Pu-erh Tea: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, and More

What is Pu-erh tea?

Pu-erh tea — or pu’er tea — is a unique type of fermented tea that is traditionally produced from the Yunnan Province of China. It’s made from the leaves of a tree known as the “crazy old tree,” which develops in the region.

Although there are other sorts of fermented tea such as kombucha, Pu-erh tea is different since the leaves themselves are fermented rather than the brewed tea.

Pu-erh is usually marketed in compressed”cakes” of tea leaves but may be sold as loose tea also.

A lot of people drink Pu-erh tea since it not only provides the health benefits of tea but also those of fermented food.

Pu-erh Tea's Health Benefits, History & More

Benefits and Uses

May encourage weight loss

There is some limited evidence to support using Pu-erh tea to weight reduction.

Animal and test-tube studies have proven that Pu-erh tea may help synthesize fewer fresh fats while burning off stored body fat — that may result in weight loss.

Yet, given the absence of human studies on the subject, more study is necessary.

Additionally, Pu-erh tea is fermented, so it can also introduce healthful carbohydrates — or beneficial gut bacteria — into your entire body.

These probiotics might help improve your blood sugar control, which plays a key role in weight management and hunger.

A single study in 36 people with obese found that consuming 333 mg of Pu-erh tea infusion 3 times daily for 12 weeks led to significantly improved body weight, body mass index (BMI), and abdominal fat dimensions, compared with a control group.

However, this research doesn’t demonstrate that drinking Pu-erh tea can help you eliminate weight. These studies used highly concentrated extracts, which comprised the active ingredients of Pu-erh tea at much higher doses than those that you’d get from ingesting it.

Improves cholesterol

Several animal studies have found that supplementing with Pu-erh tea extracts advantage blood fat levels.

Pu-erh tea extracts may help reduce cholesterol levels in 2 manners.

To begin with, Pu-erh tea raises how much dietary-fat-bound bile acid is excreted in the feces, thus keeping the fat from being absorbed into your bloodstream.

Second, in animal research, Pu-erh tea also decreases fat accumulation. Together, these effects may decrease heart disease risk.

However, animal studies using concentrated extracts do not establish that drinking Pu-erh tea is going to have the very same effects on people.

Inhibits cancer growth

In test-tube studies, Pu-erh tea extracts have killed breast cancer, oral cancer, and colon cancer cells.

While these findings provide a promising starting point for future research, Pu-erh tea shouldn’t be used as a cancer treatment.

These studies involve implementing highly concentrated extracts directly into cancer cells, which is not how drinking Pu-erh tea could interact with cancer cells within your body. More study is required to know how drinking Pu-erh tea would impact cancer cells.

May boost liver health

Because it can help decrease fat accumulation, Pu-erh tea might help stop or reverse nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a disease in which excess fat accumulates on your liver. But this has only been noted in animal research so far.

Another animal research also discovered that Pu-erh tea extract may protect the liver from damage brought on by the chemotherapy drug cisplatin.

That is a promising area of research, however, human studies are required before any promises about Pu-erh tea and liver function can be made.

Side effects and precautions

The majority of the side effects of Pu-erh tea originated from the caffeine content. Depending on the potency of this beverage, Pu-erh tea may contain 30–100 mg of caffeine per cup.

Most people can endure up to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily, but some of the unwanted effects of excessive ingestion can include:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Dizziness
  • Vibration
  • Adjustments to your heart rhythm
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea or excessive bleeding

Because fermented foods might impact your gut bacteria concentrations, Pu-erh tea may also affect your digestion and possibly cause some digestive upset.

Dosage and how to brew it

Most people can safely drink up to 3 cups (710 mL) of Pu-erh tea every day, unless they are also consuming massive quantities of other caffeinated beverages.

Research is lacking on how much Pu-erh tea you need to drink every day to experience its prospective weight reduction benefits, but 1–2 cups (240–480 mL) per day is a great starting point.

The best way to brew Pu-erh tea

What you require
  • Pu-erh tea — a single 3 or cake –4 g of loose leaf tea each cup you plan to make
  • Boiling water
  • A teapot using a strainer
  • Teacups or cups
  • Optional extras such as cream, milk, or simmer
  1. Place the Pu-erh tea cake or even loose leaves in the teapot and add just enough boiling water to cover the leaves, then discard the water. Repeat this step once again, make sure you discard water. This “rinse” helps to ensure a high excellent tea.
  2. Fill the teapot with boiling water and allow the tea to steep for two minutes. Based on your preference preferences, you can steep for a shorter or longer period.
    Pour the tea into teacups and put in extras as desired.
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Stopping and withdrawal

Unless you’re completely cutting out caffeine, you should have no problems quitting Pu-erh tea, and you shouldn’t have any withdrawal symptoms.

