Some of the best things in life come from the East.
For instance, the best tea comes from China. I am speaking of Pu-erh tea. Have you heard of it?
Pu-erh tea is in a class of its own. Do you know that Pu-erh ages like wine? Yes. The older it gets, the better it tastes. The best Pu-erh tea can sell for thousands of dollars just like wine.
If you are a tea lover, I am sure this sounds magical. But these are facts.
And to prove it, I will give you down-to-earth tips on how to brew Pu-erh like a master. You can then brew it and drink it, and see if I speak rightly.
- Teacups or mugs
- A gaiwan (lidded bowl) or a teapot
- Boiling water
- Loose-leaf Pu-erh or Pu-erh cake
- 3 to 4 grams per 200 ml of water
1. Clean and warm your teapot
Pour some boiling water into your teapot. This will help clean the pot as well as keep it warm to make brewing the tea easier.
2. Rinse Your Tea leaves
Add some tea to your teapot, and follow that with steaming, boiling water. This rinsing lasts only two to three seconds. It helps wash away any dirt from your Pu-erh leaves. It also enables the leaves to “wake up”.
3. Rinse It a Second Time
Pu-erh tea, especially when it’s ripe, requires two rinses. The raw Pu-erh needs only one rinse. But the ripe Pu-erh has a piling process.
Pour out any water which you are not using to make the beverage.
4. The Actual Brewing
Fill the teapot with boiling water, taking care to get rid of any bubbles on the water with the lid of your teapot. Cover the teapot with the lid, and give the tea approximately 20 seconds to steep.
Afterward, you can pour out the tea for brewing. Pu-erh tea can support as many as ten infusions. In fact, Pu-erh connoisseurs believe that the more infusions the tea can support, the higher is its quality.
Pour out the Pu-erh tea you have just brewed into teacups for yourself and your family or guests.
A Few Tips and Notes about Pu Erh Tea Brewing
- When you use hot water to pre-warm your teapot and teacups, you accomplish two things: you clear away the accumulated dirt and flavors from previous teas you have brewed, and you ensure your tea will remain at an ideal temperature.
- When you rinse the Pu-erh tea leaves before brewing, you get rid of any impurities in the leaves. As a result, you can enjoy the tea’s pure flavor.
- Pu-erh tea takes a short while to steep. Steep the first cup for only 15 to 20 seconds. As I pointed out, Pu-erh tea can support multiple infusions – and even thrives in it. For every additional re-brewing, add an extra 15 to 20 seconds. You will note that each new infusion has a slightly different flavor. High-grade Pu-erh tea may be brewed as many as ten times.
Pu-erh tea is an exotic product, and sometimes connoisseurs can get caught up in their jargon and methods. In this article, I tried to move away from that. I wanted to write something anyone could understand.
Hopefully, I have succeeded. More people should discover Pu-err tea. It is one of the best hidden open secrets.