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The different features between Raw Pu’er or Ripe Pu’er

Raw Pu’erRipe Pu’er
Appearance Colourblueish green and deep green are the main colour; some part of tea leaves can turn into yellow red and the tea buds are white.The main colour is black or red brown. Some of the tea buds are dark goldenrod.
TasteStrong taste; very fresh with a scene of wild forest aroma, a pleasant bitterness at the first sip transforms into a long-lasting, sweet aftertaste within 20-30 seconds. Combined a scent of floral aroma. With some aged Pu’er, you will also be attracted by its unique Chen fragrance.Very mellow, very gentle, with an earthy / woody and floral aroma, combined with very strong and impressive sweet aftertaste. The taste is smooth, without bitterness. With some aged Pu’er, you will also be attracted by its unique Chen fragrance.
Tea SoupThe tea soup is pure and clear without any impurity. The colour is bright yellow golden or apricot yellow colour.The tea soup is pure and clear without any impurity. The colour is wine red amber colour, like a wine-red agate.
Brewed Tea LeavesTea leaves are yellow green or dark green. Tea leaves are more pliable.Tea leaves are reddish brown, dark brown or black. Tea leaves are hard and fragile.

Steeping, Brewing and Serving

Pu’er is a worldwide well-known Chinese tea produced in the Yunnan province of China. It is a particular post-fermented tea. It uses sun-dried Shaiqinmao tea leaves (Yunnan big-leaf variety) as material and then processed or pressed into different shapes, including loose-leaf Pu’er tea and tight-pressed Pu’er. Among many tea wares, we recommend you use (Yixing) Clay Teapot and Gaiwan to brew this most characteristic Chinese tea. The clay teapot used to brew Pu’er tea in Gongfu style is specific tiny whose volume is normally around 100ml – 200ml. Or you can also brew it by using normal-sized Teapot with more tea leaves.

For simple glass vessel/teapot brewing:

You can brew fewer tea leaves with more hot water for longer brewing time. Use 2 teaspoons of the tea for 125ml teacup, 4 teaspoons for 250ml glass or 8 teaspoons for 500ml teapot. Using 100°C hot water to infuse tea leaves for around 3-4 minutes. Re-steep for around 6-7 times. Adjust it according to personal taste.

For Gongfu Style: (Recommend using (Yixing) Clay Teapot and Gaiwan)

  • Warm the Gaiwan/tiny teapot with hot water; discard the water afterwards
  • Add 1g Pu’er tea for every 50ml of water (recommend 7g-10g tea leaves, adjust by personal taste)
  • Pour hot water (100 °C) into the clay teapot / Gaiwan, tilt it, slowly rotating it two times and quickly discard the water (this step is for waking up tea leaves and stimulating the special aroma of the Pu’er tea)
  • Refill clay teapot/Gaiwan with hot water
  • Infuse tea for around 10s – 20s for the first brew, extending extra 20s infusion time for the following brew.
  • Pour the steeped tea into serving cup and divided into small teacups and serve
  • Repeat 8-15 times depends on personal taste.

Storage of Pu’erh Tea

There are several things should be avoided:

  • Avoid direct sunshine. Sunshine will break the chlorophyll down into pheophytin and amino acids inside Pu’er will also be damaged by ultraviolet light. If Pu’er tea is stored in a transparent glass container, exposure to sunshine will have a very bad effect on its quality. Therefore, please keep it inside a dark cabinet.
  • Avoid moisture. Like any other fried food, oxygen and moisture are the biggest threats to Pu’er tea. The moist affects the flavour and quality of the tea leaves a lot. Tea will even go mouldy if it is not stored properly. Please store it in a dry ventilated place. Do not store in the place such as a bathroom or cabinet beside a dishwasher.
  • Avoid odour. Tea leaves can absorb the different odour easily; therefore, when you store the Pu’er tea please make sure it is isolated with other smelly things. Kitchen cabinets are not an ideal place for storing oolong tea.
  • Avoid very high temperature.

Does not like other tea, Pu’er is a typical post-fermented tea. The taste of it will differ while the time goes by, especially the ‘Chen’ fragrance will only be developed when it aged for several years. Therefore, the surrounding of storing Pu’er will affect the quality of Pu’er very a lot. Pu’er should be kept at a naturally ventilated, dark, dry and odour-free place, and better to be wrapped with zip lock bag.

Read More About Pu'erh Tea