Pu-erh Tea Paste/Instant Pu-erh Tea/Cha Gao
Cha Gao, or Pu-erh Tea Paste in English, This specialty of Yunnan province uses a technique to extract the liquid from the tea leaves and then solidifies the liquid into shapes which can easily be dissolved in water to make tea.
Cha Gao was first produced in the Tang Dynasty, this technique evolved from a process developed in the Tang and Song dynasties, while the process of making Pu-erh Cha Gao in particular was enhanced and perfected during the Qing dynasty, which was considered to be the pinnacle of 'cha gao' quality. Unfortunately, imperial techniques employed during the Qing dynasty were lost with the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911, and attempts to revive the industry in subsequent decades fell short and the practice of making tea-paste practically vanished.
In 1950, Yunnan Tea Company was commissioned to process 1750 kilograms of Cha Gao for the Chinese army entering Tibet. It is believed that Cha Gao provided the Chinese army with the daily nutrient and fiber input, which were scarce in the high mountains in Tibet. Now, with modern technology it is possible to produce tea-paste that is of similar quality to that which was produced during the Qing dynasty.
There are brick-shaped tea paste and crystalline form tea paste which also can classified with ripe pu-erh tea paste and raw pu-erh tea paste.
Cha Gao is made using Pu-erh tea leaves. One kilogram of tea leaves can only produce around 200 to 250 grams of Cha Gao.
cha gao' is that it concentrates the chemicals found in Pu-erh tea to a very condensed and potent form. It was for this reason that it was widely considered a form of medicine during the Qing dynasty, with the 'ability to cure 100 ailments', especially concerning the gastrointestinal tract. This very special and rare tea can be found recorded in ancient Chinese Medicine books for its properties to aid digestion and helps one sober up from alcohol. Chinese medicine believes that Puer contains the most useful properties based on the quality of its tea leaves. Its number of natural elements is as numerous as the illnesses it is suited for! Cha Gao is ideal for weight watchers too and those wishing to lose those extra pounds. It lowers cholesterol and blood sugar, whilst boosting one’s immunity.
Brewing Tips:Add 1 grain (about 1 gram) per volume of 600-800 ml of water; It can be infused either hot or cold.