Introducing the favourite beverage of the Scotland-China Association. While it might sound odd that an organisation with a mandate to combine kilts and haggis with dragons and dumplings exists, it does! The SCA was founded in Glasgow in an effort to strengthen ties between the two very different countries and offers seminars in traditional Chinese medicine, language courses and more. Interestingly, while most pu-erh teas are best enjoyed on their own, the unique sweetness of this cup is well suited to a splash of milk. Here’s to the future of Sino-Scottish relations!
This tea is famed for its medicinal properties. Kunming Medical College claims that pu-erh can lower cholesterol by 17 percent, and triglycerides by 22 percent. They may have been slightly overzealous about the properties of pu-erh, as a university in Berlin, and another in France, found that the claim was perhaps overstated. A study in Japan indicated that all tea lowered cholesterol and that pu-erh was more effective than white or green tea which in turn was more effective than black tea.
Pu-erh teas are considered indispensable for daily health by the Chinese; Pu-erh teas are drunk to lower cholesterol, speed up the metabolism, promote weight loss, and improve the digestion of fatty foods in particular. The Chinese also believe this tea expels toxins associated with diets high in meat products. With its blood cleansing properties, pu-erh tea is also drunk to help cure hangovers! What pu-erh does is, it efficiently digests the lipid cells, or fat cells, therefore your body stores less fat. At the same time, the tea leaf itself is thermogenic, which means it will increase the metabolism without increasing the heart rate, so you’ll burn more calories naturally.
As with wine, young pu-erh is considered the least valuable whereas pu-erh 5 years or older is more highly prized. Interestingly, the taste of pu-erh becomes more mellow with age and perhaps more acceptable to the western palate.
Pu-erh tea is reputed to raise your metabolism naturally as the tea leaf is thermogenic. If you do not change your diet other than drinking this tea, you could still lose up to 7lb in a year.
Recommended: Drink one cup with every meal and one cup after as part of a controlled diet. Also, see Oolong teas for slimming.
Traditional Brewing Method
Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour water into the teapot to cover the leaves - pour the water off - in effect you are ‘rinsing’ the tea. Next, pour the boiling water into the teapot over the ‘rinsed’ leaves. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).
Add milk or sugar to taste.
Simple Hot Tea Brewing Method
1 teaspoon per cup, heat water to 90°C, pour the water in and leave to infuse for 3-7 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
Iced Tea Brewing Method
Make as for hot, but add extra tea - when the tea has cooled a little, pour over ice. It is important to make it a little stronger as the ice will water it down.
Alternatively, you can place the tea in a jug and add cold water. Leave to infuse for a few hours (or overnight in the fridge) strain and enjoy. Cold brewing will give a smoother taste.
Simpli-Special - Tea as it Should be!