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Thé pu-erh Québec | Zen-Infusion-T

FAQ

LA FOIRE AUX QUESTIONS

  • What is pu-erh?
    A: Pu-erh tea or pu'er tea (Chinese: 普洱茶; pinyin: pǔ'ěr chá) is a post-fermented dark tea. It owes its name to the city of Pu'er, in the Chinese province of Yunnan.
  • What makes it different from other teas?
    When packaged in compressed form (cake, nest, etc.) and stored in good conditions, pu'er tea is a living product which can improve over time and, like wine, see its value increases with age. The specificity of Pu'er tea is that it is the only Chinese tea which, in its traditional method of production, is at its peak after several years of natural aging.
  • Does pu-erh tea contain caffeine?
    Pu'erh generally contains little caffeine and is renowned for certain medicinal properties.
  • Can we find pu-erh tea anywhere?
    Pu'erh tea is a local product that can only be made from leaves harvested from large-leaf da ye tea plants growing in Yunnan, dried in the sun and having undergone fermentation.
  • Is pu-erh tea from the same family as other teas?
    Pu'er tea is made from the leaves of a variety of tea plant named Camellia sinensis var. assamica or “Assam tea plant”, “large leaf tea plant N 1” growing in Yunnan. This assamica variety grows spontaneously in evergreen forests, between 500 and 1,500 m altitude, in southern China (Yunnan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan).
  • How is this tea processed differently versus other teas?
    intense ; then, after being pressed into bricks or cakes, they undergo fermentation over a long period of aging, produced by fungi, bacteria and yeasts3 (Aspergillus niger, A. glaucus, Penicillium, Rhizopus, Saccharomyces, Actinoplanes, Streptomyces and Bacterium ). Or, with a recent process, accelerated fermentation, in a humid environment, in around fifty days. In the past, it was thought that the oxidation of the first phase was fermentation, which is why the process of the second phase was called post-fermentation.
  • How many types of pu-erh are there?
    Currently, there are two manufacturing processes: 1- compressed green tea, Chinese: 生茶; pinyin: shēng chá; lit. “raw tea”: following the traditional method of making pu'er, the tea is made like green tea then compressed into bricks or cakes. It is then sold immediately or after a more or less long aging time. 2- black pu'er tea, Chinese: 熟茶; pinyin: shú chá; lit. “cooked tea”: following a technique dating from the 1970s, fermentation is accelerated and the tea leaves are presented in bulk or compressed.
  • How many years can I keep my pu-erh tea?
    Unlike other teas which must be consumed shortly after their production, pu'er can be stored for several years. During this aging, which most often lasts from one to five years, or even several decades, a "post-fermentation" takes place which develops an earthy flavor under the effect of micro-organisms such as yeast.
  • How is pu-erh tea handled to obtain a quality product?
    For green tea (sheng) Picking: three grades are distinguished depending on whether the picking period takes place in spring, summer or autumn. The pickers take the end of the young shoots with a bud and two or three leaves. Drying: after picking, the leaves are kneaded then spread out in the sun for a day. During this stage, the leaves oxidize slightly and give off an intense floral note which evolves into notes of leather. The dried leaves are then sorted, packaged and sold to large factories or traders. It is they and not the producers who will take care of the following development processes. Steaming: to soften the leaves, pass them in a jet of steam for a few minutes. Pressing: pu'er tea manufacturing workshop, Yunnan. Steaming: the leaves in the metal pot (pierced with holes) are passed through by a jet of steam. they are then put into a fabric bag which will be placed under the hydraulic press to be compressed into a given shape. The leaves are then wrapped in a cotton bag which is placed between the two plates of a hot press under a continuous flow of steam. This compaction allows the tea leaves to be molded into the desired shape: cake, nest, brick, etc. When the cake has cooled, remove it from the bag and leave it to dry on a shelf in a well-ventilated room or place it in the sun to dry7. The tea can then be marketed in this raw form (生饼, shēng bǐng) or be stored in order to let it age and improve over time (老饼, lǎo bǐng). Until the 1960s, when compressed tea was transported on the backs of mules, horses and men along the steep caravan trails stretching from Yunnan to Tibet (on the chama gudao), it was on display for the six months of the journey, to multiple bad weather and to strong temperature fluctuations linked to arid zones and snowy passes and consequently underwent natural “cooking” and “ripening” (熟, shú). Aging: slow fermentation — storage allows slow fermentation of the leaves which over time improve, lose their astringency and evolve towards a harmonious post-fermentation bouquet. Aging occurs under the effect of fungi such as Aspergillus niger which proliferate in a warm, humid and ventilated atmosphere. Old lǎo bǐng pancake pu'er obtained by this method are rare and expensive. Some tea enthusiasts age their green pu'er tea in earthenware jars or wrapped in bamboo, in their cellars or in cavities in the ground. For black pu-erh tea (shou) The first two steps on the farm are the same. The main difference in the workshop consists of triggering fermentation in a wet pile (wodui 渥堆) before compression into cakes. The entire manufacturing process was developed by the tea factory in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, in the early 1970s4. Currently, following Lv, Zhang and Liang8 (2013), the operations are broken down in : Picking, withering: the leaves are spread on bamboo mats for about eight hours, to begin to dry; Light roasting: the leaves are then lightly roasted in a drum oven, just long enough to inactivate part of the endogenous polyphenoloxidasesN 