But if Pu-erh tea is the sole source of caffeine you’re consuming, or if you’re cutting out all caffeine together with Pu-erh tea, then you may experience some signs of caffeine withdrawal, including fatigue, headaches, and trouble focusing.

Still, most caffeine withdrawal symptoms only last for approximately 1 week.


Overdose is improbable on Pu-erh tea. However it contains caffeine, therefore there is some probability of caffeine overdose if you’re drinking a few cups per day in conjunction with other caffeinated beverages.

Caffeine overdose symptoms, such as irregular heartbeat, may begin after ingesting 400 milligrams of caffeine, which is equivalent to 4 or more cups (950 mL) of Pu-erh tea, depending on the strength of the beverage.

One or two cups (240–480 mL) of Pu-erh tea poses very little risk of miscarriage.


Pu-erh tea is comparatively safe, and many drug interactions are due to its caffeine content. Some drugs that may interact with caffeine include antibiotics, some stimulants, certain heart medicines, and specific asthma medications.

In case you have any concerns about your caffeine consumption and your drugs, you should talk to your health care provider.

Storage and handling

Pu-erh tea is fermented merchandise that continues to increase in quality as it ages, so — should properly preserve — it lasts nearly indefinitely.

Maintain Pu-erh tea cakes at an airtight container in a cool, dark spot like your pantry.

If it smells or looks off, or there’s observable mold growing on it, then you should throw it out.

Pregnancy and Pregnancy

Caffeine is the biggest concern regarding Pu-erh tea through pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Although pregnant women do not need to completely cut caffeine from their diet, they need to not overdo it. Experts recommend no longer than 200 milligrams of caffeine every day during pregnancy.

As Pu-erh tea may have around 100 milligrams per cup (240 mL), it can be added into a pregnant woman’s diet in moderation as long as she isn’t regularly consuming any other beverages that are high in caffeine.

Overweight women should also limit their caffeine intake to approximately 300 milligrams every day, as modest amounts of caffeine can become breastmilk.

Utilization in specific populations

Pu-erh tea doesn’t appear to possess any contraindications for specific populations.

Like other teas, you should avoid Pu-erh tea if it seems to irritate you. Because of its caffeine content, you should also not drink it in excess.

People with sleep disorders, migraine, heart problems, high blood pressure, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), or ulcers may wish to avoid excessive caffeine.

Regardless, 1–2 cups (240–480 mL) daily ought to be fine for most people.


Pu-erh is unique in the realm of teas. As far as salty teas go, black tea could be its closest choice. Black tea is oxidized, resulting in its dark color, although not fermented to the exact same extent that Pu-erh is.

To get a similar beverage that contains the benefits of fermented foods, attempt kombucha, a fermented tea. It can be reached from any variety of tea, and the liquid is fermented compared to the leaves, as in the case of Pu-erh tea.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What exactly does Pu-erh tea taste like?

On account of the fermentation process, Pu-erh tea includes a distinctive pungent or”funky” taste, but this is mixed with other tastes — such as sweetness, bitterness, and earthiness.

Pu-erh teas with different ingredients will have different flavors. Furthermore, the taste changes as the tea have been age.

What is uncooked Pu-erh tea?

There are two main types of Pu-erh tea — ripe and raw.

Ripe Pu-erh tea is the least expensive selection. This tea is produced by fermenting the loose leaves for many months and then pressing them into contour.

Raw Pu-erh tea is significantly more costly. To create uncooked Pu-erh, the actions to earn ripe Pu-erh are reversed. The new tea leaves are pressed and then fermented — usually for decades.

What are a few popular Pu-erh tea flavors?

Pu-erh is a popular tea choice and often infused with other flavors. Popular blends comprise chocolate Pu-erh tea — which includes cocoa powder — and chrysanthemum Pu-erh, which contains the dried petals of the chrysanthemum flower.

These additions can make Pu-erh tea taste much better, as it has a unique flavor that not everyone likes.

Exactly how many calories are in Pu-erh tea?

Brewed teas — such as Pu-erh — are obviously calorie-free or extremely low in carbs. But, adding cream or sugar will increase the calorie content of your tea.

Would you drink Pu-erh tea daily?

Yes, there is no harm in drinking Pu-erh tea every day so long as you tolerate it well.