Made of the flower of a botanical used frequently in traditional Chinese medicine, San Qi, also known as Panax Notoginseng. San Qi Flower is prized for its ability to reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and lower cholesterol.
A 2023 study published in the journal Molecules showed San Qi Flower significantly reduced inflammation in the skin. A 2019 animal study showed San Qi Flower significantly enhanced capillary density in the border area of myocardial infarction, decreased infarct size, improved minimal vessels, suppressed cell apoptosis, and enhanced expressions of genes and proteins. San Qi Flower is also used in China to treat hypertension, vertigo, and acute faucitis.
San Qi Flower by itself has a pleasant taste, with a slight sweet and spicy flavor. It is known to pair especially well with ripe Pu’er tea.
This tea resin is made from ripe aged 2018 Pu'er tea from Menghai with additional San Qi Flower added using high-quality raw herb. Each tea tin contains 90+ tea resin pieces which can make 2-3 cups of tea each. Color of foil wrappers in photo are illustrative; final foil colors may vary.
Tea resin, or Cha Gao, is a rare and ancient method of tea-making that involves slow-cooking tea leaves until it turns into a thick paste, and then dried into a resin. This unique tea form originated in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD) and was made mostly as a delicacy for the ruling classes and the imperial court due to its labor-intensive preparation process. However, tea resin disappeared during the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, during which the artisanal methods of making tea resin were almost entirely lost. It was also recognized as a medicinal in the Supplement to the Compendium of Materia Medica, compiled by Zhao Xuemin between 1765 and 1805, and was noted as an herbal remedy for hangovers, improving digestion, and reducing phlegm.
Today, we are reintroducing this rare form of tea that is unknown even to most tea aficionados with these brocade tea tins, each containing 100 grams of individually wrapped ripe Pu'er tea resin shaped into mooncakes.
As a concentrated tea paste, tea resin can be considered a form of instant tea--however, unlike most instant teas, the tea resin we sourced is made from higher grade tea leaves, not inferior "leftover tea." It has the advantage of dissolving quickly and creating a pure tea, leaving no leaves or sediment in the cup.
Pu’er, also spelled Pu-er (although this is considered an outdated Anglicized spelling), is an aged fermented tea from China’s Yunnan province. Not only does the fermentation process lend pu’er its distinct flavor, it also boosts its medicinal properties—pu’er tea is high in antioxidants, and studies show it can fight oxidative stress, promote weight loss, and regulate blood sugar. Pu’er tea also possesses anti-cancer properties. It has a lower caffeine level, less than coffee and green tea, which make it a great choice for drinking late into the day.
It’s also a highly-coveted tea with an obsessed fanbase. As one writer said, “Pu-erh, which is processed in a special way to encourage microbial fermentation after the leaves are dried, ages more dynamically than any tea out there. It does not have fans. It has junkies who buy kilos of the stuff at a time to bliss out on days-long brewing sessions, only dropping out of their highs long enough to argue over the best pu-erh blends, growing regions, and storage methods. There are grasping amateurs who buy, gift, and drink the tea to gain social status among Chinese elite.”
Pu’er has been called China’s best-kept secret for weight loss. Animal and test-tube studies show that it can help synthesize fewer new fats while burning more stored body fat. In one animal study, pu’er was also the only variety of tea capable of raising the level of good cholesterol and lowering the level of bad cholesterol.
Note: Use two tea resins if making a pot of tea.