Proper tea ceremony is a sophisticated art. Especially when it comes to making such an exquisite drink as Puer tea. In itself, the raw material for it is valued today in its weight in gold. And this is not surprising, because Pu-erh undergoes a very long processing, thanks to which it acquires excellent taste qualities. However, they can easily be lost if you brew Pu-erh in the usual way, not paying attention to the subtleties and nuances that have been formed over the centuries during the real Chinese tea ceremony, which is called Gonfu and has more than 12 centuries.
How to brew puer tea correctly
First you need to take care of special dishes, which should be made of clay and coated with glaze. For the Gonfu ceremony today, you can pick up a kettle and cups without much difficulty, even if they are made from raw materials mined in central Russia. The main thing is that the teapot itself is relatively small and includes about 110-120 ml of water. Such a small amount is due to the fact that Pu-erh tea is brewed only for one cup. Therefore, if you like to receive guests, then you need to take care of a few miniature kettles. However, the problem can be solved in a simpler way if you purchase a special gaiwan tea set. It consists of a clay cup without a handle, a lid with which it is covered, and a saucer. In this case, Pu-erh can be brewed right in the cup, which does not go against Chinese traditions, although it is considered to be a bad form. After all, in this way only those who can not boast of wealth are made tea, and this division of traditions goes back centuries. However, during the reign of the Ming dynasty, such discrepancies in the tea ceremony were smoothed, and today only pedants pay attention to what kind of dishes this tea is brewed. Unlike other varieties , Pu-erh goes on sale in the form of pressed flat cakes, which can be stored for decades, without losing their beneficial properties and amazing flavor. In order to brew such a tea, you will additionally need to acquire a special miniature knife with a sharp end, with the help of which you should carefully separate the tea leaves, trying not to wrinkle them and not to damage them. Then you need to calculate the amount of tea per brew. It is considered that to achieve the ideal ratio of strength, aroma and beneficial properties of Pu-erh should be brewed at the rate of 1 g of tea per 30 ml of water. Thus, a standard Chinese teapot or a cup from a gaiwan set will need about 4 grams of pu-erh tea.
Before proceeding to the tea ceremony, you should rinse all the dishes with boiling water, then pour the measured amount of puerh into a cup or teapot and fill it with water, the temperature of which is approximately + 80-95 degrees. After waiting no more than 15 seconds, the water should be poured, as the first tea leaves, according to the tea ceremony, are never used. It is believed that this way Puer is cleaned not only from possible dust and dirt, but also from harmful substances contained in the leaves. But the second brew is suitable for drinking and has all the necessary qualities of Pu-erh - tartness, moderate viscosity, aroma and amazing taste. However, all these properties will be characteristic of tea only if it is filled with water, the temperature of which is + 80-85 degrees. At the same time, the brewing time of Pu-er should not exceed 1, 5-2 minutes. However, it is determined on an individual basis, because someone really likes a very tart and strong drink, and someone prefers a light and toning Pu-Erh with a mild flavor and a rich range of floral aromas. In this case, you should pay attention to another subtlety. If you want to enhance the taste of pu-erh, then it should be brewed in a pot, in which only the outer part is covered with glaze, and the insides remain clay. Moreover, such a cup or kettle should be used only for Pu-erh. Over time, the clay will absorb the unique aroma of this drink and will paint each portion of puer with a special, very rich and noble taste. You can brew real pu-er up to 10-12 times. In addition, each new portion of the drink will have a slightly different taste and aroma. However, it should be borne in mind that with each time, the time of brewing will have to be increased so that the drink has time to properly brew and gain strength. True connoisseurs of Pu-erh drink it without any additives, without using sugar and milk, as they believe that this impairs the taste of the drink. However, if you wish, you can add some natural honey to the tea, which will give the puerh a very delicate and refined aroma. In addition, it is allowed to use chocolate or chocolates, any dried fruits, sweet and salty nuts, as well as baking, cakes and cookies during the tea ceremony.