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How I drink my pu-erh..... (Quick and Easy Method)

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This is part one of two. This first one is a plain and simple pictorial of how I brew up pu-erh quick and dirty. Part two (a later date) will walk through the entire Gong Fu ceremony, with all the goodies/accessories - which is fancy/impressive, but time consuming and requires more clean up.

Step 1 - Grab the bare essentials.... a pick (to loosen the tea from the brick, bing, etc) a yixing teapot (between 80ml - 100ml) a cup with a 60-80ml capacity, a water boiler, and of course - pu'erh tea.
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Step 2 - Prepare the tea. This tea in particular is a new brick of 2008 Bulang Arbor Tree Pu-erh, which is a lovely sweet green.

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Use the tea pick to pick/pry the pressed tea into flakes, making sure to try to keep the leaves as intact as possible.

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Amass enough to fill up the little yixing about 25-30% full.

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Step 3 - Put the tea into the Yixing.

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Step 4 - Add boiling water and wait 5-6 seconds - then promptly pour out the first steeping. (I pour it into my cup to warm the cup - then pour it out) This will do quite a few things, heat up the yixing, separate the tea leaves and allow it to leech more flavor, mellow the brew, etc.

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Step 5 - Repeat step 4, however this time pour the contents into your cup for consumption. Depending on the tea - you'll use different steep times, however with this one in particular I do 5 seconds or so for the first steeping, then 10 seconds, then 15 - and ramp up the times accordingly. A good pu-erh will take at least 6-8 steepings, where as some can take dozens! Note: while the steeping time is short, keep in mind the tea to water ratio is MUCH higher than you're accustomed to, and pu-erh is particularly potent.

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Step 6 - Examine the color/liquor - smell the brew, note these characteristics as they will help you in the future to determine correct steeping times based on particular teas and your personal preferences. Enjoy the mesmerizing liquor, and contemplate the joys of life.... repeat as desired.

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Step 7 - Remove the leaves from the yixing and enjoy their fragrance, examine their color, quality, leaf size, etc. The used tea leaves make wonderful fertilizer for your garden - so don't feel the need to merely pitch them. :smile:

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There you have it... enjoying a pu-erh isn't as easy as using a teabag, but it's far from complicated, and the reward is simply intoxicating. Few things are more relaxing than enjoying a lovely tea in a peaceful setting.


Note: an effective yixing will be small... REALLY small. Keep in mind - anything over about 3.5 ounces is going to be too large. To put this in perspective, here is the yixing I used next to a box of tic tacs.

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Enjoy - and by all means if you have any questions, tips, tricks or advice, feel free to chime in. We have quite a few experts here on the forum!
 
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Thank you Joel. This is an excellent thread. I am still eagerly awaiting my shipment of Pu-erh and will follow your instructions to a tea.
 
Nice! I love tea ceremonies. My wife is from Beijing and every time we're there we get a few new tea sets. Our nicest one looks like a garden hand carved from rose wood. :001_smile
 
Nice post Joel. As a convert to the fragrant oolongs and jasmine's of Taiwan. I share your appreciation for Chinese tea, but for now Pu-erh is a bit pricey for me so I'll stick with my Formosan stash. How many grams of tea would you say you place in that little brown yixing?

Love that teapot!
 
Nice post Joel. As a convert to the fragrant oolongs and jasmine's of Taiwan. I share your appreciation for Chinese tea, but for now Pu-erh is a bit pricey for me so I'll stick with my Formosan stash. How many grams of tea would you say you place in that little brown yixing?

Love that teapot!

I always go overboard.... i'd say probably at least 10, likely 12. It doesn't look like much in the pics, but there isn't much room for water in that little yixing when I fill 'er up :lol:

As an aside - if you know what to buy, pu-erh can be very inexpensive and since it can hold up to more steepings than most oolongs/jasmine's - it'd likely be a wash, or less expensive for you. I have some fancy/expensive yixing's - but the one in the picture is a very inexpensive $12 one I am testing out/experimenting with to recruit as a work rig, and it seems to be quite decent. I'll have to post some pics of my neat vintage yixings.
 
