My Ebay Pu Erh's


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

My Ebay Pu Erh's

Postby lenny7 » Feb 7th, '07, 16:13

Last week I received my two Pu erh teas from Yunnan Sourcing:

2006 Jiu Wan Tong Qing Hao Raw Pu-erh Tea Brick
and
2004 Six Famous Tea Mountain Ripe Pu-erh Tea Brick

So far I've just tried the 2006 Jiu Wan Tong Qing Hao. I didn't bother trying to analyze what flavors I was tasting or how the tea changed, I just was trying to get my method down.

I thought I knew what I was doing, but right away I ran into questions. I didn't know how much to use. I took a butter knife and pried some chunks off and probably got 2 teaspoons off, which I'd guess would be 4 teaspoons had it been loose tea.

Then the next question came up....how would i brew this using what i have. Every thing I've recall reading seemed to talk about using a gaiwan or yixing pot. All of I have is my IngenuiTEA.

I figure as long as I have hot water and tea leaves, I can make tea so I forge ahead. I put the tea chunks in and covered with 8oz of boiling water, swirled it a bit then let it sit for 15 seconds, then drained down the sink. Another 8oz of boiling water and after 15 seconds, drained into my cup. Pretty weak stuff, but the chunks were still chunks. Another 8 oz and 30 seconds, then 45s, then 60s, then 120s.

This leads to some questions...given that all I have is my Ingenuity...
1. How much tea?
2. Should the chunks be broken up or left as chunks?
3. How much water? I get the sense that you don't make 16oz at a time when making pu erh.

After the first weak cup, the cups got better and better and I thoroughly enjoyed them. The flavor and aroma was deep and complex, and left me with the thought that they were vaguely familiar, but I couldn't place them, except for the smell of damp moss. The tea also left some sort of sensation on my tongue that lingered long after I had finished, and kept me thinking of this new tea experience.

In all, I think I can say I'm hooked. I definitely need to refine my method and some point I imagine I'll buy a yixing pot.
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Postby Salsero » Feb 7th, '07, 17:37

Sounds like you did something right if it was good experience. How did you pick those specific teas? I think I've read somewhere that with young green puer you should use cooler water so it isn't too astringent or bitter.
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Postby lenny7 » Feb 7th, '07, 18:04

Salsero wrote:How did you pick those specific teas?


I picked those based recommendations by lebowitz, elsewhere on this forum. He described them as good values. Coming from mainland China via boat, they arrived in about 4 or 5 weeks.

Each one was 250grams. I got one for $7 and one for $3, plus $9 shipping total.

I took photos of the bricks. I'll post them when I get a chance.
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Good stuff

Postby lebowitz » Feb 7th, '07, 20:16

That 6ftm brick is good stuff.

Any teapot will do even an ingenuity (whatever).

I rip my brick up all at once and put it in a container of some sort. Jam a knife in it many times all around the brick (splitting it in two) then just break it up with your hands, crumble it up. Then just scoop it with a teaspoon. One heaping teaspoon per 8 oz cup. Brew for about 4 min with boiling water.
If you find it a bit bitter, ( i don't) a dash of sugar or stevia.

This tea can be steeped 4-5 or more times with the 4 minute method.

You can gong fu style it to, sounds like you don't have the yixing yet.

My first brick i ripped apart with my hands, some purists dislike that.
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Postby Salsero » Feb 7th, '07, 20:37

Lebowitz--

Do you treat both bricks the same?
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Yes

Postby lebowitz » Feb 7th, '07, 21:18

They are both just Tong qing bricks so yes, tong qing I believe is just small already broken leaves compressed into a brick. The 6ftm is much better than the other one. Cloud posted a nice video as to how to break up a nice beeng. Posted on
http://community.livejournal.com/puerh_tea/

I would not worry much about how you break up these bricks.
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Postby Salsero » Feb 7th, '07, 21:32

Thanks for the breaking up info, but I was more wondering about the brewing parameters for the green -- same as for the ripe?
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Re: Good stuff

Postby lenny7 » Feb 7th, '07, 22:21

lebowitz wrote: Brew for about 4 min with boiling water.
If you find it a bit bitter, ( i don't) a dash of sugar or stevia.

This tea can be steeped 4-5 or more times with the 4 minute method.


Here's where I get confused. I read pu erh reviews where they talk about the initial steepings being 15 to 30 seconds, yet here you're talking about a full 4min steep. Why the difference? Are both acceptable ways to brew pu erh?
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gong fu vs english

Postby lebowitz » Feb 7th, '07, 22:31

Gong fu uses more leaf, with short times to brew. I dont do it, need more equipment and never have time to sit around for multiple 2oz tea drinking. I brew and go, I teach in a high school cant sit there and brew tea for 15-30 min. or I am driving 1/2 hour to work. I brew english way, less tea more time. Up to you how you want to do it. Unless you have time to sit down and make tea a ritual part of your day, i would brew the english way. Adagio tends to instruct the english way, they recommend 5 min for pu erh, i use 4.

There is no right or wrong way, unless it makes your tea taste terrible, if it tastes good it is right for you.
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Postby lenny7 » Feb 7th, '07, 22:45

ahhhh...I see. It sounds like I should try it both ways and see what I like best. One reason I haven't brew it up more than just once is exactly for the reason you mention...I didn't have time to go through the multiple steeping business for the smaller amounts of tea.
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Postby lenny7 » Feb 7th, '07, 23:15

A little gallery of the pu erh in question

http://tinyurl.com/28pyfl
Last edited by lenny7 on Feb 7th, '07, 23:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Salsero » Feb 7th, '07, 23:30

Pretty, I like the pictures.
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You got it raw

Postby lebowitz » Feb 7th, '07, 23:51

You bought the Raw Jiu Wan brick so did i did not try it, very young sheng. I got a cooked brick from the same company, ok not the greatest (but shure beats Lipton). The two bricks are totally different from each other, can not be compared. Young Sheng is totally different (in my opinion) from cooked shu.

I would age the sheng unless you like it young. In about 6-10 years it might be real good.

http://web.mac.com/ksprenger/iWeb/Site/ ... hotos.html

some photos
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Postby MarshalN » Feb 8th, '07, 13:40

I'd brew it just like any other tea. IngenuiTEA is fine, whatever works for you, really.

Use hot water. Does the tea taste bitter right now? The reason the pieces didn't really break apart, other than the fact that it's heavily compressed, is probably because it's brewed with water that's a bit on the warm side. Did you treat it like a green tea? You can also try using a little less leaves. Right now the tea is probably pretty rough on the tongue.

Hot water will get more out of the tea. Caution, however, as it can also make the tea VERY bitter. I don't know if it will, since I've never tried this brick in question, but it could. Raw puerh can be nasty if handled poorly.

Cooked puerh, on the other hand, is easy to deal with -- it's hard to screw up brewing it, so just do whatever tastes best for you.
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Postby Salsero » Feb 8th, '07, 17:29

Marshal--

Do I understand you to be saying that you recommend using boiling water on young, green puerh? And did you also use boiling on the 1st flush Darj you posted on your website today?

What kind of brew times do you suggest then for these teas? Very short? Quantity of tea? Enough that the wet leaves nearly fill the gaiwan?

BTW, love your blog, especially the gorgeous photos. Thanks for posting to it so regularly!!

Tom
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