What is Pu-erh Tea?
Pu-erh or Pu’er is a variety of fermented tea traditionally produced in Yunnan Province, China. In the context of traditional Chinese tea production terminology, fermentation refers to microbial fermentation (called ‘wet piling’) and is typically applied after the tea leaves have been sufficiently dried and rolled.
Ancient cultures brewed pu-erh tea at temperatures higher than herbal teas. Set your water temperature to approximately 212 degrees F when preparing your tea. If that doesn’t work for you, then take up America’s way of brewing by using a teapot. Otherwise, traditional Asian cultures used a gaiwan, or a bowl with a lid, to brew their tea. This version of brewing produces a more flavorful taste in comparison to the American way. Here below is a step-by-step guide for brewing Pu-erh Tea.
Step-by-Step Guide for Brewing Pu-erh Tea
Step 1: Preparation
Pu-erh tea can be obtained from your markets as a loose leaf, a solid brick, a solid cake, or a solid ball. The loose leaf is prepared as you would any other herbal tea with a loose-leaf. Otherwise, finely separate the leaf from solid bricks, cakes, or balls depending on the amount that you want to brew. A good rule of thumb is to use 1 gram of pu-erh tea for every 15 millimeters of water.
Step 2: Rinse Your Leaves
Start first by rinsing the tea with hot water. To do this, place the tea in your teapot or vessel and add just enough water to cover the leaves. Immediately pour out the water. Rinsing the pu-erh tea leaves allows the leaf to open and results in a smoother taste.
Step 3: Steep Your Leaves
The American method of brewing pu-erh tea should be steeped for 3-4 minutes. This method typically yields 2-3 servings. In the Asian way, the leaves should be steeped incrementally for 10 seconds at a time. This means that your first steep should take only 10 seconds, whereas your second steep should take 20 seconds. This method typically yields 6-8 servings.
Enjoy the Health Benefits of Pu-Erh Tea
There are many different ways to brew pu-erh tea that will lead to different tastes and aromas. Depending on how you brew your tea, it can be fruity, earthy, musky, or even peaty in flavor. Pu-erh tea is often referred to as a pronounced, full flavor that goes down easily. It’s a great tea as far as taste goes, and the health benefits make it an amazing option.
Please keep in mind that these health benefits are not guaranteed to rid you of any cancers or serious illnesses, although studies have proven their many health benefits. As modern medicine and University studies begin to uncover the scientific advantages of pu-erh tea, ancient Chinese cultures have proven that these teas work in treating a number of different health-related issues. So fire up your stove and brew a delicious serving of pu-erh tea and enjoy the flavor profiles that it has to offer while benefiting from the antioxidants and other beneficial properties.