A different perspective on brewing Puerh

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

A different perspective on brewing Puerh

Postby Oni » Nov 1st, '11, 03:07

The diffrence between green tea and oolong, red, black tea is the the oxidised/fermented teas, no matter the processing and the type, need to be made with very hot water, I prefer gong fu style, it tastes better this way, because the chemicals are extracted only at high heat, but with green tea one must use lower temperature because it has some chemicals that are bitter and extracted at higher temperatures, one only wants good aroma and sweetness than use lower temperaure 70 - 80 C.
As I am informed, young puerh, is made with a kill green process that stops the oxidation, so some puerh are like green tea, only steamed and compressed, than why must I use always boiling water and gong fu style to brew it? Mostly many people complain that very young puerh are bitter, and have a "ku" bitterness, and dry the mouth, and do not have a pleasent mouth feel "kou gan", this might be due to the fact that we are brewing green tea with boiling water.
Since I do not have any young green puerh at home, the only one I have is from 2005, and it is definitely not green in color, so I was wondering if anybody has ever tried very fresh puerh, like 2011 spring harvest with lower temperature brewing time more like green tea, I would use around 5 grams to 100 ml ratio, but with lower temperature, like 80 C, and 1 minute brewing time only after one wash, usually I brewed puerh with 2 washes at boiling temperature and very short brewing times.

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Re: A diffrent perspective on brewing Puerh

Postby Fabien » Nov 1st, '11, 10:08

That's what some people and some teahouses do and recommend to do! Use slightly cooler water with some young sheng pu'ers instead of boiling one.

It's just not very common. But it makes sense and gives very nice tea, especially for the first infusions of some unblended single origin young sheng.

To be tried if you haven't already done it.

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Re: A diffrent perspective on brewing Puerh

Postby unholydh » Nov 1st, '11, 10:19

This occurred to a friend of mine about 6 or 7 months ago. We decided to try it with one of the Camouflage cakes (Hoffman/bonteavant), which are really bitter and temperamental, and the result was actually much more pleasant.

In short, It only really works for the greenest and youngest of cakes; everything else comes out way too weak.

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Re: A diffrent perspective on brewing Puerh

Postby DarkenedSun » Nov 1st, '11, 11:35

I have indeed tried this with young sheng and it does make a more pleasant brew. :mrgreen:

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Re: A different perspective on brewing Puerh

Postby zhi zheng » Nov 2nd, '11, 02:12

Oni wrote:why must I use always boiling water and gong fu style to brew it

You mustn't always do anything - be flexible; approach each tea and each brewing with a spirit of investigation, find out what works and what you like.

Raw Puer tea, unlike green tea, is a living thing that is in a process of change; a rigid approach won't often produce the best results.

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Re: A different perspective on brewing Puerh

Postby Oni » Nov 8th, '11, 01:51

Not all young shengs are green, but for those that are, I must try this.

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Re: A different perspective on brewing Puerh

Postby BioHorn » Nov 8th, '11, 10:51

Thank you for sharing the idea. I will give it a try. Before, I had always rigidly brewed all pu equally. It now gives me a new start on finishing off all those 2010-11 samples!

Please write in your results.


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Re: A different perspective on brewing Puerh

Postby kasey » Jan 8th, '12, 01:33

I just stumbled upon this post. I'm not very knowledgeable about brewing puerh but I've just received a shipment and I really don't know what to do with these cakes and bricks of sheng. I received with my order a small sample of 2005 Yuwi sheng leaf, first I tried 175 degrees at 1.5 minutes, it was very weak. Then I tried 180 degrees at 3 minutes, it was bitter, finally I settled on 185 degrees at 1.5 minutes and it was pretty rich and mellow but not as sweet as I expected but it seemed about as much as I could get out of it.
I have some cheap tea which came in teabags labeled as "green tuo cha" I bought in 2007 in Boston's Chinatown and it is the most delicious tea I've ever tasted. It has put me at odds with everything I'm hearing at Teachat. It's small twisted leaf broken up. I brew it at 175 degrees for 90 seconds and I don't know what it could be except green puerh. But this aged and expensive tea I just tried doesn't come even close. I can't help but think that puerh should be broken up or smashed up, otherwise you end up with the random infusing of big hard leaves not knowing what you're going to get. I'm going to try this and let you know.

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Re: A different perspective on brewing Puerh

Postby gasninja » Jan 8th, '12, 10:40

First I would use boiling water until you get a better feel for brewing puerh. Using lower water temps may bring out some higher flavor profiles but I think you can lose something In the base. I personaly only will lower the water temp with this years sheng and then only with certain teas. There can be a large variation in character between different young sheng ( a 2005 is still very young).Also how much leaf r you using for how much water? I believe that most of the brewing advice here is relevent for people brewing gong fu cha(a lot of leaves alittle water short steeps many brews).
Second the broken leaf will make a stronger tea meaning less brews and it will be more bitter. But if you like the way your tea tastes drink it that way.

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