Pu-erh confusion!


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

Pu-erh confusion!

Postby teanovice78 » Oct 3rd, '12, 20:59

Hello,
I have some Tuo Cha puer as well as some loose leaf puer that is also dark. Some websites say that you cannot over-steep this tea, others say 2 minutes, then others say like 20-30 seconds. I want to do it for the best result, so what should I do!? :)Also, is it essential to rinse this tea? I have a ceramic teapot and I use a stove top kettle to heat my water. Thanks in advance, Dan
User avatar
teanovice78
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Sep 26th, '
Location: omaha

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby TomVerlain » Oct 3rd, '12, 21:24

hi welcome to the world of pu'er -

Rule #1 - Everything I say is false....

I can tell you what I enjoy - but that is not neccessarly the best practice.

1) Flash rinse tea, pour boiling water in and then right out
2) Use about 5 grams for 120 ml of water - best in smaller pot, but if you have a large pot, don't fill it
3) Brew starting at a few seconds, and then move slowly to longer times. A good tea might get weak but still tasty after twenty infusions - but by now you are using 10 minutes steep time
4) I assume the dark tea is "shu" or ripe or cooked tea, you can brew it so it looks like expresso and it is still drinkable - a nice ruby / clear color is fine too.
5) You can brew it western style - a large pot with a large volume of water - I never do that - but it is possble. I'd still use like five grams, but it could steep till it is ruby color - how ever long that is
6) Life is too short for bad tea. If you taste it and it sucks - toss it and try a differnt method.
User avatar
TomVerlain
 
Posts: 379
Joined: Jul 22nd, '

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby MarshalN » Oct 3rd, '12, 21:27

TomVerlain wrote:Rule #1 - Everything I say is false....


So true.

So with that caveat:

Time spent in hot water is inversely correlated with amount of tea leaves in vessel. The more leaves you use, the shorter the time in water.

If you want something pleasant and non-nasty, and if you're trying the tea for the first time, low amounts of leaf and shorter infusions are best, and then increase one or the other if the taste is not strong enough.
User avatar
MarshalN
 
Posts: 2101
Joined: Mar 15th, '

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby teanovice78 » Oct 3rd, '12, 21:38

Thanks Tom Verlain and MarshaIn. I have a pretty small teapot it can hold about 16 oz. approximately. I am thinking of buying a smaller iron pot soon but that is another issue.
So do different types of puerh teas have different preparations?

I had been steeping my puerh for like 5 minutes and it tasted fine but it was pretty dark.
User avatar
teanovice78
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Sep 26th, '
Location: omaha

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby debunix » Oct 3rd, '12, 22:41

Different teas and different palates = very different brewing times. For one of my favorite shu (ripe) puerhs, I tossed a chunk into a thermos of hot water today and ran off to a meeting, and three hours later, the end of the thermos was still tasty. For a favorite sheng (raw) puerh, I pour hot water into and out of the teapot as fast as I can 5-10 times, drinking each 'flash' infusion quickly before it can start to turn a little bitter, and gradually increase the steep time to 5, 10, 20, 30, 60, 90 seconds etc.

How do you know what to do with the puerh in front of you?

Try it. Pick a time, and try it. If the tea is undrinkably bitter--dilute it until you like it, and then make the next infusion proportionately shorter: e.g., if you have to dilute the tea three fold to make your 1 minute-steeped tea taste good, then steep it 20 seconds for the next time. And keep steeping at 20 seconds until it's weaker than you like, and then extend. If the tea is too weak, steep longer next time.

Just play with it, and if you are so inclined, taking some notes on tea quantities and steeping times may help shorten your learning curve until you start to have an intuitive feel for what you'll like.

I'm only about 4 years into my appreciation of puerh, and I get more infusions right the first time than not, but still have some that.....um....need a lot of help!
User avatar
debunix
 
Posts: 5036
Joined: Jan 10th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby jayinhk » Oct 4th, '12, 06:08

teanovice78 wrote:Thanks Tom Verlain and MarshaIn. I have a pretty small teapot it can hold about 16 oz. approximately. I am thinking of buying a smaller iron pot soon but that is another issue.
So do different types of puerh teas have different preparations?

I had been steeping my puerh for like 5 minutes and it tasted fine but it was pretty dark.


16 oz to me is a family sized teapot. :lol:

The best way to brew pu, IMO, is to use boiling water. First, fill the teapot with boiling water and pour it out. This is to warm the pot and keep the temperature high. Then add your tea. Pour boiling water in again, and pour it out as soon as you get the lid on. Repeat. Then add boiling water...let it sit for around 10 seconds...this is infusion one. With good shu, you can get quite a few infusions (10-15 or more).

