Vietnamese Pu-erh tea stands out among common teas because of its unique production process. If you are a tea lover, you should not ignore Pu-erh tea, which is one of the famous drinks with a rich and distinct flavor.
People can appreciate the art and tradition of making this tea while enjoying the reddish-brown liquor color, the characteristic faint smell, the mild acrid taste, and the sweet aftertaste.
The tea also offers many health benefits, from weight loss to cancer prevention and cholesterol reduction. Let’s discover how Pu-erh tea is in this article!
1. Introduction to Vietnamese Pu-erh tea
Pu-erh tea originated in China thousands of years ago. The name Pu-erh comes from a town of the same name in Yunnan province (China). This tea had been introduced to Vietnam and favored by Vietnamese people until now.
1.1. What is Vietnamese Pu-erh tea?
Vietnamese Pu-erh tea is the most oxidized tea and looks like a fine wine. The tea leaves will gradually become stronger over time and bring out a mellow flavor the longer it is aged. Aged and fermented tea leaves will be packaged into cakes or sold as loose leaf tea. Some of the rarest and most expensive Pu-erh teas are more than 50 years old.
The Vietnamese Pu-erh tea liquor will be red, bright with a mild and sweet acrid taste when we brew it. The subtle aroma in the tea is the smell of pine wood.
Pu-erh tea has undergone post-processing fermentation, which commonly occurs during storage. In contrast to other popular teas, there is only an oxidation step in the production process.
The tea’s flavor will change by post-processing fermentation. Its bitter flavor becomes sweeter with time, and the harsh flavor becomes softer. The tea color transforms over time from green to yellow and final to black during the storage process.
1.2. Types of Vietnamese Pu-erh tea
Vietnamese artisans classify Pu-erh tea into two groups. Those are raw/green (sheng) and cooked/ripe/black (shou). Because there is extensive processing taking place after the tea leaves have been harvested and pre-processed.
|VIetnamese raw/Green Pu erh tea||Vietnamese cooked/ripe/Black Pu erh tea|
|Tea leaf color||Green, yellow, red||Red, dark yellow|
|Tea liquor color||Green, bright yellow||Dark red brown|
|Taste||Bitter, difficult to feel the sweetness.||Mellow and the aftertaste is sweeter, only slightly acrid.|
|Processing steps||Picking tea → Withering → Pan-frying→ Rolling → Drying → Sifting → Making Cakes → Gradually fermenting over time||Picking tea → Withering → Pan-frying→ Rolling → Drying → Sifting → Fermenting 1 time → Making cakes|
Vietnamese raw Pu-erh
It is a group of Pu-erh teas that do not undergo fermentation. Vietnamese artisans press Mao tea into raw Pu-erh tea cakes right away after drying.
After pressing, the tea cake is left on a wooden shelf to dry slowly, from a few hours to a few days, sometimes a week. When the tea cake dries, artisans wrap them in paper to remain exposed to the air. The tea cake will transform in both flavor and chemical composition over time.
Vietnamese ripe Pu Erh
Ripe or cooked Pu-erh is a group of Pu-erh teas that undergo a ‘post-fermentation’ process. This stage consists of Mao tea piled up, sprayed with water, and covered with canvas to increase the heat during the brewing process. Sometimes, the finished Pu-erh tea is added to freshly brewed tea to stimulate faster microflora growth.
Pu-erh tea is considered to be fully ‘ripe’ after a period of 45 to 60 days. However, sometimes artisans stop brewing early to create partially ripe Pu-erh tea. Nowadays, Vietnamese people shorten the long-term fermentation of Raw Pu Erh. Instead of waiting for decades, it only takes dozens of days.
1.3. How to make Vietnamese Pu-erh tea
The ingredient to make Pu-erh tea in Vietnam comes from leaves of wild ancient tea trees in high mountain areas. The variety of ancient tea is divided into 2 main groups.
The first group has large tea leaves and a large main stem. The second group has small leaves, many small stems growing from a base.
Vietnamese Pu Erh tea is collected from Shan tea buds belonging to the ancient Shan tea variety that grows on high mountains, where clouds are covered all year round and the temperature difference between day and night is high. In Vietnam, Shan tea is grown mostly in the Northwest areas (Ha Giang, Lai Chau, Yen Bai, and Dien Bien province).
If you want to know more about Shan tea, click here: Vietnamese Shan tea – An special gift of high mountain areas
After being picked, the ancient tea leaves are de-fermented, crushed, and dried. Then artisans will press into cakes to become live Pu-erh or ferment and then make into cooked Pu-erh cake shape. The process off making Pu-erh tea in Vietnam includes the following steps:
- Withering: Tea leaves are spread evenly on bamboo pots to wither. The purpose of withering is to lose water in leaves to make the tea leaves more supple. When crushed, the tea leaves will be less torn and crushed. Tea leaves are usually wilted outdoors or in a well-ventilated area indoors.
