Last week I received my two Pu erh teas from Yunnan Sourcing:
2006 Jiu Wan Tong Qing Hao Raw Pu-erh Tea Brick
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.