, I know you tea aficionados want more information about Puerh Tea. I have decided to lift the info directly from YOYO Tea Store  No.525997’s website.  I have changed some mis-spellings. But I left the English intact. Enjoy:

What is Puerh Tea?

Puerh is a large leafed tea from the Yunnan province in China and has been famous as a medicinal tea. The earliest records of Puerh tea date back to the Tang Dynasty (618AD-906AD) when it was the favorite tea of the nobleman of this time. Puerh tea over the centuries has been used as a form of currency in China and an important international trading item.

Puerh tea derives its name from the market town of Pu-er, where it was originally processed and sold. It is said that the unique taste of Puerh Tea was developed because it took weeks to transport the tea leaves by horseback to the town to be processed. During this transportation period the tea leaves would begin to ferment in the humidity and release a strong, fragrant aroma, which people found quite pleasant. A special technique of tea fermenting developed and Puerh was thus created.

The secret of making Puerh tea has been closely guarded in China for centuries. The tea leaves are collected from growers of a special broad-leaf tea tree, which are said to be related to ancient prehistoric tea trees. The leaves go through two types of fermentation, which gives this tea its unique characteristics; a mild, but distinctively earthy flavor. Puerh teas are much like fine wines, which become smoother and more balanced with age. Puerh teas are much lower in tannins than other teas due to the special processing method which it undergoes.

Effects of Puerh Tea
1.     Decrease the blood fat, lose weight, decline blood pressure and resist arteriosclerosis.
Dr. Amill Carroby, from a college of Paris, French used Yunnan Puerh Tuo tea to do clinical trial and proved that: Yunnan Puerh Tea has a good effect to reduce content of lipoid and cholesterol? Kunming Medical College of China also observed 55 clinical trials to use Yunnan Puerh Tuo tea to cure the high blood fat diseases and compare them with 31 cases used clofibrate which has a good effect to incline fat. The result shows that the curative effect of Puerh Tea is higher than clofibrate. Long lasting drinkers of Puerh Tea can reduce cholesterol and glycerin fat. So long drinking of Puerh Tea can have the effect of curative the obesity. Drinking of Puerh tea can cause physiological effect in stretching human being's blood vessel, descending blood pressure and slowering the rhythm of the heart, etc. So it has a good curative function to high blood pressure and the brain arteriosclerosis.

2.     Anti-decrepitude.

Catechin of the tea has the effect of anti-decrepitude. Total amount of catechin content of Yunnan big leaf species tea is higher than other tea species. The effect of anti-decrepitude is better than other kinds of tea. At the same time, during the process of Puerh Tea, macromolecular polysaccharide transforms into a great deal of new dissoluble monosaccharide and oligosaccharide. The vitamin C increases doubly, which has an important effect to improve the human being’s immune system and preserve health, strengthen body and prolong longevity.

Brewing Puerh Tea

To make tea must control the water temperature, which greatly affect the aroma and tasty of the tea soup. Puerh Tea requests the boiled water of the 95~100 degrees C.
How much tea can depend on personal taste, generally, 3-5 grams tea properly with 150 milliliters water, and the proportion of tea to water between 1:50-1:30.

For the tea purer aroma, it is necessary to warm tea, i.e., pour out the boiled water immediately for the first time, which can have 1-2 times. The speed must be quick so that the taste of the tea soup can be prevented from influence. While really starting, about a minute the tea soup can be poured into the public cup, and then continue the second. With more times, the time can be prolonged slowly, from 1 minute to a few minutes gradually, which can keep the even density of tea soup.
This is YoYo's banner on her online store.