- De-fermenting: It is the stage where the ‘yeast’ or enzymes in the tea leaves are removed by stirring tea leaves on a hot pan. As a result, the ingredients that make up the flavor of tea leaves are not converted by oxygen in the air.
- Rolling (crushing): Crushing tea leaves break down the epidermis and the cellular system of the tea leaves. It helps to release the flavor components of the tea leaves. It also helps the tea to be more exposed to the air. So when stored for a long time or fermented, the tea will also be easier to convert.
- Drying: After being crushed, tea leaves will be dried in the sunlight or using a machine. After being dried, it becomes ‘Mao tea’ (raw tea).
Because the three factors of temperature, water, and oxygen are necessary conditions in the fermentation process of Pu-erh tea cakes, Pu-erh tea cakes are not stored tightly in tea containers like green tea.
Vietnamese pu-erh tea cakes should be stored in an environment with a temperature of about 20-30oC and a humidity of about 65%, avoid direct sunlight, and do not expose to water. Doing so will ensure a moderate amount of heat, sufficient water content in the tea, and ensure oxygen supply for microorganisms to grow.
Find out more about other Vietnamese delicious tea types:
- 5 Vietnamese herbal tea recipes you can do by yourself easily
- The 5 best Vietnamese teas recommended by tea connoisseurs
2. Health benefits of Vietnamese Pu-erh tea
Vietnamese Pu-erh tea contains a lot of health benefits besides its distinct flavor and taste.
- Good for heart health: Drinking a cup of Pu-erh tea a day can help lower your risk of heart disease by assisting in the production of lovastatin, a chemical that aids in the treatment of excessive cholesterol.
- Eliminate toxins for the body: The oxidizing qualities of pu-erh tea help to improve blood circulation. Tea can aid with headaches and migraines by giving more oxygen to the brain and minimizing the appearance of free radicals, which can cause serious ailments.
- Protect bone health: According to experts, the polyphenols in Vietnamese Pu-erh tea can enhance muscle growth and bone strength. Antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects are also included in these polyphenols, which aid to reduce pain and suffering.
- Lose weight: Due to the presence of lovastatin in the tea leaves, pu-erh tea aids digestion and may help treat constipation symptoms. Tea’s antioxidants and polyphenols also help with fat digestion and breakdown.
- Reduce stress: Pu-erh tea can help reduce stress and inflammatory factors. This drink contains the phytochemicals GABA and theanine, which are said to increase melatonin production, promote better sleep, and calm mood.
Customers who want to buy Vietnamese pu-erh tea at a reputable place, just think of the Future Generation Company. To understand why FGC is a good choice, let’s move to the next part.
Related product: Vietnamese imperial oolong tea: Characteristics and advantages
3. FGC – Vietnamese pu erh tea reputable supplier
FGC is one of the reputable suppliers of Vietnamese Pu-erh tea. There are 3 main factors that contribute to our abilities of supplying Vietnamese Pu erh tea:
Exceptional product quality
With the advantage of developing organic tea, in the coming years, FGC will continue to orient and zone raw materials (Shan tea) for processing facilities, as a basis for the development of safe tea according to organic standards.
FGC has member companies planting and preliminarily processing raw materials to facilitate quality control. It is known that we also maintain, preserve and develop specialty ancient tea areas in high mountain areas such as Dien Bien, Ha Giang, Lai Chau… to produce Pu erh tea.
Diverse customer services
Cooperating with FGC, which services could our clients expect?
- Select of reputable, quality input materials, clear origin
- Support consultancy on packaging specifications in accordance with market needs. Support in the selection of packaging and packaging methods to meet product quality preservation standards
- Consult on packaging design
- Process and pack products according to orders
- Other value added services: research, formula building, product declaration registration, and many other services.
Our company has a factory designed according to closed production technology, meeting the requirements of food safety and hygiene, labor safety and always paying attention to environmental protection.
In addition, thanks to abundant labor resources at low cost in Vietnam, we can keep the reasonable and stable producing and packing expenses.
4. How to purchase FGC’s Vietnamese pu erh tea products
Our company provides easy connecting ways to clients. Anytime you want to buy Vietnamese Pu erh tea, please contact us via any convenient channel.
- Contact channels:
- Sample: We provide trial samples for free (maximum 300gr each type). After tasting you can request for adjustments
- Delivery terms: We offer FOB, CFR, CIF or DAP via any air/ sea/ truck or rail
- Payment terms: T/T, L/C are all acceptable.
Future Generation Co.’s staff always tries our best to provide the best quality Vietnamese Pu-erh tea at reasonable prices.