Breaking up shou after first rinse

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


User avatar
Sep 19th, '17, 22:20
Posts: 17
Joined: Mar 29th, '17, 23:13

Breaking up shou after first rinse

by Shine Magical » Sep 19th, '17, 22:20

My friend breaks up his shou with the end of a tea pick after the first rinse to let the water reach more of the leaves while infusing. Do you think this is a good idea?

He breaks his cakes down into ~10g chunks because breaking them down further would just break the leaves up more he said. I am worried that if I start copying him I might break down the leaves while they're in my yixing which might be worse.

Sep 19th, '17, 22:49
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 17th, '13, 12:34

Re: Breaking up shou after first rinse

by mr mopu » Sep 19th, '17, 22:49

Shine Magical wrote: My friend breaks up his shou with the end of a tea pick after the first rinse to let the water reach more of the leaves while infusing. Do you think this is a good idea?

He breaks his cakes down into ~10g chunks because breaking them down further would just break the leaves up more he said. I am worried that if I start copying him I might break down the leaves while they're in my yixing which might be worse.
Give them a 10 minute rest after the rinse. It will have almost the same effect as the water will work its way into the leaves.

User avatar
Sep 19th, '17, 23:41
Posts: 17
Joined: Mar 29th, '17, 23:13

Re: Breaking up shou after first rinse

by Shine Magical » Sep 19th, '17, 23:41

mr mopu wrote:
Shine Magical wrote: My friend breaks up his shou with the end of a tea pick after the first rinse to let the water reach more of the leaves while infusing. Do you think this is a good idea?

He breaks his cakes down into ~10g chunks because breaking them down further would just break the leaves up more he said. I am worried that if I start copying him I might break down the leaves while they're in my yixing which might be worse.
Give them a 10 minute rest after the rinse. It will have almost the same effect as the water will work its way into the leaves.
Even when I do that, there is a big visual difference between rinse + 10min rest and picked apart after the first rinse. Most of the shou I have is pretty tightly pressed, esp if its older.

Sep 20th, '17, 00:31
Posts: 509
Joined: Oct 7th, '09, 21:31
Location: South Carolina

Re: Breaking up shou after first rinse

by bryan_drinks_tea » Sep 20th, '17, 00:31

Shine Magical wrote:
mr mopu wrote:
Shine Magical wrote: My friend breaks up his shou with the end of a tea pick after the first rinse to let the water reach more of the leaves while infusing. Do you think this is a good idea?

He breaks his cakes down into ~10g chunks because breaking them down further would just break the leaves up more he said. I am worried that if I start copying him I might break down the leaves while they're in my yixing which might be worse.
Give them a 10 minute rest after the rinse. It will have almost the same effect as the water will work its way into the leaves.
Even when I do that, there is a big visual difference between rinse + 10min rest and picked apart after the first rinse. Most of the shou I have is pretty tightly pressed, esp if its older.
Older tea shouldn't be as tightly pressed as newer tea. try varying times of rest after the first rinse. good luck and most importantly, enjoy!

User avatar
Sep 20th, '17, 03:07
Posts: 5916
Joined: Jan 10th, '10, 16:04
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact: debunix

Re: Breaking up shou after first rinse

by debunix » Sep 20th, '17, 03:07

I never worry about picking it apart. As it comes apart, more leaves will be fully wetted and infuse better, but varying the infusion times is control enough of this process. Picking leaves apart is too much work. And for my favorite Lao Cha Tou, it won't work anyway.

User avatar
Sep 20th, '17, 10:22
Posts: 17
Joined: Mar 29th, '17, 23:13

Re: Breaking up shou after first rinse

by Shine Magical » Sep 20th, '17, 10:22

bryan_drinks_tea wrote:
Shine Magical wrote:
mr mopu wrote:
Shine Magical wrote: My friend breaks up his shou with the end of a tea pick after the first rinse to let the water reach more of the leaves while infusing. Do you think this is a good idea?

He breaks his cakes down into ~10g chunks because breaking them down further would just break the leaves up more he said. I am worried that if I start copying him I might break down the leaves while they're in my yixing which might be worse.
Give them a 10 minute rest after the rinse. It will have almost the same effect as the water will work its way into the leaves.
Even when I do that, there is a big visual difference between rinse + 10min rest and picked apart after the first rinse. Most of the shou I have is pretty tightly pressed, esp if its older.
Older tea shouldn't be as tightly pressed as newer tea. try varying times of rest after the first rinse. good luck and most importantly, enjoy!
What I was trying to convey was that older shou is more sticky and knotted with age so it doesn't come apart easily. But that is the best kind, dank tea :lol:

Even at the end of a long session when the flavor has departed, I can still have a fairly intact 8-15g chunk in my yixing. Its hard to tell if breaking up the leaves while wet would have a better impact on the flavor or if breaking up the leaves would actually damage some of them causing more subtle bitterness and unpleasant flavor to come out instead.

User avatar
Sep 20th, '17, 15:50
Posts: 291
Joined: Feb 9th, '16, 21:23
Location: California

Re: Breaking up shou after first rinse

by stevorama » Sep 20th, '17, 15:50

I like to let the tea naturally expand and loosen by letting it sit after the rinse, and then control the brewing with longer or shorter steep times.

Sep 20th, '17, 21:20
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 17th, '13, 12:34

Re: Breaking up shou after first rinse

by mr mopu » Sep 20th, '17, 21:20

stevorama wrote: I like to let the tea naturally expand and loosen by letting it sit after the rinse, and then control the brewing with longer or shorter steep times.
Agreed on longer steeps. You may try a cold water rinse for a few minutes as well to help it before the first hot rinse.

+ Post Reply