Posted by: Chris Maloney | May 28, 2012

Dr. Weil Likes Old Tea. The Stuff That Makes You Say Poo! Er…Sorry.

Zhuan cha, Dadugang 2006 raw pu-erh zhuancha.

Zhuan cha, Dadugang 2006 raw pu-erh zhuancha. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is Pu-erh Tea? – Ask Dr. Weil.

Before you throw out that old tea in the back of the cupboard, someone in China might want to drink it.  No, this isn’t a variation on what your mother told you about finishing your food because starving people might want it.  (Why isn’t there a “leftover food” foundation so all of us  guilt-ridden kids could donate our nickels rather than being forced to shovel in those last three forkfuls of overcooked pasta?)  These people are connoisseurs of old tea, and pay handsomely for the the privilege of sucking on old tea leaves.  Dr. Weil has been privileged to have  a few cups, so he is among the aficionados.

The old tea has been oxidized and aged, and goes by the name Pu-erh tea.  Dr. Weil describes the process of aging the leaves by making a base tea, fermenting it, and packing the leaves into bricks.  Rarer teas go for thousands of dollars a brick.  Before you start hording tea bricks make sure you’ve got the right stuff.  Some Pu-erh is raw, some is “cooked.”  Supposedly the only Pu-erh is the big leaf green tea, but I wouldn’t know good Pu-erh from, well, any old tea.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been a fan of old tea.  If moisture has clotted a bunch of tea bags together, I’m far more likely to round file them than put them in a cup.  Dr. Weil says all sorts of cool things about Pu-erh tea, but none of them sound terribly different from the benefits of fresh green tea.  I think I’m still such a philistine I’ll be using fresh tea.  I like my tea simple, without the hassle of chipping my tea leaves off a fifty-year-old log of oxidized tea leaves.



  1. Reblogged this on Push Dump Fat Button.

  2. Reblogged this on Push Dump Fat Button.

Tell me what you think!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: