The small bowl shape Pu-erhs are one of the most well known and widely created, as it is conveniently portioned and ready to steep. This new batch from Menghai is exceptional, with a smooth butter like consistency, coating your palate with a rich, sweet earthy aftertaste. Each piece is approximately 5 gms, perfect for one teapot or gaiwan serving.
Pu-erhs difference in flavor comes from an additional step in processing. After picking the leaves, the tea maker creates a maocha, or sundried base tea. Once that's done, the tea undergoes a micro-fermentation process. Once this fermentation has been accomplished the leaves are aged, then packed or steamed and pressed into bricks or cakes. These teas also improve with age some prized pu-erh teas can be over 50 years old. There are stores throughout Asia, that specialize in selling only pu-erh teas and the range -- in style, quality, and price -- is astounding. People will pay thousands of dollars for rare pu-erh teas that are 30 years old and up.
How to brew pu-erh tea:
When the bricks are extremely tightly pressed it is best to use a strong knife to carefully pry out some leaves. The technique that works best is to insert the knife into the edge of the brick and then gently twist it up and down until the leaves loosen and flake off.Add about 3-4 grams per serving of tea (the amount depends upon type of pu-erh) to your teapot or gaiwan.Add hot boiling water at a full rolling boil -- it's the only tea that should be made with boiling water.Always pre-wash the leaves with a brief 5-10 second infusion to awaken the leaves. Then pour off the liquid.Steep
for 2-3 minutes. Once the tea seems ready. pour and taste it. If
necessary, adjust the steeping time for a stronger taste. The Tibetans
are famous for brewing their pu-erh teas overnight to make their famous
Soo Jah (Yak Butter and Salt Tea).
teas also have a lot of medical lore surrounding them. In China they
are considered beneficial for lowering cholesterol, fighting hangovers,
and aiding digestion.
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