between infusions with puerh: lid off? leaf fluff?

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

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Apr 2nd, '13, 12:21
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between infusions with puerh: lid off? leaf fluff?

by futurebird » Apr 2nd, '13, 12:21

I know that the time between infusions can vary quite a bit, some of the time we go back-to back until the leaves have nothing more to offer, other times you might wait till the next day.

I've noticed that the leaves are quite warm after an infusion, hot really, so I try to shake the water off of them... then I leave the lid of the teapot *off* since the steam that comes off of them makes them even drier.

I find the more water one can remove before hitting them with boiling water again the more robust the next infusion.

I also like to use the spout cleaning tool (that wooden pick thing) to fluff up the leaves so that more steam comes off of them even more if I'm going to switch to a new tea or take a break of a few hours from tea. This seems to help get them more dry.

I've though about taking them out of the pot...even but it's hard to do and leaves always get lost. But it makes me wonder if there are other tricks and methods to get the leaves as water-free as possible between infusions and how what we do might change depending on how long it might be till the next infusion.

I wonder if others leave the lid off and fluff the leaves? I also leave the lid off overnight because of the possible funk. I've come to feel that the lid should only be on if (1) the teapot is dry, empty and being stored on the shelf, (2)the teapot is full of hot water brewing tea. -- having the lid on at any other time seems to cause issues.

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Apr 2nd, '13, 14:12
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Re: between infusions with puerh: lid off? leaf fluff?

by teaisme » Apr 2nd, '13, 14:12

futurebird wrote: having the lid on at any other time seems to cause issues.
If I brew with an electric kettle not filled much and its 75ish degrees or below inside, I leave the lid on for that extra heat (after the 3rd or 4th infusion)

85degrees inside, clay kettle, lid off until later on in session


I think if you pay attention to your layering of leaves, pouring into teapot, and pouring technique into cup, you can minimize the tea in there well without vigorous shaking or tapping (as long as pot is ok). With a good pour both ways you also kinda fluff the leaves naturally

I have not taken leaves out after each infusion and re fluffed and dried, so cannot tell you which method you may enjoy more, might give that a try on a leisurely day. :)

Apr 4th, '13, 02:53
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Re: between infusions with puerh: lid off? leaf fluff?

by Tatter » Apr 4th, '13, 02:53

this is funny -- i leave the lid off and use one of those pick-thingys to fluff the leaves, too. It just kind of seems like the right thing to do, though i'm not sure what effect it has (if any).

i've also debated with myself about the lid-on/lid-off approaches. right now i'm more inclined to pull the lid off for more tender leaves or young teas, but with much older puers i kind of feel they benefit from the concentrated warmth of a closed-lid vessel.

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Apr 4th, '13, 04:12
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Re: between infusions with puerh: lid off? leaf fluff?

by Tead Off » Apr 4th, '13, 04:12

the lid off approach is often associated with green teas. Some say this doesn't allow the leaves to get overcooked. But, green teas are usually made with lower temp water, not boiling. I never worry about this.

With Puerh, you are not exactly drinking a green tea although younger leaves can resemble fresher green leaves after being brewed. Puerh is fermented and boiling water is used. This is what cooks the leaves but also what extracts the most flavor and aroma for me. If you like weaker tea, you may use lower temps and it will give you more brews but this is self defeating, IMO.

It seems overthinking is worse than worrying about whether to leave the lid on or off. I'm not very concerned by this at all.

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Apr 4th, '13, 10:16
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Re: between infusions with puerh: lid off? leaf fluff?

by yalokinh » Apr 4th, '13, 10:16

i leave off for aroma purposes.
I sometimes notice a very slight difference in the two, but usually the water temp is too high

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Apr 4th, '13, 15:23
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Re: between infusions with puerh: lid off? leaf fluff?

by Evan Draper » Apr 4th, '13, 15:23

This debate has always fascinated me--it's like the "milk-in-first?" argument at a much higher level....

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Apr 5th, '13, 23:01
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Re: between infusions with puerh: lid off? leaf fluff?

by BioHorn » Apr 5th, '13, 23:01

I am a lid off kinda guy. Once the pu gets towards the end, it seems to me to matter less.

Tea fluff? I like the way aged pu with multiple brews seems to settle and give off less bits.

I do like to shake Phoenix DC a bit between the first 4-7 brews. Maybe just an unnecessary mania?

Apr 6th, '13, 01:52
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Re: between infusions with puerh: lid off? leaf fluff?

by Emmett » Apr 6th, '13, 01:52

Leave the lid off especially if sitting for overnight so you dont get mold.
Otherwise it does not matter just do what you like.

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