Drinking Pu Erh Tea In The Morning – What Is The Catch?


In the life of every tea-enthusiast comes the day where your coffee consumption is questioned and you consider drinking Pu Erh tea early in the morning instead. Maybe you can substitute the beans with the preferred tea leaves?

Pu Erh tea often has a good punch to it. A good cup of this tea should be able to wake you up and get you ready for all the challenges of the day, right? There is a catch to this that you may not have known about.

Drinking Pu Erh Tea In The Morning

SHORT ANSWER – Should You Drink Pu Erh Tea In The Morning?

Drinking Pu Erh tea in the morning is perfectly fine and will keep you awake for hours if you drink a larger cup. Both the caffeine and polyphenols will get you going. There are advantages over coffee, but also some disadvantages. A cup of Pu Erh tea is a recommendable substitute.

What makes Pu Erh tea a good morning beverage to start your day is answered in detail below. Furthermore, both the advantages and disadvantages of Pu Erh tea over the most common alternative are discussed.

Do You Properly Wake Up With Pu Erh Tea?

Sometimes after drinking tea, you feel calm and relaxed. Other teas cause you to feel highly awake and agitated. Early in the morning, you are tired and need sufficient stimulation to start the day. Is Pu Erh tea the right tea for this purpose?

Pu Erh is one of the more stimulating types of tea. It is perfect for those days that you have a hard time getting out of bed. Drinking too much of this tea may cause you to become uneasy, though. With the right amount of tea, you should be golden.

Caffeine Content Of Pu Erh Tea

The most desired chemical early in the morning is of course caffeine. If you drink Pu Erh tea in the morning, you expect the caffeine intake to about the same, right?

In the following list, the caffeine contents of cooked Pu Erh tea, raw Pu Erh tea, and coffee are shown.

  • 30-60 mg of caffeine per cup for raw Pu Erh tea
  • 50-80 mg of caffeine per cup for cooked Pu Erh tea
  • 100-150 mg per cup of coffee

Coffee contains about double the caffeine of cooked and raw Pu Erh tea. If you brew a stronger Pu Erh tea, it will contain around 60-80 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Therefore, you will need to drink double the amount of Pu Erh tea for the same intake.

Because of the common practice of adding milk, less than double the amount of well-brewed Pu Erh tea in the morning will be sufficient to start your day and be productive.

Interestingly, cooked Pu Erh tea contains more caffeine than raw Pu Erh tea. If you want to read more on the caffeine content of cooked Pu Erh tea and why you have more caffeine in it compared to raw Pu Erh tea, you should read my article on this topic.

Reasons To Switch From Coffee To Pu Erh Tea

The first reason is obvious to me but you are likely to have a different opinion and experience. I would consider the taste of Pu Erh tea superior to the alternatives.

There are good reasons for a change to Pu Erh tea, too! Since this is close to medical and health information, I rather cite here:

“The high caffeine content of coffee may give you a quick energy boost, whereas the combination of caffeine and L-theanine in black tea offers a more gradual increase in energy.

Healthline.com

Stomach Issues With Pu Erh Tea

Pu Erh tea contains compounds that often correlate to stomach issues. The main reason for these problems is caffeine. Other compounds like polyphenols and tannins strengthen this effect.

Especially when consuming large amounts of tea or very intense brews, you will notice stomach issues. Through prevention and brewing technique you may lower the likeliness of problems with Pu Erh tea. 

If you want to find out exactly why Pu Erh tea causes an upset stomach and what you can do to prevent that, I have an article on this exact topic for you.

Do Not Drink On An Empty Stomach

For the reasons described above, Pu Erh tea can cause issues with your digestive system. This is not desired at all. The one most important thing you have to keep in mind is not to drink large amounts of Pu Erh tea without having eaten something.

Pu Erh tea contains chemicals that influence the acid production within your stomach and through this, they cause both pain and inflammation. This is easiest to prevent by eating beforehand.

If you plan to drink Pu Erh tea in the morning while having breakfast, you should consider drinking the tea after eating breakfast. This is the same both for Pu Erh tea, other types of tea and coffee.

Is There A Smoother Morning Tea Option?

Pu Erh tea is a great option for tea to drink in the morning. But Pu Erh tea is not exactly the easiest type of tea and considered to be an acquired taste by some people I have talked to.

Another very common tea to be used as a substitute for coffee is Japanese green tea. If you find Pu Erh tea to be too harsh on your taste buds or causing too many problems with your digestive system, you should definitely try this alternative.

I can highly recommend trying a high-quality Matcha. But I personally love sweet and aged Yiwu raw Pu Erh tea or some semi-aged and not overly fermented cooked Pu Erh while reading the news every morning.

Drinking Your Pu Erh Tea With Additives

Maybe you are the type of person that likes caffeinated drinks with sugar and milk added. While this is definitely an option to consider if you are used to this, there is another option for you to try to get a more enjoyable experience with drinking Pu Erh tea in the morning.

I understand that Pu Erh tea can taste quite intense. Raw Pu Erh tea, especially younger ones, tend to get bitter if you use too much leaf material. Cooked Pu Erh can have a funky and unpleasant taste, too.

If you try to use less tea leaves and water that is not heated up to boiling temperature, you may end up with a far sweeter and more pleasant tea. Raw Pu Erh tea becomes floral and sweet and cooked Pu Erh yields a brew that reminds of dark fruits and wood.

There’s a lot more to learn about tea! If you are looking for a good place to start, I highly recommend the book Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties. You can check its current price on Amazon here.

Jens Friis

I am the author and editor of TeaSteeping.com, chemist and tea enthusiast. For many years I have been obsessed with tea, teaware, and tea culture. Always hunting for the next tea experience and learning more about this most delicious and diverse beverage.

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