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Gam Fei Cha Pu Erh or Dark Tea

Gam Fei Cha Pu Erh or Dark Tea

This unusual tea takes its name, Pu Erh from the town in Yunnan near which most of it is grown. It is also known as Red or Dark or Gam Fei Cha tea in China. These teas undergo post-fermentation through a microbial process after they are dried and rolled. They are available as loose leaf or in various compressed forms. The major differentiation is between raw (sheng) and ripened (shou) types. The ripe type refers to those varieties that have gone through a proper post-fermentation process, a recent invention that manipulates conditions to approximate the result of the aging process by prolonged bacterial and fungal fermentation in a warm humid environment under controlled conditions, which involves piling, dampening, and turning the tea leaves in a manner much akin to composting. The raw types are those in the process of gradual darkening through exposure to microbes over many years in a controlled environment. Certain selections from either type can be stored for maturity before consumption which is why some are labelled with year and region of production. Most are prepared to be drunk and sold within six months of manufacture. If one were to follow the Chinese example, Pu Erh tea is the most famous of all for its health giving properties and as a slimming tea. It is believed to speed up metabolism without raising the heart rate. Pu Erh teas grow in one of the most ancient tea growing areas and in the primeval forest of Mt. Dahei there is a 1700 year old tea tree. Pu Erh is very highly regarded in China for its reputed health benefits such as lowering triglycerides and cholesterol and has also been linked in many western articles as an aid to weight loss. We have chosen a cross section from amongst the 200 or so varieties on offer. At one time the bricks of Pu Erh were used as currency. It is fair to say that the stranger varieties have an acquired taste! The black tea varieties can take milk; they have a mellow character and leave a sweet taste in the mouth, whilst green Pu Erh should be drunk without. Pu Erh leaves produce many infusions. The wonderful appearance of Pu Erh teas makes them a unique gift to give to health conscious friends. An interesting characteristic of Pu Erh teas is that some people believe the longer you keep them the better they become. Some 30 year old varieties of Pu Erh are sold for tens of thousands of pounds a kilo in Hong Kong. Whilst having access to these types, vintage Pu Erh is a speciality market all of its own, where pricing is dictated by the passion of collectors, rather like the art world, even in regard to forgeries! Our selection is picked for its pleasant flavour and the quality of the leaves before becoming a 'Red' tea and are to be enjoyed rather than stored. Most of our selection are the 'Ripe' type, with a 'Raw' white tea that was given a short fermentation to begin the aging process. I would still recommend drinking this type now.

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  1. Peach

    Pu Erh Mini Tuo Cha

    These little compressed cakes are an easy way to make Pu Erh. Pressed into little moulds and left to ripen for over a year, they have the typical Pu Erh flavour that has become so popular in recent years in the West. China has enjoyed it for many centuries!

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    From £6.50

    Earn 7 loyalty points.

  2. Imperial Gold Pu Erh

    Imperial Gold Pu Erh

    This loose leaf variety of Pu Erh is wonderfully earthy in aroma with a smooth flavour and a deep red colour. It has recently gained a reputation as a slimming tea thanks to Victoria Beckham! Also known as Super Gam Fei Cha.

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    From £7.00

    Earn 7 loyalty points.

  3. Moonlight White Pu Erh

    Moonlight White Pu Erh

    This white tea is a 'raw' tea and can be enjoyed in this young stage or left, if you have the patience for many years to ferment into 'red' or 'dark' tea, as it is variably known. Personally I think it is best enjoyed in its light, delicate white form. It has a mellow character and leaves a sweet taste in the mouth, with a hint of the famous 'earthy' flavour Pu Erh teas are known for. Grown high up in the virgin forests of Yunnan.

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    Earn 13 loyalty points.

  4. Jasmine Royal Pu Erh

    Jasmine Royal Pu Erh

    This is a high grade of cooked loose leaf Pu Erh Gam Fei Cha from 2010, hand made entirely from young shoots and scented with Jasmine blossom.

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    Earn 12 loyalty points.

  5. 'Captain Tea's' Well-Being Blend

    Captain Tea's Well-Being Blend

    In addition to Fog Island Japanese Sencha and Chinese Pu Erh teas, which are currently being exposed to much ado in the press regarding their alleged benefits to weight loss, I have added my favourite, and I believe healthiest of teas, Gabalong 'Blue' Oolong. With the final addition of our Tea of Life White Tea for good measure, if there is anything in the health aspect of tea, we should have it covered here! The tea flavour is a mellow mix, with the distinctive note of caramel and vanilla of the Gabalong tea in the foreground. The delicate notes of the Sencha, whilst somewhat subdued by the other teas, adds a fresh edge to the cup, with the more earthy tones of the Pu Erh adding weight and body. Learn More

    Earn 14 loyalty points.

  6. Heart Shaped Hei Cha Dark Tea

    Heart Shaped Hei Cha Dark Tea

    Dark Tea or Hei Cha is a famous tea product of Anhua, in the Hunan Province of China. It shares the same processing of post fermentation through microbial action as Pu Erh. It is similar in flavour to Pu Erh too. We have chosen to have this tea made into heart shapes to reflect the many alleged health benefits found in drinking this heavy but very mellow charactered tea. One heart should be brewed in 300ml of filtered, boiling water. It is infused for just 20 seconds with the leaves being re-used 5-6 times to extract all the goodness. Listed below are a number of the claims made for its health benefits. Learn More

    Earn 16 loyalty points.

  7. King of Pu Erh

    King of Pu Erh

    This is a high grade of loose Pu Erh, hand made entirely from young shoots that turn a glorious burnt gold during production. It is very smooth and a little lighter than most types but still has a rich, distinctive infusion. Twenty to eighty year old varieties exist among collectors and have been known to sell for tens of thousands of pounds in Hong Kong.

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    Earn 15 loyalty points.

  8. 500 Year Tree Pu Erh

    500 Year Tree Pu Erh

    This is a high grade of 'cooked' loose leaf Pu Erh, hand made entirely from leaves picked in 2010, from trees that are over 500 years old in the primeval mountain forest of Yunnan. It is very smooth with a rich, distinctive infusion. Learn More

    Earn 13 loyalty points.

  9. Well-Being Metabolism Booster

    Well-Being Metabolism Booster

    A blend combining the three teas, which are currently being exposed to much ado in the press regarding their alleged benefits to weight loss. It is made up of a Chinese Oolong called Da Hong Pao Red Robe, Fog Island Sencha from Japan and Chinese Pu Erh. The tea flavour is dominated by the Red Robe Oolong, with it's distinctive toasty, almost mellow pipe tobacco note and ripe fruit aftertaste. The delicate notes of the Sencha, whilst somewhat subdued by the other teas, adds a fresh edge to the cup, with the more earthy tones of the Pu Erh adding weight and body.

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    Earn 15 loyalty points.

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