How to brew pu- erh tea: From Traditional To Modern Method

If you are a tea lover, surely you are no stranger to and want to know how to brew pu-erh tea. It’s one of the most mysterious teas out there. Different from all other teas, Pu-erh is a fully oxidized tea that has been fermented and matured over time.

This Yunnan Province tea comes from the beautiful region of southern China and offers an earthy, smooth, unique, and complex flavor. Plus, it has a captivating, bold color when brewed.

Quotes of tea at Today

“Black Puerh Tea was invented by Kunming Tea Factory in 1972/73 and was manufactured in Xia-Guan Tea Factory ever since 1976. It is now manufactured in many different factories and is by far the most popular type of puerh sold.“

How to brew pu erh tea cakes and bricks

Pu-erh tea comes in two main varieties: Ripe and raw pu-erh. Ripe pu-erh, also known as Shu Cha Pu-erh, is more common and has been aged and fermented. This Pu-erh tea is dark, rich, and full-bodied, offering a complex and intense flavor with a smooth and elegant character. On the other hand, we have the raw Pu-erh, which is lighter and softer. It has a subtle sweetness and is often found in pastry form.

pu-erh tea how to brew

Ripe cakes

Ripe Pu-erh is a sign that these fermented tea leaves are old, just like loose leaf Pu-erh and offering to wrap. If you want to bake a cooked Pu-erh, follow these simple steps:

  • Start by boiling clean, filtered water (212℉).
  • Preheat the gaiwan or teapot by pouring boiling water into the cup and then discarding the water. This can be done by pouring water from the teapot into your cup.
  • Put a teaspoon of tea leaves in a teapot and pour 8-10 ounces of water directly over the leaves.
  • Let the leaves soak for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, place a filter on your cup and pour the tea through it to catch all the leaves.
  • Scoop the tea out of the teapot and enjoy. Remember not to let the tea leaves in your teapot continue to steep.*

* You can also use a filter inside your teapot instead of straining the leaves while pouring for less effort. This prevents the leaves from continuing to soak in the pot. Find a filter that fits inside your teapot, soak the leaves in it for 5 minutes, and then remove the filter.

Raw cakes

how to brew pu-erh tea

Raw Pu-erh is known for its delicate and smooth flavors. For pu-erh tea brewing time, it’s best to treat it like a green or white tea to maintain its quality. Here’s a simple guide to brewing raw Pu-erh:

  • Start by bringing fresh, filtered water to a pu-erh tea brewing temperature of about 190℉. This is slightly lower than boiling.
  • Dislodge about one teaspoon of the Pu-erh cake and place it in your brewing vessel.
  • Let the tea steep for approximately 3 minutes. Be mindful to stay within this time to avoid the tea becoming coarse and sharp.
  • After the steeping time, discard the tea leaves.
  • Now, sit back and enjoy your cup of raw Pu-erh, savoring its unique flavors and aromas.

Using lower-temperature water and a shorter steeping time ensures a delightful and satisfying experience with your raw Pu-erh tea.

Sachets pu erh tea how to brew

How to make pu-erh tea sachets

– Start by placing a packet of Pu-erh in your cup.

(you can preheat the cup by pouring some boiling water into the cup and then pouring the water away)

Next, heat some water to about 195 degrees F (90 degrees C).

When ready, gently pour hot water into the cup along with the tea bag.

– Let the tea infuse for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the tea reaches your desired strength.

When the time is up, take out the packet and enjoy your delicious cup of tea!

If you’re using a small 8-ounce cup, you can adjust the soaking time to your liking. You can even get a second or third cup from the same pack!

Alternatively, use a teacup if you prefer a larger cup of tea. That way, you can add more water to suit your taste.

How to brew loose leaf pu- erh

how to make pu erh tea

Now, how to brew pu-erh tea brick with loose leaf? Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to brewing loose leaf pu- erh:

  • Start by bringing fresh, filtered water to a boil. You’ll want it to reach around 212℉ (100℃).
  • If you like, you can preheat your cup by pouring boiling water into it and then discarding the water. This helps to ensure your tea stays hot for longer. Just pour water from a teapot into your cups and then empty it.
  • Measure your tea leaves. As a general guideline, we recommend using about one teaspoon (3 grams) of loose-leaf tea for every 8-10 ounces of water. Feel free to adjust the amount based on your taste preference.
  • Place the measured tea leaves into your teapot and pour about 8-10 ounces of hot water directly over the leaves. The hot water will start extracting the flavors from the tea.
  • Allow the leaves to steep for approximately 5 minutes. This gives them enough time to infuse the water with their exquisite flavors.
  • After 5 minutes, place a basket strainer over your cup and carefully pour the tea through it. This will catch any tea leaves, ensuring a smooth and leaf-free cup of tea.
  • Enjoy the delicious brew from your teapot and relish every sip. But don’t forget to watch those tea leaves – over-steeping can turn your tea bitter, so be sure to strain them out before it’s too late!

If you’d like to enjoy a leisurely pot of tea without worrying about the leaves steeping too long, here’s an alternative approach:

To get the ideal Pu-erh tea benefits, instead of straining the leaves while pouring, use a filter inside your teapot. Find a suitable filter to rest inside your teapot, place the tea leaves inside the filter, and steep them within it. After the 5-minute steeping time, remove the filter, and your tea is ready to be served.

