Brewing Pu-erh Tea in the Traditional Chinese Method
In preparation for brewing your Pu-erh tea in the traditional Chinese way, you will need to gather several materials, which include your gaiwan, or covered bowl, which is used to hold the tea and brew the tea leaves in. You will also need what is called a “fair cup” which you will pour the brewed Pu-erh tea into before serving it into your teacups, which you will need as well. Finally you will need yourloose-leaf-pu-er tea leaves.
To begin, place your Pu-erh tea into your gaiwan, adding approximately 5 grams of Pu-erh tea leaves or tea flakes to the covered bowl.
In brewing Pu-erh tea, the temperature of the water is especially important when brewing Pu-erh tea in the traditional Chinese method. Be sure that your water is at or around 212 ℉, and begin by washing or rinsing the tea leaves with that water first to wet the tea and rinse away any impurities gathered from production or storage. It is important to rinse your tea leaves first when brewing Pu-erh tea, so that you can “wake up” the true flavor of the Pu-erh. The liquor itself is a bright red-brown color which is clear and very deeply mellow and earthy. You will notice with each re-brewing of the leaves, the brewed tea will change its character and flavor with each cup, and your Pu-erh leaves can be re-brewed many different times, each resulting in a slightly different cup of tea.
After rinsing your Pu-erh tea, use hot water to warm and rinse your tools for brewing the tea, including your gaiwan, fair cup and tea cups. By simply rinsing them in hot water, you will wash away any dirt or impurities, and pre-warm the cup for the best brewing of your tea.
After rinsing your Pu-erh tea leaves and pre-warming your utensils, you are ready to brew your Pu-erh tea. Using water that is at about 212 ℉, pour approximately 100 milliliters of water into your gaiwan and wait only 15 seconds before the tea is properly brewed.
Once your tea has been brewed, pour the brewed Pu-erh tea into the fair cup while straining out the tea leaves and keeping them for re-brewing. Then pour your brewed tea from the fair cup into each teacup equally to enjoy with friends or guests.