This unusual tea takes its common name, Pu Erh, from the town near which most of it is grown. It is also known as Red or Dark or Gam Fei Cha tea in China. These teas undergo post-fermentation through a microbial process after they are dried and rolled. The major differentiation is between raw (sheng) and ripened (shou) types.
The ripe type refers to those varieties that have gone through a proper post-fermentation process, a recent invention that manipulates conditions to approximate the result of the ageing process by prolonged bacterial and fungal fermentation in a warm humid environment under controlled conditions. The raw types are those in the process of gradual darkening through exposure to microbes over many years in a controlled environment.
If one were to believe the Chinese example, Pu Erh tea is the most famous of all for its alleged health-giving properties and as a slimming tea. It is believed to speed up the metabolism without raising the heart rate.
Dark Tea or Hei Cha is a famous tea product of Anhua, in the Hunan Province of China. It shares the same processing of post-fermentation through microbial action as Pu Erh. It is similar in flavour to Pu Erh too. We have chosen to have this tea made into heart shapes to reflect the many alleged health benefits found in drinking this heavy but very mellow charactered tea. One heart should be brewed in 500ml of filtered, boiling water. It is infused for just 20 seconds with the leaves being re-used 5-6 times to extract all the goodness. Listed below are a number of the claims made for its health benefits.
As low as £8.00This loose leaf variety of Pu Erh has a wonderfully earthy, mossy aroma with hints of firewood, minerals and a touch of camphor. It has the typically smooth, almost leather-like flavour and deep red colour you would expect of a 'ripe' or 'Shou' post-fermented tea. Pu Erh Gam Fei Cha, known also as 'dark' and 'red' tea in China has recently gained a reputation as a slimming tea thanks to Victoria Beckham! Also known as Super Gam Fei Cha.
As low as £16.00
A blend combining the three teas, which are currently being exposed to much ado in the press regarding their alleged benefits to weight loss. It is made up of a Chinese Oolong called Da Hong Pao Red Robe, Fog Island Sencha from Japan and Chinese Pu Erh. The tea flavour is dominated by the Red Robe Oolong, with it's distinctive toasty, almost mellow pipe tobacco note and ripe fruit aftertaste. The delicate notes of the Sencha, whilst somewhat subdued by the other teas, adds a fresh edge to the cup, with the more earthy tones of the Pu Erh adding weight and body.
This white tea is a 'raw' tea and can be enjoyed in this young stage or left if you have the patience for many years to ferment into 'red' or 'dark' tea, as it is variably known. Personally, I think it is best enjoyed in its light, delicate white form. It has a mellow character and leaves a sweet taste in the mouth, with a hint of the famous 'earthy' flavour Pu Erh teas are known for. Grown high up in the virgin forests of Yunnan.
As low as £13.00This is a high grade of cooked loose leaf Pu Erh Gam Fei Cha from 2010, handmade entirely from young shoots and scented with jasmine blossom. It is perfect for jasmine and Pu Erh tea fans alike but is also an opportunity for a gentle introduction to the unique flavour of Gam Fei Cha for novices.