Pu-erh questions

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

Pu-erh questions

Postby Martini » Dec 17th, '08, 12:37

Hey folks. I recently stopped in to Ito En on Madison Ave. on a whim and bought their Sweet Green Pu-ehr which I loved. I never heard of Pu-erh before that, so I've been looking for info on the internet. Very confusing. I'm getting all kinds of seemingly contradictory information regarding brewing methods, but that may be because different types require different methods. So I have a few questions.

Are all Pu-ehr varieties suitable for multiple steeps? After you've brewed tea with leaves for the first time, what do you do to those wet leaves so they can be brewed next time?

Are these brewing instructions from PuerhShop suitable for all types of Pu-erh? Thanks.

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Postby Consilium » Dec 17th, '08, 13:29

. . . and it begins

Welcome to the forum, the best place for you to start would be in the sticky post. It has all of the basic information for getting started, as well as some nice links. A recent brewing guidlines post was started, so that shouldnt be too far down on the list either.

IMO, as well as many others. you should try a variety of parameters until you find the flavor profile you appreciate the best - after reviewing the basics.

Oh ya, and be sure to nail you wallet to the floor.

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Postby Goose » Dec 17th, '08, 13:40

Welcome!

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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Dec 17th, '08, 14:30

Yes, Welcome :)

Look through the different threads within the pu section, especially those that are on the first page (some may have drifted onto the second page aswell) but most of the information you'll want can be found in the sicky at the very top.

-Poly

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Postby tony shlongini » Dec 17th, '08, 16:05

Run away!!!


I mean, welcome.

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Postby puerhking » Dec 17th, '08, 16:52

Most of us brew both shu and sheng puerh's gong fu style.......whether in a gaiwan or a yixing teapot. Generally speaking you can get more infusions out of sheng than shu. Check out the wikipedia link within the sticky and that will get you started.

Welcome!

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Postby Martini » Dec 17th, '08, 17:33

Thanks for the welcome, folks. I checked out the sticky and I don't see any answers to my specific questions.

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Re: Pu-erh questions

Postby Salsero » Dec 17th, '08, 17:58

Martini wrote: Are all Pu-ehr varieties suitable for multiple steeps?
Yes. Occasionally as many as 20 or more infusions for really good stuff.

Martini wrote:After you've brewed tea with leaves for the first time, what do you do to those wet leaves so they can be brewed next time?
Normally most of us do multiple infusion sessions, so the tea just sits in the pot or gaiwan while we drink. If we will be pausing over night in the session, it's not a bad idea to stick the pot/gaiwan in the fridge till the next day and then maybe do a flash rinse in boiling water to wake it up and kill some bacteria.

Martini wrote: Are these brewing instructions from PuerhShop suitable for all types of Pu-erh?
These are good instructions for brewing vessels of 100 ml to 125 ml (3 to 4 oz). I personally skip the rinse, and when I do rinse it is usually for less than 30 seconds or it is a flash rinse. Generally, you will do longer infusions for shu puerh and shorter infusions for sheng, but the the Puerhshop guidelines are good place to start out with a new tea.

Each tea will be happiest with a little different treatment, so be flexible. If it is coming out too bitter or astringent, shorten the infusion time; if it is too bland, lengthen the time. It it is BOTH, increase the leaf a bit and shorten the time.

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Re: Pu-erh questions

Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Dec 17th, '08, 18:07

Ok then, let me try to clear up your specific questions then...

Martini wrote:Are all Pu-ehr varieties suitable for multiple steeps? After you've brewed tea with leaves for the first time, what do you do to those wet leaves so they can be brewed next time?


Technically, any tea can be "suitable" for multiple steeps since that is kind of a general thing. What it really comes down to is if you can get multiple steeps out of a tea that taste good to you. Usually with gong fu brewing you are going to get a few good infusions (depending on the quality of the tea) while western brewing is usually what I see as a single or at the most a second infusion (of course theres exceptions to everything).

Are these brewing instructions from PuerhShop suitable for all types of Pu-erh? Thanks.


Sal pretty much said what needed to be said about this. Each tea is going to be different and your job is to decide what little tweeks will give you the drink you desire.

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Postby shogun89 » Dec 17th, '08, 18:25

Hello, and welcome!!! :D :D :D :D

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Postby Martini » Dec 17th, '08, 18:26

Thanks for the info. :D Looking forward to making some purchases and using these techniques.

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Postby lydia » Dec 17th, '08, 22:32

If you just begin to drink pu erh, my suggestion is to begin with shu pu erh. If you prefer sheng pu, better take one aged at least 10 years. Put 2-3grams into a gai wan or a small ceramic teapot and brew for 30-40 seconds at the beginning. Of course you can adjust after some time when you get use to stronger taste. Normally a good shu pu can be steeped for more than 20 times. The most important, remember to throw the first cup away. This is what we do in China especially for pu erh and tie kuan yin. In this way we can wash the tea as well as the tea set. :)

I am drinking shu pu erh everyday. Normally I just use a simple teapot, put tea inside and brew with hot water, abandon the first cup, then just let the wet leaves inside the teapot to be brewed as many times as I want. The reason is not only I like, but also important is I believe it is good for my health. :wink:

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Postby Salsero » Dec 17th, '08, 22:56

lydia wrote: I am drinking shu pu erh everyday.
Are there particular factories or brands of shu puerh that you tend to prefer?

I have heard that it is considered impolite NOT to rinse tea before making it for others. Is this true?

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Postby lydia » Dec 18th, '08, 01:50

In China we enjoy teas with teaset instead of teabags. So normally we don't care about the brand, what we care is where the tea comes from and the tea quality. For example, the best origin of pu erh should be Menghai Yunnan. What I drink including shu, sheng, cake,brick or loose are all from that place. I have friends who work in Menghai factory, this is why I can get the good quality teas. :wink: I like to drink shu pu, but I also like to store some sheng green pu erh cakes. IMO aged sheng cake is purer in taste than shu after more than 10 years storage. But shu pu is good for health which is suitable for daily drink. It won't hurt your stomach.

Last edited by lydia on Dec 18th, '08, 01:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lydia » Dec 18th, '08, 01:54

Salsero wrote:
I have heard that it is considered impolite NOT to rinse tea before making it for others. Is this true?


Yes, you are right.

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