Fermented tea, also known as Post Fermented Tea, is a category of tea that relies on microbial fermentation to produce complex flavors. This type of tea includes several sub-categories such as Pu-erh and Oolong, and is widely popular in Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, and Japan.
Process of Fermentation
The fermentation process begins with a tea leaf that has been steamed or roasted in a hot wok. The tea is then left to sit in a controlled environment to encourage microbial activity. The oxygen levels and temperature in the environment will influence the flavor and color of the tea.
During the fermentation process, enzymes from the tea plant’s leaf will trigger a chemical reaction within the tea. This reaction produces compounds that give the tea a complex flavor, aroma, and colour.
Types of Fermented Tea
- Pu-erh Tea – This type of tea has been widely popular in China for centuries and was named after its birthplace, the city of Pu’er in Yunnan Province.
- Oolong Tea – Oolong tea is a semi-oxidized tea and is often regarded as the ‘champagne’ of Chinese teas.
- White Tea – White tea is made from young tea leaves and buds and has a light, delicate flavour.
Benefits of Fermented Tea
- Fermented tea contains a variety of compounds that have been linked to an array of health benefits, such as improved digestion, anti-aging effects, and increased energy.
- Fermented tea is also a rich source of antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
- The fermentation process also enhances the tea’s flavour and aroma, making it a delicious and refreshing beverage to enjoy.
Fermented tea has a long and rich history and is an important part of many cultures’ culinary and medicinal traditions. By incorporating this type of tea into your daily routine, you can enjoy its unique flavours and reap its many health benefits.