A trick I learned from Marshal via his blog is to fill your pot of nearly exhausted leaves with boiling water at the end of your day, and drink it when you wake up: this helps you squeeze the most out of your tea before you discard the leaves.
User avatar
jayinhk
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Aug 28th, '

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby teanovice78 » Oct 4th, '12, 13:38

jayinhk,
What do you think would be a better size teapot? I'm the only one in my house who drinks it. I hate having to keep boiling water so I think that's why I have the 16 oz teapot. I use a ceramic teapot that I got at a local tea shop in Omaha called TeaSmith.
User avatar
teanovice78
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Sep 26th, '
Location: omaha

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby jayinhk » Oct 4th, '12, 13:49

I'd like to add that many advocate using water that is a little shy of boiling for the infusions.

You can use the larger teapot too, but I would still recommend preheating and rinsing twice before the real brew. The larger the pot, the more tea you need. Pu erh is often drank kungfu style, with lots of short infusions that get progressively longer. I'm working on a pot now I've been drinking from since yesterday, and another that's on its third day.

The best way to learn what works for you is to experiment!
User avatar
jayinhk
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Aug 28th, '

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby teanovice78 » Oct 4th, '12, 14:15

Jayinhk,
I will definitely keep those things in mind.Thanks for the advice as well! :) How do you drink the tea for more than one day? Do you save the leaves, or do you save the actual tea and reheat it? I sometimes feel bad when I have tea and can only drink 1 steepings worth and have to throw it away..seems wasteful since it can get so expensive. I usually drink the puerh or black tea. Can this be done with any kind of tea a.e. white, puerh, oolong, black, and green?
User avatar
teanovice78
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Sep 26th, '
Location: omaha

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby teanovice78 » Oct 4th, '12, 14:18

Something I forgot to mention in previous post. I poured hot water into my teapot then dumped and started brewing. It seemed the tea turned out a little better. Can I pour the tea over the top as well like gong fu method? I'm not sure where to do it since it will get hot water all over the counter. Do they make some sort of tray to do it on? Sorry, newbie here. Thanks!
User avatar
teanovice78
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Sep 26th, '
Location: omaha

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby jayinhk » Oct 4th, '12, 14:26

teanovice78 wrote:Jayinhk,
I will definitely keep those things in mind.Thanks for the advice as well! :) How do you drink the tea for more than one day? Do you save the leaves, or do you save the actual tea and reheat it? I sometimes feel bad when I have tea and can only drink 1 steepings worth and have to throw it away..seems wasteful since it can get so expensive. I usually drink the puerh or black tea. Can this be done with any kind of tea a.e. white, puerh, oolong, black, and green?


Yep, I save the leaves. I never, ever reheat brewed tea. You can absolutely keep the tea in your pot overnight. I do this with all kinds of tea.

teanovice78 wrote:Something I forgot to mention in previous post. I poured hot water into my teapot then dumped and started brewing. It seemed the tea turned out a little better. Can I pour the tea over the top as well like gong fu method? I'm not sure where to do it since it will get hot water all over the counter. Do they make some sort of tray to do it on? Sorry, newbie here. Thanks!


I don't think anyone pours tea over porcelain teapots--is yours a Yixing/clay?

Also did you rinse the tea before brewing?
User avatar
jayinhk
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Aug 28th, '

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby teanovice78 » Oct 4th, '12, 14:43

Thanks, I haven't rinsed it yet; going to try that today in a bit. I have a ceramic tea pot. Would it be okay to put teapot in fridge to keep leaves in good shape until next day? I'm afraid to leave it out because fruit flies tend to show up quickly here with any food, vegetable, and etc. Like maybe I could put it in an airtight container or plastic ziploc bag?
User avatar
teanovice78
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Sep 26th, '
Location: omaha

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby jayinhk » Oct 4th, '12, 15:11

I don't think you have to much to worry about as far as fruit flies go when dealing with tea. I could be wrong, but I don't think they'd be attracted to it.
User avatar
jayinhk
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Aug 28th, '

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby Emmett » Oct 4th, '12, 21:12

If you dont let the wet tea leaves air out when leaving it for the next day you will get mold especially if you put it in a airtight bag. I get problems with fruitflies around my fruits sometimes, but they do not get into my teapot even though I leave it wide open to the air.

Also the largest teapot size I would use for personal drinking is 120ml for raw sheng and maybe up to 160ml for cooked. But I use a 110ml every day and that is enough for multiple cups each steeping. Using around 6 to 10 grams depending on strength of tea and after intitial 5 sec rinse, infuse starting at 3-5 sec then moving up as is needed.

Every one uses different methods depending on there own preference.

Most importantly just try out what works for you, just keep drinking tea and you will find your way.
And you will always adjust as you grow in the ways of tea.
Emmett
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Jun 20th, '

Re: Pu-erh confusion!

Postby TwoDog2 » Oct 6th, '12, 02:11

TomVerlain wrote:hi welcome to the world of pu'er -

Rule #1 - Everything I say is false....



Perfect.
User avatar
TwoDog2
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Mar 19th, '
Location: Frequently Moving Around


Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation