Leaf pu-erh: brewing rules
Puerh is a post-fermented tea that differs from other types of production technology. The collected raw materials, processed to the level of green tea, are subjected to microbial fermentation – a natural aging process, due to which the leaves acquire a unique, incomparable taste and aroma. However, in order to enjoy it, it is important not only to buy high-quality sheet pu-erh, but also to brew it correctly.
First of all, the temperature of its preparation affects the taste and bouquet of tea. The degree of fermentation of the drink depends on it. For shu pu-erh, the optimal water temperature is about 90-100aboutC, while for sheng pu’er – 80-95aboutC. Also, when brewing, it should be borne in mind that the older the tea, the hotter the water.
In addition, water affects the characteristics of a flavored drink – it must be filtered or settled. It is also allowed to use clean spring water, which is sufficient to warm up to the optimum temperature. If there is no time or opportunity to prepare the water in advance, you can make it easier – boil it and let it cool for 5-7 minutes.
Before brewing tea, the leaves must be rinsed, that is, the first tea leaves must be drained – this is done with all tea varieties. Pu-erh is washed in two ways. In the first case, first, the tea leaf is washed in cold water, and then poured with hot water, after which the infusion is drained. In the second case, the infusion is poured with hot liquid, which is then drained.
Selecting and preparing brewing utensils
It is better to use a clay teapot for making tea. Ideally, the clay should be Yixing. In such a teapot, the drink retains the optimal temperature longer, and the leaves are steamed better. However, it must be remembered that only one type of tea is brewed in earthenware. You can also use porcelain or ceramic gaiwan.
After choosing a suitable dish, it should be warmed up. To do this, boiling water is poured into the middle for 30 seconds, after which it is drained, and tea leaves are placed in a teapot or gaiwan. For pu-erh, they adhere to the following proportions – take 100 ml of water for 7 g of tea. Shu and shen pu-erh are prepared by the spill method. First, the tea leaves are kept in water for no more than 5 seconds, after which they start tasting. Gradually, the brewing time is increased to 10-15 seconds. However, prolonged contact of leaves with water should be avoided. If for some reason the pu-erh was not drunk, and the tea leaves have been in contact with water for more than an hour, the infusion should be poured out. Such tea is considered harmful – bitterness appears in its taste due to the high concentration of tannins.