How to brew pu-erh?
Brief and clear instructions on how to brew pu-erh in the traditional way (in a teapot or gaiwani), in a thermos and cooking pu-erh…
Pu-erh is a legendary Chinese tea, one of the most ancient and revered not only in the Middle Kingdom, but also around the world. It is a drink of youth and beauty, health and longevity. The uniqueness of pu-erh lies in the fact that the value of this tea increases over the years, the taste becomes refined and noble, and the aroma is even more saturated. Depending on the fermentation method, the following are isolated::
Sheng pu’er-tea, the fermentation process of which takes place naturally. Tea leaves are pressed and “cured” for a long period of time under strict control and under special conditions. Sheng pu’er is an energy drink with a rich taste and a pronounced tonic effect. Shu Puer is characterized by artificial fermentation – tea leaves “languish” in special conditions for 30-40 days. The drink has a soft sweet taste and amazing aroma, the color of the infusion can be red-brown, brown and almost black.
If you want to plunge into the Eastern tradition and get a real pleasure from tasting pu-erh, you need to remember a number of rules that must be followed in the process of brewing this amazing tea. And you need to start by choosing the “right” dishes and water. These seemingly insignificant nuances greatly affect the quality of the finished drink. So, …
… the right water and the necessary utensils for brewing pu-erh.
Let’s start with water. It is believed that the older pu-erh and, as a result, more expensive, the more seriously it is necessary to approach the process of choosing water. The better it is, the higher the chances of getting the most out of the tea party and catching the true taste of pu-erh. Even during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), special attention was paid to water for tea. It was said that the best water is mountain water, the average quality is river water, and the worst is well water. This statement is easy to confirm. Passing through the filtration of rocks and sand, spring water becomes soft and clean, it reduces the content of minerals and oxides. Brewed with this water, the tea has a perfect taste, aroma and color. River or lake water contains a large amount of magnesium and calcium bicarbonate, so it is quite hard. When boiled, however, most of these elements break down and settle, and the water becomes softer. Well water contains a record amount of minerals, as a result of which a film is formed on the infusion immediately after brewing, spoiling the color and taste of the drink. If we talk about the usual tap water, we should focus on the need for its filtration and subsequent settling during the day. Mineral water for brewing tea is absolutely not suitable! The chemicals in its composition react with the trace elements contained in pu-erh and form new compounds that can completely spoil the taste of the freshly brewed infusion. The ideal water temperature for brewing shu pu’er (as a highly fermented tea) is 90-95C, sheng pu’er is brewed at 80-90C (depending on the age of the tea – the older it is, the higher the temperature should be). Tableware. Ideally, use a teapot made of Yixing clay, in which the required temperature is maintained for as long as possible, and the tea is well steamed. If it is not possible to purchase a teapot, use a gaiwan, a regular ceramic teapot, a glass flask or a thermos. It is important to remember that only one type of tea is brewed in one pot! Over time, a plaque forms in the dishes, which can not be washed off with detergents and thanks to which, after a while, pu-erh will begin to acquire an even richer taste and reveal previously unknown notes and shades. In the East, this procedure is called “growing a teapot”. One type of tea – one dish.
Why is pu-erh washed?
The first stage of brewing pu-erh is the process of washing it. This is done in order to prepare the tea leaf for brewing, to help it reveal its aroma, cleaning it from dust and saturating it with moisture.
There are 2 ways of washing pu-erh:
Cold. Tea is placed in the gaiwan with cold water for a few minutes, after which the water is drained and the procedure is repeated one more time. Hot. Pu-erh is filled with hot water (not boiling water!) and the first two infusions merge.
How to brew loose pu-erh?
Whatever pu-erh you brew, first of all pay attention to the presence of all the necessary components – the “right” water of the right temperature and the right dishes. You should also remember about the amount of tea leaves-for 200 ml of water, it is recommended to take 1 tablespoon of pu-erh.
The technology of brewing loose puer includes the following steps::
Mandatory pre-heating of the selected dishes for brewing in order not only to heat it, but also to disinfect it. Washing the pu-erh with one of the above methods. Next, you need to prepare the water for brewing, pour the tea and let it brew for at least 30 seconds. The brewing time depends on what strength of pu-erh you want to get.
How to brew pressed pu-erh?
First of all, it is very important to separate the necessary amount of tea leaves. Ideally, use a special knife for this purpose. It is important not to break the sheet, but to separate the tea leaves in neat layers, podding the upper layers of the cake. To brew two servings, you will need about 10 grams of pu-erh.
First, you need to warm up the brewing dishes. Rinse the pu-erh with cold or hot water. Pour the pu-erh water at the desired temperature. By the way, in China, tea is most often brewed with water from a teapot with a long spout. Getting into the teapot from a distance, the water is saturated with oxygen, which is extremely beneficial for the taste of the infusion. Insist pu-erh should be at least 20 seconds. This time is enough for the tea to brew. If you want a stronger drink, you can wait 2-3 minutes. Ready-made infusion immediately after brewing can be poured into chakhai, and already from the jug to pour into bowls. This is done so that the strength of the drink is the same for everyone who takes part in the tea ceremony. In addition, it is very important that there is no “old” water left in the brewing dish – it can affect the taste of the new infusion. You can brew pu-erh 5-10 times.
How to brew pu-erh resin?
Pu-erh resin is a special tea, so it is important to know some of the subtleties of the brewing process of this drink. There are usually no special requirements for dishes. Spring water or filtered water is used. You can brew the resin with both cold and hot water (not boiling water). The higher the water temperature, the faster the pu-erh resin will dissolve. In one liter of water, it is recommended to brew one gram of resin. It is important to remember about the strong tonic effect of this tea and not to overdo it with the dosage.