The traditional Chinese tea method offers a sophisticated and authentic brewing experience. It involves using standard tools and techniques passed down through generations. This method allows you to experience China’s tea culture.

On the other hand, the modern Western method provides a more accessible way for newcomers to enjoy the taste of Pu’er tea. You don’t need any specialized tools or extensive knowledge to get started.

Both methods have their appeal and advantages, so you can choose the way that suits you best.

Read More: What is pu erh tea? Let’s find out.

The Traditional Chinese Method

When it comes to making Pu-erh tea, you can take two main approaches: traditional Chinese and modern Western.

The traditional Chinese method offers a sophisticated and authentic brewing experience. But, how long to brew pu-erh tea involves using standard tools and techniques passed down through generations. This method allows you to experience China’s tea culture.

Ingredients and Tools:

  • 3-4 grams Pu-erh tea
  • Brewing vessel with tea filter
  • Serving pitcher
  • Tea cups

How to Brew

Now, are you wondering how to make pu-erh tea taste better? And how much pu-erh tea to use? To prepare using the traditional approach, gather around 5 grams of Pu Erh tea flakes, which should be carefully broken off from a Pu Erh cake. 

  1. Start by rinsing and warming up your tea set with hot water. Pour hot water into the tea pitcher, pot, and tea cups. Please give it a gentle swirl, and then pour out the water.
  2. Place the tea leaves in the teapot and pour some hot water. Use just enough water to cover the leaves. Swirl it for 2 to 3 seconds, then pour the water. Remember not to discard the wet tea leaves.
  3. If you’re brewing ripe pu-erh tea, repeat the rinse of the tea leaves one more time. However, if you’re brewing raw pu-erh tea, you can skip this step and move on to the next one.
  4. Fill the teapot with hot water at around 195 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Cover the pot with the lid and pour hot water on the top.
  6. After waiting 10 to 20 seconds, you’ll notice that the water on the lid has dried up. Once the top is dry, pour the tea into the tea cups. Now, it’s time to enjoy!

Using the traditional brewing method, you can brew pu-erh tea for ten infusions or even more. Add 5 to 10 seconds to the steeping time for each additional information.

Enjoy your journey of brewing and savoring pu-erh tea!

The Western Method

This brewing method is perfect for those new to pu-erh tea or simply want an easy way to make a cup.

Ingredients and Tools:

To brew your Pu-erh tea, you’ll need the following:

  • 3-4 grams of Pu-erh tea
  • A large teapot
  • A tea infuser
  • A tea scoop
  • A tea kettle

How to Brew:

  1. Use a tea scoop to portion out the appropriate loose tea leaves. If you’re using the best Pu Erh tea cake, use a small pick or spoon to remove 3 to 4 grams of compressed tea for every 8 ounces of water.
  2. Place the Pu Erh tea in a tea infuser. You can use a tea kettle with a built-in filter, a tea basket, a frame-style tea infuser, and a regular kettle.
  3.  Rinse the Pu-erh leaves thoroughly with hot water. It’s important to remember to pour enough water to cover the leaves. Swirl the hot water around for 3 seconds and then discard it.
  4.  Repeat the rinsing of Pu Erh tea leaves once more.
  5. Heat the water in a tea kettle or stove until it reaches 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the hot water into a teacup and place the tea infuser with Pu Erh leaves in the cup. Avoid using boiling water as it can result in a bitter taste.
  6.  The steeping time for Pu Erh tea is typically 2 to 4 minutes. Steep it for two minutes and taste it every 30 seconds to find your preferred flavour.

How long to brew pu-erh tea?

Different brewing times will bring different flavours and colours of tea. Soak for two minutes and taste every 30 seconds to find your favourite flavour. However, according to the experience of enjoying tea since ancient times, the most appropriate time to steep pu-erh tea is usually from 2 to 4 minutes.

How to make pu-erh tea taste better?

Here are some ways to make pu-erh tea taste better:

  • Chrysanthemum flowers are the most commonly used ingredients to mix with pu-erh tea.
  • Fruits such as goji berries and jujubes are also highly recommended for brewing both ripe and raw pu-erh tea.
  • Nuo Mi Xiang herb has a delightful sticky rice flavor that helps smooth out and enhance the taste of ripe and raw pu-erh tea. 

How to drink pu-erh tea

First and foremost, always take a moment to appreciate your pu-erh tea before you drink it. The ritual of drinking tea is just as important as the tea itself. Observe the rich color of the brew and take a moment to inhale the unique, earthy aroma. It’s a moment to pause and be present, enriching the overall experience.

Next, when sipping your pu-erh tea, remember – it’s not a race. Take small, slow sips and let the tea roll over your tongue. This allows you to fully experience the complex flavor profile pu-erh tea has to offer. It’s a symphony of tastes, and each sip is a different movement.

Furthermore, pu-erh tea goes well with meals. The powerful taste profile stands up to a wide range of foods. It goes especially well with rich, spicy cuisine since the tea cleanses the tongue and enhances the taste of the food. So, the next time you have a big dinner, opt for a pu-erh tea.

To have a delicious cup of Pu Erh tea taste, the stage of brewing and brewing tea is crucial. Through this article, making and making tea will become easier for you.

The above instructions are written from Shanna Smith. Member of