Puerh Tea Cake brewing, also known as brewing Puerh “Iron Discs,” can indeed be a bit challenging due to its tightly compressed form. Here are three tips to help you brew it correctly:
1. Loosen and Divide the Tea: Iron Disc Pu-erh tea is tightly pressed, so it’s crucial to first loosen and divide the tea into smaller pieces. This will help the tea leaves dissolve more evenly and ensure a consistent taste.
2. Control Water Pouring: The temperature, speed, and manner in which you pour water in and out can significantly affect the quality of the tea. Avoid pouring water too quickly or too slowly. A moderate and steady pour is ideal. This ensures that the tea’s aroma remains stable and not mixed with unwanted flavors.
3. Balance Soaking and Brewing: Find a balance between soaking the tea leaves and brewing them. This balance helps preserve the tea’s aroma and extend its presence throughout the brewing process.
Here’s a specific brewing process for Iron Disc Pu-erh tea using a Gaiwan:
Puerh Tea Cake Brewing Process
Brewing Wares: Gaiwan, fair cup, instant brew, tea tasting cup, and tea towels
Recommended Tea-to-Water Ratio: 7 grams of tea to 100 ml of water (adjust as needed)
Decanting with Low Temperature
- Use water at 50-70 degrees Celsius (122-158 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Slowly pour the water from approximately 3 cm above the edge of the Gaiwan.
- Pour the water around the wall of the Gaiwan until it’s about half full. This should take about 5 seconds.
- Allow the tea leaves to soak for about 30 seconds.
- Pour the tea out into the fair cup.
Note: After pouring the tea, let it sit for 30 seconds before proceeding to the next step. This allows the water to slowly penetrate the tea leaves, which is better for brewing.
Warming Up with High Temperatures
- Use water at 90-95 degrees Celsius (194-203 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Slowly pour the water into the Gaiwan until it’s 80-90 percent full. This step should take about 8-10 seconds.
- Immediately put the lid back on the Gaiwan and pour the water out into the fair cup.
Brewing with High Temperatures
- Use boiling water that has just boiled.
- Slowly pour the boiling water into the Gaiwan in the same spot for 8-10 seconds.
- Allow the tea leaves to soak in the water for another 8-10 seconds.
- Pour all the water out.
Note: When pouring out the water, do it slowly and gently rather than quickly and forcefully. After 3 or 4 rounds, you can adjust the soaking time based on your taste preferences, extending it by 5-10 seconds if desired.
Puerh Tea Cake Brewing Tips
Gaiwans are ideal for brewing this type of tea because they make it easier to pour water out. During the first 4 rounds of brewing, you can use boiling water without the lid. Each round should take about 10 seconds. This allows you to quickly assess the tea’s quality.
In summary, mastering the three techniques of decanting with low temperature, warming up with high temperature, and brewing with high temperature will make brewing Iron Disc Puerh tea much easier and more enjoyable.