Over the years, the perks of drinking tea have become better known, especially if you are looking at losing weight. No, we aren't talking about our very own milk chai, but teas like black tea, green tea, chamomile tea and blue tea that have been known to promote health, prevent diseases and aid weight loss. There are more varieties that are slowly marking their presence into our lives, out of which puerh tea tops the list. Known to be China's best kept secret, puerh tea (pronounced as poo-air) is cultivated from the same plant that supplies oolong, green and black tea. It is long been touted as one of the best teas to help shed extra kilos. If you are uninitiated, we tell you everything that puerh tea has to offer, especially for weight loss.
(Also Read: 5 Herbal Teas to Calm Your Mind and Relieve Stress)
What Is Puerh Tea?
Native to China's Yunnan district, puerh is cultivated from the plant Camellia sinensis, which also supplies other variations of tea. What makes this tea different from others is that puerh is fermented like oolong tea and then goes through another process known as post-fermentation. Once the tea is fermented, leaves are sun-dried and aged in a high-humidity environment. As it is popularly said, the more aged wine is, the better it tastes. Similarly, puerh tea gets better the longer it is aged. It is a special delicacy in China and often found in the form of cake or brick. Pieces are separated from these cakes and then brewed according to the quantity needed.
Known Benefits of Puerh Tea
Known for cleansing
Puerh tea is said to be beneficial for blood cleansing and digestion. The many foods that we eat may contain fatty oils, toxins and chemicals that can toxify our body over time. Puerh tea helps cleanse the body and the blood from toxins. The micro-organisms and simple sugars that are produced from the fermentation process are known to attack the toxins in the blood, making your healthier.
Helps reduce stress
The presence of phytochemicals GABA and theanine have been shown to reduce stress levels and increase the production of natural melatonin in the brain, which further results in sound sleep and reduced stress.
Aids in weight loss
Puerh tea is said to block your body from producing more fat. If paired well with exercises and a healthy diet, this tea is believed to show effective results on your stubborn fat.
Promotes overall health
The presence of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties make puerh tea a healthful drink. Antioxidants in the beverage helps fight off free radicals in the body and protect it from any disease.
May reduce cholesterol
The ageing process of puerh tea can result in the production of lovastatin, a natural statin that is said to manage high cholesterol levels.
May enhance metabolism
Puerh tea has been a help in bacteria balance in human stomach, leading to digestion of heavy meals. It has worked towards better metabolism and soothe stomach ailments.
How Does Puerh Tea Help Lose Weight?
An animal study published from China's Department of Life Science and Biotechnology- Kunming University found that doses of puerh tea helped lose weight, lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels. Puerh tea is known for its ability to help burn fat and shed pounds by helping your body to metabolise fat. The caffeine present in this tea triggers your body to secrete certain hormones that are responsible for metabolising of stored fatty acids in fat cells. This enables your body to use those fatty acids as fuel and not keep it in the belly.
How To Brew Puerh Tea?
Puerh tea is generally available in form of cake or tea bags. It is generally recommended to use three to four grams of puerh tea in 200 ml water. The amount can be adjusted depending on how strong one likes his/her tea. One needs to first break the cake and weigh the right amount of leaves to be used.
Now the tea needs to be placed in an infuser and the latter needs to be placed in a pot. Pour some amount of hot water in the pot and swirl for a while to rinse out impurities from the tea. Discard the water.
Pour fresh hot water in the pot; one needs to keep in mind, the hotter the water is, the better the brew will be. Let the tea infuse in the hot water for atleast four minutes.
Finally, the puerh tea is all set to be served. The best part is, the same tea can be reused atleast twice.
The Traditional Method
There is however a traditional process of brewing the tea which is much more complex and time consuming. A gaiwan is needed for the same. Gaiwan is a traditional Chinese lidded bowl without handle, used for infusing tea leaves.
First the tea cake needs to be broken with a prying prick; it is a must have tool for the puerh drinkers. Then weigh the right amount of tea to be used.
Place the tea in the gaiwan and pour some hot water in it. Wash the tea and discard the water.
Now fill the gaiwan with boiling hot water and close the lead for atleast 20 seconds.
Carefully tilt the gaiwan and pour the tea in a pitcher, leaving the leaves behind. The leaves can be reused later.
Here, the tea needs to be served in a preheated cup.
The tea is said to have a strong taste and has a mellow and deep earthy flavour. It is believed that, if consumed at the right time, it can help you lose weight; however, if consumed during odd hours, it can actually make you gain weight instead. The best time of drinking puerh tea for weight loss is one hour after a meal, so that it can remove excess grease and help your body eliminate unwanted and hard-to-digest fats. If you tend to drink puerh tea before a meal, it tends to clear the fat deposits in your body and any residue left in the stomach, resultantly increasing your appetite, causing you to overeat.
Please Note: None of the benefits have been proven by science yet; therefore, it is best to consult your Nutritionist or Dietitian who can tell what's best for you in order to lose weight.