The ancient fat-burning tea you need to start drinking

Most Americans have never heard of pu-erh tea before. However, a small number of devotees within the tea-drinking community enjoy this Eastern delicacy.

Pu-erh tea was first popularized by the Han Dynasty in China all the way back around the year 25CE. It is treasured for its many health benefits.

Most notability, it possesses unique fat-burning properties different from any other tea.

I’ll get into the entire array of benefits of drinking pu-erh in just a moment. But first, I want to share a little back story on this remarkable tea.

Pu-erh is different than most teas, as it undergoes a natural fermentation process and is aged like a fine wine.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Pancrat

Only tea that comes from the Yunnan province of China can be called and sold as pu-erh tea.

The farmers in these regions treat the pu-erh leaves as delicately and with as much care as a winemaker would handle grapes on the hillside of Tuscany.

Each different farmer in the Yunnan province produces their own special type of leaves. These range from the tips and strong stems grown on estate-cultivated plants … to the highly prized large and soft, silver leaves picked from plants and trees that grow wild on the hillsides.

Some trees are said to be over 1,000 years old. And that’s good news, as pu-erh purists say that older leaves have better flavor.

The finest pu-erh teas in the world have been aged for over 100 years and attract only the most devoted tea drinkers to pay over $10,000 for a "cake."

Don’t worry, though. You can find authentic pu-erh at specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods and Fresh Market, for $10-$20.

So now, let’s jump into some of the most noteworthy aspects of drinking pu-erh tea.

A fat-burning machine

During the fermentation process, microorganisms form on the pu-erh leaves, specifically bacteria known as aspergillus niger and saccharomyces.

Once consumed, A. niger and saccharomyces (both fungi) are utilized by your GI system as a source for beneficial digestive enzymes to take action.

These enzymes work with bacteria to break down foods as they enter the GI tract.

They break down carbs, fats and proteins into simpler substances that allow the healthy bacteria to utilize them.

Basically, what’s happening is your body is able to use food as a fuel source more efficiently. In turn, this can prevent excess weight gain you might more normally experience.

The fat-burning ability of pu-erh is a two-headed spear, since it can contain as much as 100 milligrams of caffeine in a standard cup. (To compare, an 8-ounce cup of black tea could contain about 47 mg, while a similar amount of coffee can have 150 mg on average.)

The fat-burning effects of caffeine are very well-proven …

Caffeine jumpstarts the process of lipolysis, which is when your body releases free fatty acids into the bloodstream. Meaning, caffeine boosts your metabolism and helps you burn fat.

We all know and love the energy boost we get from caffeine, too. That’s because it allows us to perform physical tasks with more intensity, and for longer periods of time.

What makes pu-erh different than other caffeine source is that it contains the amino acids theanine and GABA. These produce calming effects in the body.

If you can remember a few months ago I wrote an article about combining coffee and theanine together to avoid common side effects of coffee like "jitters" and "crashing."

The beauty of pu-erh is that it naturally contains these elements, giving you a longer-lasting and smoother energy boost.

But the health benefits of pu-erh go far beyond just fat-burning and energy.

Here are a few of the other standout aspects of including pu-erh in your daily diet.

Antioxidant powerhouse — Pu-erh contains a ton of antioxidants and is very anti-inflammatory. Antioxidants are natural phyto-chemicals that help the body fight off free-radical molecules and prevent diseases.

Digestion relief — The microorganisms we talked about before also increase the overall healthy bacterial flora in the stomach and intestines, which helps with proper digestion of foods. A healthy gut biome is crucial for everything from preventing inflammation to preventing neurodegenerative diseases.

Cleanses the body — In China, pu-erh tea is traditionally considered to open the meridians, "warm the middle burner" (the spleen and stomach) and be beneficial to cleansing your blood of toxins.

The microorganisms in pu-erh’s fermentation process have been shown to attack the toxins in the blood, removing them from the body.

All around, pu-erh is one of the healthiest drinks around and something everyone should consider trying out.

We would love to know if you have already tried pu-erh before and your experience with the ancient tea. And let us know if, after reading this article, you plan on trying some pu-erh for yourself.

Happy and healthy investing,

Brad Hoppmann

Your thoughts on “The ancient fat-burning tea you need to start drinking”

  1. Great article Brad. I’ve drank red robios tea for some time now. But I’m going to have to give this a try. I have a little fat around the middle that I would like to get rid of.

  2. Have not heard of this tea, but I’m going to find and buy some today. Thanks, Brad, for all your good health info and advice.

  3. Fascinating. Never heard of it before but as a coffee AND tea drinker I will try it. I’d love to find this great combination to work for me in stressful situations.

  4. I suffer from Crohn’s Disease which resulted in a shortened colon. I am wondering if this tea would be beneficial to me.

  5. The chance of getting inauthentic Chinese foodstuff nowadays is too great to justify the benefits. I’d advise seeking other alternatives from better sources than China. It’s one thing to use Chinese made gadgets, yet totally another thing to consume foods/supplements from that country, which does not have a very good track record of commercial and humanistic ethics, as a whole.

  6. I would like to try it out. My main concern is how these studies were done. When health claims are made, I want to know if they are universally beneficial, or whether the help some people and not others. I am blood type B and have a type B digestive and immune system; the flora and fauna needed by my system are different than for the more common blood types. Thus dietary and immune advice is unreliable, often, for blood type B as we are a small minority.

    1. Fungi are not bacteria, they are different life forms. It is like comparing fish to
      mushrooms. If the science is wrong, it puts all you say in doubt. Please review
      before you print. We rely on your facts to be right

  7. Brad,
    thanks for the great health article”s” and please keep them coming.
    I look forward to reading them every weekend, to break from the monotony and drudgery of the prophecies of doom which fill my inbox daily from Wall Street.
    I did get some pu-erh from Teavana, once, to be adventurous, and believe it is an acquired taste, something like the bitter Matte in south America and a full bodied peaty single malt like Laphroig.
    The only advice the Teavana sales person could give me was to stay home after drinking the tea because it was sure to act as a Laxative.
    I now know, thanks to your article, that it has many more benefits, and will be off to the store to get some ASAP.
    Sincerely

  8. I go regularly to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province and the classical gift of my hosts is a large cake of Pure-h tea, which will last me 6 months. It is an acquired taste as some are a quite “earthy” taste. Not sure if it has helped my fat burning, but I do like it and appreciate finding out how good it is for me.

  9. I drank pu-erh tea in China and enjoyed it. It was true about the gentle caffeinated feeling without jitters but it is still caffeine so word to the wise if you try to limit your caffeine consumption. I also found it a quite effective constipation remedy.

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Brad Hoppmann originally grew up in Florida, but has lived in Baltimore, Charlotte and New York as well throughout his career. Always an athlete, he played varsity football and water polo at the University of Florida and received All-SEC/SCC honors.