We are given the final product and it is up to us to pull out its full potential
Brewing water and temperature
Selection of mineral water or pure water (3-8 ounces depending on how strong you want the tea and how many people), the water temperature of 170-180 degrees (F). Boiling water will scald the leaves; lower temperatures brings out more sweetness, higher brings out more bitterness.
Pu’er tea preparation basic steps
- Prepare the tea (3-5 grams depending on how strong you want the tea and how many people you are pouring for) and water (3-8 ounces, same)
- Warm pot and cups so they retain heat better
- Place tea in pot, gaiwan or cup
- Wash and wake up the tea by pouring hot water (165-185 degrees) over the leaves, let soak for a few seconds, then dump out.
- Make tea. Pour fresh 3-8 ounces of hot water over leaves, cover for 10-60 seconds. Lower temperatures (160-170) water will allow the sweetness to come out and higher temperatures (170-212) will allow a much stronger, often bitter, tea. All depends on your taste.
- Pour all the steeping tea liquid from the vessel into cup (s) or serving pitchers.
- Enjoy. Steps 5-7 should be repeated upwards of 10 times to get the most from your tea. Each subsequent steeping, one may use longer steeping times and perhaps higher water temperatures.
When to drink Pu’er tea
The tea may be enjoyed throughout the day at intervals of the tea-drinker’s choice. There are certain situations where the effects may be felt more than others. For example, if one drinks Pu’er before a meal or on an empty stomach, the effects may be more noticeable and may not be suggested if one has a sensitive stomach. It is very refreshing and cleansing to drink after meals and this way it helps to clean the system of the fats/oils enjoyed during the meal.
What's the right temperature?
Our teas are fairly “dummy proof”, with all due respect. The water can not be too hot or too cool, but the variations will certainly change the taste and dimensions of the tea. If the water is steaming and boiling tiny bubbles, like that of a fish eye, it is ready. A full on boil is not preferred, and will often bring out more bitterness, whereas, lower temperatures bring out more sweetness.
Amount of tea
Use a tea knife on tea cake (bing, brick) and gently pry apart tea, dependent on amount of people involved in your sitting. We also offer loose leaf, which some people prefer for its convenience. Use between 3-10 grams, depending on how many people. Less leaves used creates a sweeter tea.
The brewing time is entirely up to the tea drinker. The way the farmers and many Chinese will prepare it is by using high heat, at very short intervals (brewing for 5-10 seconds each time). The tea is very durable and it is difficult to brew a bad cup of tea from it, so long brews are wonderful as well. We suggest starting off with 20 seconds or so, and go from there. Feel free to fluctuate timings. Start off at just 10-30 seconds and increase the steeping time with each subsequent steeping. If a stronger brew is preferred, add more leaves in the beginning instead of relying on steeping time to bring out more flavor.
Each person will have their own personal choices in preparing each of their teas. I encourage you to play around with different methods and explore your tastes as well as those around you. Be open to different pots, glasses, utensils, methods, steeping times, and anything else. No single thing in tea preparation is more important than the next, each can greatly damage or diminish the quality of said tea. The water is key, but so is the quality of the tea and so is the time it steeps….all play vital roles in our exploration. Explore and enjoy. Drink and be happy.
Is a thermometer necessary?
Perhaps when just starting out, get an idea of how 180 degrees looks and feels versus 212 degrees. Doing this for a couple of times will give you a very good idea of what temperature your water is at with or without a thermometer. Remember, have fun with it and do not get caught up on the exacts of tea preparation.
Wake up tea
Pour tea into the teapot, and then add the hot water (in addition to waking up the tea, it also has a role in improving the tea Clarity), drain 5-10 seconds after.
Benefits of glass for brewing?
Glass is wonderful for its’ hardness and fair display of tea and the awakening of the leaves as well as the quality, color, and movement. In addition, the glass visibility is good, it is perfect to watch the tea, and will allow you to decipher the quality prior to drinking it and will give you a more romantic experience with the tea in your hands as you look at the tea brewing in the glass pot. The benefits, aromas, and tastes will vary from vessel to vessel, and it is ultimately up to the tea drinker which they prefer to use when preparing tea.
How to store wet tea leaves?
The tea can pull the bad things from our blood and body and help us to eliminate them. At the same time, it can do the same thing with the air and environment around the tea, so it is best to keep it closed off from the elements when not planning to drink it for more than a few hours. If you are not going to drink the tea for a couple hours after already brewing it, remove the excess tea liquid from around the leaves and wrap the mug/pot/leaves in plastic wrap or in a zip lock and even put it in the fridge. This way, they can last 48-72 hours and you can continue to go back to them and get the most out of the leaves.
Does this work with a kettle?
Any heating vessel will work to heat your water to make tea. Even heating a mug of water in the microwave is suitable. The differences is preference and available time you may have.