What a fine thread. The photos are enough to make me thirsty. :chinese:

Nice! I love tea ceremonies. My wife is from Beijing and every time we're there we get a few new tea sets. Our nicest one looks like a garden hand carved from rose wood. :001_smile

Have you been to Maliandao? (directly south of the West Train Station). If not, you have a treat in store!


I always go overboard.... i'd say probably at least 10, likely 12. It doesn't look like much in the pics, but there isn't much room for water in that little yixing when I fill 'er up :lol:

Sir, you really do use lots of leaves! Look at that pile up there. Nice work! *Nervous twitch*


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

P.s. Pu'er can be as cheap as chips! You can easily get a good 2008 cake for <$20.
 
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I do similar prep with my shisha :)

The more area you get, the better infusion/combustion you have. :)

I need to get more into pu-erh.
 
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Very nice job Joel, short, simple and to the point. I can't wait for my yixing to arrive now. I'm like a little kid only days away from Christmas. Thanks...
 
...As a convert to the fragrant oolongs and jasmine's of Taiwan ... Pu-erh is a bit pricey for me so I'll stick with my Formosan stash. ...
Hmmm. Depends on the tea.

Let's say you get an acceptable 400g bing/brick for (say) $50. $50 gives you a wide range of Pu-erh options; many good bricks/bings can be had for much less.

Assume a healthy 7g tea serving size.
That's 400g/7g/serving ~= 57 servings, at ~ 88&#162; per serving.

And if you get 5 infusions (conservative, I think), that's less than 18&#162; per infusion.

Perhaps more expensive that the most cost-effective oolong/jasmine teas, but in the ballpark of (or cheaper than) many better Formosan oolongs (e.g. - Bai Hao oolong).

- Richard
 
Hi Joel,

Great post and while I have been drinking pu-erh for some time, it appears I have been doing it all wrong.:eek:

One question though; as the pu-erh is quite potent can you leave a couple of hours or so in between steepings? Have not tried it obviously but does the pu-erh become bitter or should it be OK?

Cheers,

Adam
 

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Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
Nice post, Joel.

All of this talk about the Yiwu Zhengshan Bulang arbor brick made me thirsty, so I just pulled the trigger on one. Puerh Shop only has two left, and I'll be damned if I get left out in the reain on this one.

Also picked up a Xiaguan Tibetan flame brick, thanks to Dave's review. Now all I need is a nanostrainer and a yak.
 
Assume a healthy 7g tea serving size.
That's 400g/7g/serving ~= 57 servings, at ~ 88&#162; per serving.
And if you get 5 infusions (conservative, I think), that's less than 18&#162; per infusion.
Perhaps more expensive that the most cost-effective oolong/jasmine teas, but in the ballpark of (or cheaper than) many better Formosan oolongs (e.g. - Bai Hao oolong).

Yeah, it probably is a wash price wise. Infact, my good Taiwan stuff is probably more expensive in comparison because now, I would have to order and ship to Hawaii versus pick up on site from the local shop in-country. Even in Taiwan the stuff can get pricey. I think I'll be investigating the pu-erh threads a bit more.

Mahalo nui loa.
 
Nice post, Joel.

All of this talk about the Yiwu Zhengshan Bulang arbor brick made me thirsty, so I just pulled the trigger on one. Puerh Shop only has two left, and I'll be damned if I get left out in the reain on this one.

Also picked up a Xiaguan Tibetan flame brick, thanks to Dave's review. Now all I need is a nanostrainer and a yak.

With all the bricks you've been buying, you could repave your driveway again! :lol:
 
Nice post, Joel.

All of this talk about the Yiwu Zhengshan Bulang arbor brick made me thirsty, so I just pulled the trigger on one. Puerh Shop only has two left, and I'll be damned if I get left out in the reain on this one.

Also picked up a Xiaguan Tibetan flame brick, thanks to Dave's review. Now all I need is a nanostrainer and a yak.

Same here. I have no idea what to expect from it, though.
 
Hi Joel,

Great post and while I have been drinking pu-erh for some time, it appears I have been doing it all wrong.:eek:

One question though; as the pu-erh is quite potent can you leave a couple of hours or so in between steepings? Have not tried it obviously but does the pu-erh become bitter or should it be OK?

Cheers,

Adam

Adam,
It depends on the tea - but typically I find it doesn't have a deleterious affect.
 
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