Darjeeling tea, like all other teas, possess beneficial catechins and flavonoids that make up the antioxidants in tea. Black, oolong, green and white teas all possess powerful antioxidants which offer protective and curative properties.
All true teas, including Darjeeling, come from the plant camellia sinensis. However, different manufacturing processes of tea involved in making different kinds of tea - black, green, oolong, white, yellow and puerh, have an impact on the final composition of the antioxidants.
One of the most exciting findings in medical research has been the presence of a catechin called Epigallocatechin Gallate-3 (EGCG 3) in green tea. This potent catechin is believed to have the potential to prevent several different kinds of cancers, Alzheimer's, diabetes and many other serious diseases.
While EGCG-3 currently enjoys a celebrity status among antioxidants in tea, black and oolong teas also have powerful catechins or flavonoids that are equally beneficial.
In the process of manufacturing black and oolong tea EGCG-3 gets oxidized along with the other catechins. This results in the formation of theaflavins and thearubigins in black tea and oolong. Theaflavins and thearubigins are potentially good for keeping the arteries free of fat, therefore, promoting good heart health.
Even as modern scientists find increasing evidence of tea's myriad benefits, for a long time a large section of humanity have believed in its goodness and continued to imbibe it for thousands of years.
Let us not forget that tea began as a medicine and only later developed into a beverage.
This is first of a 3 part series on Pu-erh tea.
Pu-erh is fermented and aged tea that comes in a compacted form. Produced exclusively in Yunnan, the South-Western province of China, the tea is produced in two broad styles - raw (sheng), and ripe (shu). Sheng pu-erh is left to ferment naturally, while the fermentation in ripe or shu pu-erh is done in controlled factory settings.