3 (PPO). The ovens operate at lower temperatures than the roasting ovens used to make green tea. This gentle treatment preserves the activity of some of the enzymes; Rolling: rolling is carried out on a machine which kneads a ball of leaves using a rotational movement. This operation aims to gently break the plant cells without tearing the leaf. This operation is shorter than for the manufacture of green tea; Sun drying: the rolled leaves are exposed to the sun for 3 to 5 hours at a temperature of plus 30°C. The humidity level then drops to around 8%, bad odors evaporate; Rapid fermentation (Chinese: 渥堆; pinyin: wò duī; lit. “in a wet pile”): the leaves are spread in a layer of about sixty centimeters, generally on the ground, in a room with constant temperature and humidity . After being sprayed with water and covered with a tarp, the leaves begin to ferment. The temperature can rise up to 60°C inside the pile. The pile of leaves is stirred every two days to avoid excessive temperatures. We avoid excessive fermentation which would reduce the level of polyphenols and therefore the antioxidant activity of the tea too much. Micro-organisms proliferate, mold appears and degrades the leaves. The duration of this stage is 45 days to three months, depending on the desired degree of fermentation. The color of the leaves varies at the end of the process from brown to black. To properly control this fermentation and accelerate it, ferments containing the dominant micro-organisms are brought from outside; Drying: after fermentation, the leaves are spread with a rake in thin layers and left to dry for around fifteen days; Screening: once dried, the leaves are screened and sorted according to different grades; Pressing: the majority of the leaves will be compressed into cakes, bricks or nests, following the same technique as for green tea described previously. These compressed teas can be consumed immediately or allowed to age to develop their sweet flavor. Some of the sorted leaves are also sold in bulk. The accelerated fermentation process must be carried out well because harmful molds can appear. “Although tea stored in a humid environment made by this method has a shorter fermentation time, it can harbor undesirable microorganisms that are either harmful to health or capable of hindering the growth of beneficial microorganisms to develop the aromas of the tea. tea” (Chen et al.3 2010).
  • But is pu-erh tea really good for your health?
    Young, fresh tea leaves contain approximately 30% polyphenolsN 4, proteins (15-20%), amino acids, carbohydrates, etc. Phenolic compounds are 90% made up of flavan-3-ols (catechin and its esterified derivatives) as well as flavonols (aglycones and glycosides), flavan-3,4-diols and phenolic acids. During the enzymatic oxidation phase, enzymes, called polyphenolases, catalyze the transformation of phenolic compounds into orthoquinones. These formed by oxidation of flavan-3-ols then condense into theaflavins and thearubigins. Theaflavins give an orange-yellow color to tea and contribute to its astringency. During the fermentation phase in a humid environment, with filamentous mold-like fungi (mainly Aspergillus niger), the temperature quickly rises to 50°C and remains at this level for 35 days before decreasing to ambient temperature (Abe et al12 2008). The polyphenol content decreases constantly from the 10th day to the 50th and during the same period the mushroom population grows regularly. PCR analysis showed that alongside the well-known Aspergillus niger, another fungus, named Blastobotrys adeninivorans, played an important role. Aspergillus secrete enzymes which, by degrading proteins and lipids, are responsible for the development of unique aromas. Aspergillus are found in the fermentation process of soy sauce and miso (Aspergillus oryzae, A.avoine). Hou et al13 (2009) ont montré qu'une fermentation accélérée (en 50 jours), produite en humidifiant les feuilles et en les inoculant d'Aspergillus niger provoquait une réduction des polyphénols de 30 % à 12 % (de matières sèches) et une augmentation des polysaccharides.
  • SHOULD I EXPECT TO RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION BY EMAIL?
    The order is automated by our system to your email address, and it is possible to find the confirmation of your order in junk mail. Make sure you send the correct email address. The shipment tracking email is sent as soon as the order is ready to ship, i.e. 1 to 3 working days following order confirmation.
  • CAN I MODIFY MY ORDER?
    It is impossible to modify an order once it is completed. However, if it has not been prepared, you can respond to the order confirmation email that was sent to you, and we can cancel it for you so that you can redo your order with the correct items you want.
  • HOW CAN I PAY MY BILL?
    First of all; Rest assured that all transactions carried out on our online commerce platform are completely secure. You can pay for your purchases in Canadian or US dollars by Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover and Paypal (Canadian dollars only).
  • IS THERE A MINIMUM PURCHASE REQUIRED TO MAKE AN ONLINE PURCHASE?
    Yes, the amount is $22.50 everywhere in Quebec and we cover part of the delivery costs with the customer.
  • WILL MY TEA BE WELL PROTECTED DURING TRANSPORT?
    We take care to adequately package the tea in airtight bags against humidity and odors and light, quality bags, thus preserving their scents and freshness.
  • WHAT ARE THE DELIVERY TIMES ?
    Currently, we only deliver to Quebec, unless the customer is able to accept additional package delivery charges. We are in partnership with Canada Post. Deliveries are fast when there is no major crisis like during the pandemic.
  • IF I DON'T LIKE MY TEA, AM I REFUNDED?
    Unfortunately, we cannot refund a shipped product. However, if the tea appears to have a manufacturing defect, we will be happy to provide a refund or exchange. Do not hesitate to contact us if necessary.
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