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Pu-erh: The New Healthy Tea You Probably Haven’t Heard of Yet

pu-erh-tea-brewing-3We’ve tried a few teas from Numi Organics and if anything they’re always interesting, delicious and totally unique. So when they gave us the chance to try Chocolate Pu-erh tea, I was interested. First, well, it’s chocolate, so that’s a win. Second, what the freak is pu-erh tea?!
Pronounced poo-air (it’s okay; we laughed, too), this tea is said to have some pretty promising health benefits when it comes to lowering cholesterol. Picked from 500-year-old wild tea trees in the mountains of Yunnan, China, pu-erh is considered an ancient healing tea that’s higher in caffeine and has a fuller, more robust flavor through its unique fermentation process.
Now that sounds all sweet and dandy, but how do they taste? I originally thought I’d just review the Chocolate Pu-erh tea because — again — chocolate, but once I got this mini-sampler pack, I knew I’d have to try them all. Organic, all-natural, non-GMO and made of real ingredients, they all sounded great.
I’m a sucker for flavors and Jasmine, Basil Mint, Cardamom and Ginger were all calling my name. Plus, I was curious to see what the plain pu-erh (Emperor’s) tasted like.
So, in typical FBE-reviewing style, I brought a big ol’ tea kettle up to a whistle and got to tasting. The first thing I noticed was how fabulous these smelled and how rich the color was, even after just a few seconds of steeping.
I patiently waited the recommended 3 to 5 minutes …
And the wait was worth it.
I love both tea and coffee, and these are kind of a cross between those. Just about the richest tea I’ve ever tried, all of them were really enjoyable to sip on. Emperor’s was strong and a little malty, Jasmine was flowery and lighter, Cardamom had the bold spice of India, and Ginger was probably the most subtle of the bunch with not a whole lot of ginger to it but some nice warmth.
My two favorites though were, hands down, the Chocolate and the Basil Mint. The Chocolate smelled fantastic and had a nice unsweetened chocolate and vanilla flavor that was really delightful and a touch spicy, and the Basil Mint was just downright refreshing (didn’t really get much basil, but the mint was perfection!). I think my favorite pu-erh tea day would be Emperor’s for breakfast, Basil Mint in the afternoon and Chocolate after dinner. But, really, you can’t go wrong with any of them any time of day.
Have you ever heard of or tried pu-erh tea before? Which flavor sounds the best to you? —Jenn

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