Regarded as a "medicinal" tea in Asia, Pu-erh are tea leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant. This is the same plant that is used for making green, oolong, and black teas. Though the same source plant is used, the difference of the teas are made by using different processes. After harvesting, the processing of pu-erh tea involves two stages. During the first stage, the tea leaves are prepared similar to green tea. But it's during the second stage that transforms with added health benefits. The leaves undergo fermentation and then prolonged storage, or "aging," under high humidity. Pu-erh tea that is aged for a longer period of time tastes better. I've personally tasted pu-erh tea that was fermented over 60+ years and the taste was so smooth and the fragrance was enlightening. However, the price was way over my budget at that time for me to add to my collection.
Pu-erh tea is used for improving mental alertness and sharp thinking. It is also used for reducing high cholesterol, weight lost, blood pressure and overall blood circulation in the arteries. Pu-erh stimulates the central nervous system, heart and muscles as it does contain caffeine. Pu-erh tea also contains antioxidants and other substances that might help protect the heart and blood vessels.
It's best to consume Pu-erh tea within half an hour after lunch and dinner as it helps with digestion and blocks the retention of water and fat to be stored in the body. The brand I love the most is Numi Organic as the leaves and taste doesn't have too much of the muggy flavor from other teas I've tried. Also when picking out teas, always go with organic so the less of pesticides you are ingesting into your body. If you come across another brand of Pu-erh tea you enjoy, please do share with us and your experiences. I would love to hear from you!