Tibetan Tea 藏茶
Tibetan Tea is the regular tea which Tibetan and Mongolian drink every day. They believe that Tibetan Tea can help them "digest" meats and may feel sick if not drinking Tibetan Tea tea a day since they eat a lot of meats as their regular food. Tibetan Tea is their Vitamins source!
Tibetan Tea is the Black Tea or one kind of Ripened ("Cooked") Pu-Er which is completely fermented tea, even longer than regular Pu-Erh tea, the only kind of teas that improves with age much like a fine wine. It is a collectible tea. Many Tibetan Tea collectors in Asia treat it as an investment. Old and valuable pieces of Tibetan Tea cost more than a $1000 per pound.
It is a "living" tea teeming with healthy microbes during it's manufacturing and storage process like yogurt or grape wine. Generally speaking, its flavor is the older the better but depending on the storage conditions (humid or dry). It's very hard to find a piece of Tibetan Tea more than 50 years old and kept in good condition in today's market.
Tibetan Tea is traditionally compressed into a variety of shapes and sizes for easy storage, included bricks, frisbee discs ("tea cake"), blocks, mushrooms, birds nests or other shape. The most common and famous one is Tibetan Tea Bricks or Blocks. The best comes from the Ya-An County in Sichuan, China. Tea produced in this area was therefore called "Ya'an Tea" or Tibetan Tea.
Tibetan Tea is made from the leaves and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant. This is the same plant that is used for making green, woolong, and black teas. Though the same source plant is used, but Tibetan or Pu-Erh Tea use the old trees usually. The different teas are made by using different processes. Green tea is not fermented, woolong tea is partially fermented, black tea is fully fermented, Pu-erh tea is post-fermented and Tibetan Tea is complete-fermented. This means Tibetan Tea and Pu-erh tea’s processing includes both fermentation and then prolonged storage, or “aging,” under high humidity. Tibetan Tea and Pu-erh tea that is aged for a longer period of time is supposed to taste better. However, it can also smell musty or taste stale because mold and bacteria will sometimes attack the tea during the long aging process. Tibetan Tea and Pu-erh tea is produced mainly in the Yunnan district in the southwestern part of China.
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