If you are a tea lover and follow our blogs, by far, you know much about the tea you drink. But is that all or much is left? Well, knowledge is limitless, and thus, today we are back with yet another kind of new and less explored topics in the world of tea, the fermented tea.
Aren’t all leaves fermented while processing before packaging? Well, yes, but it is definitely not your regular cup of tea.
Don’t be surprised if you are crossing this term for the first time. It’s never too late to learn a new thing or two. In fact, isn’t it amazing that in the world of tea, you can always learn new things? To begin with, there are 5 blends of tea, namely, white, black, green, oolong and pu-erh. You can find it in almost every standard tea books.
However, if you look a bit deeper, you will find that dark tea is the larger set, in which the pu-erh belongs to. This term, dark tea, is highly replaced with pu-erh, because in the western world, it is the only dark tea that is consumed and commercialized.
So, let’s get the basics of dark tea. The dark tea or more appropriately fermented tea, is the fifth tea blend that is made by literally fermenting the tea leaves over time. And this includes the entire process of fermentation and not just only a part of orthodox procession or CTC. The exact processing time and other details vary greatly from region to region and being a trade secret, it is often not disclosed.
Its origin can be traced back to China, where it is collectively termed as heicha, meaning black tea or dark tea (NOT to be confused with black tea). This term indicates the dark brown infusions extracted from the fermented tea leaves. It is cultivated in the regions of Yunnan, Hunan, Auhui, Hubei and Guangxi.
Pu-erh is unique in its own term in the aspect of its distinctive musty smell, mellow and deep flavor. It also has enzymatic properties and is often recommended as a substitute beverage of coffee, keeping the fact that it closely resembles the looks of coffee with lesser amount of caffeine. Thus, next time, you come across, pu-erh, don’t confuse it with India's herbal tea.