The different features between Raw Pu’er or Ripe Pu’er
|Raw Pu’er||Ripe Pu’er|
|Appearance Colour||blueish-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.|
|Taste||Strong 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.||Very mellow, very gentle, with an earthy/woody and floral aroma, combined with a very strong and impressive sweet aftertaste. The taste is smooth, without bitterness.|
|Tea Soup||The tea soup is pure and clear without any impurity. The colour is a 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 Leaves||Tea 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
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 afterward
- 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 an 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 if you want your pu-erh tea’s taste to last long:
- 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.
Frequently asked questions about pu'erh tea
Frequently asked questions about pu'erh tea
What are the benefits of drinking Pu’erh tea?
Drinking Pu’erh tea regularly helps to boost the immune system, lower cholesterol and reduce damage caused by free radicals. Research has also shown that it helps the body digest fats and lipids to loose weight. This makes it a useful tool for managing the symptoms of metabolic syndrome. If metabolic syndrome runs in your family, drinking Pu’erh regularly may reduce the risk of developing the syndrome.
Does Pu’erh contain caffeine?
Yes! Natural teas contain caffeine. A typical 8 oz serving of Pu’erh tea contains between 30-40 milligrams of caffeine. This is more than green tea but less than black tea.
Does Pu’erh tea taste bitter?
The taste of the tea will depend on the way it has been processed by the tea master. Lightly processed tea takes on mellow, floral tones, while a heavily processed tea will display more earthy, woody characteristics. Sometimes different leaves can be blended to create more complex flavours. So it’s best to try a few varieties to find one you like.
Does Pu’erh tea contain probiotics?
Because Pu’erh tea is fermented during the production process, it contains many probiotic qualities. These help to boost the immune system and keep the digestive tract healthy. The precise number of probiotics the tea contains will depend on how the leaves were fermented.
Can I drink Pu’erh tea every day?
Yes! Pu’erh tea is safe to drink every day. Generally speaking, most healthy adults can drink up to 5 cups of Pu’erh tea each day without experiencing side effects. While children can safely consume up 2 cups per day.
However, the beverages’ caffeine content may cause complications for adults with an underlying medical condition. Caution should, therefore, be exercised if you are pregnant or have one of the following medical conditions:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Osteoporosis (weak bones)
- Anxiety disorder
- Bleeding disorder
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
If you suffer from any of the above medical conditions or are currently taking prescribed or over the counter medicines, always consult your doctor before drinking Pu’erh tea.
Is it safe to drink Pu’erh tea before bedtime?
For a late-night beverage, we recommend drinking an aged or fermented tea such as Ripe Pu’erh which is mild and has lower caffeine content. This will provide most of the benefits of Pu’erh without disrupting your sleep pattern.
Can Pu’erh tea be drunk cold?
Yes! Pu’erh tea can be drunk hot or cold. However, if you are suffering from an upset stomach, it is best to drink it warm.
Can Pu’erh tea be used to combat high blood pressure?
Pu’erh tea has many health benefits including reducing cholesterol and preventing cardiovascular disease. However, there aren’t any specific studies which show it can be used to lower blood pressure. The other health benefits of the beverage may prevent high blood pressure from developing in the first place though. This makes it a healthier alternative to coffee which can raise blood pressure.
I don’t like the taste of Pu’erh tea, how can I improve it?
Pu’erh tea is certainly strong and may not suit everyone’s palate. However, there are a few things you can do to improve the taste using your own recipe. Start by shortening the steeping time to around a minute for a large teapot (10-20 seconds for a cup or gaiwan bowl). This should help bring out the finer characteristics of the leaves. Alternatively, try introducing flavours using flowers, herbs or dried fruits.