Brew Times/Strategy with Compressed Puer

Puerh and other heicha
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Noonie
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:30 pm
Location: Canada

Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:18 pm

I got to the end of a 25g sample of a 2010 Sheng and the last 5g was very tightly compressed. Previous tastings I would use flash brews for the first five steeps as the tea was so strong. Not so with this piece that took like 8 steeps to really separate. I was all over the map with steep times, trying to dial it in. As I thought about it I got more unsure what to do...the leaves that separate early are getting fully engulfed in water each steep, while the leaves still compressed are waiting to release their nectar. Help for next time!
gatmcm
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Location: Portugal
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Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:45 pm

I dont flash steep puerh, I dont find it benefits it much, if it is very compressed I give it an extra long first steep, like one minute or so then shorten it to taste for the following ones
DailyTX
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:43 pm
Location: Northern California

Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:50 pm

Noonie wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:18 pm
I got to the end of a 25g sample of a 2010 Sheng and the last 5g was very tightly compressed. Previous tastings I would use flash brews for the first five steeps as the tea was so strong. Not so with this piece that took like 8 steeps to really separate. I was all over the map with steep times, trying to dial it in. As I thought about it I got more unsure what to do...the leaves that separate early are getting fully engulfed in water each steep, while the leaves still compressed are waiting to release their nectar. Help for next time!
@Noonie
I typically would rinse the leaves with boiling water for in the pot about 5-10 seconds. Let the tea sit in the pot for 15 minutes or so before brewing the first cup. The heat and water left behind should be enough to loosen the tea leaves.
Another method I learned from a tea shop owner is once you get to the center of a cake that is tightly compressed, put it out in a dry environment and allow the tea naturally loosen. I was also told the center doesn’t taste as good as the edge due to differences in fermentation...not sure how true is the second part. Good luck!
mrmopu
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Location: Blacksburg Va.
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Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:25 am

I agree with DailyTx. Let that tea sit a while to allow the water to penetrate the tea.
.m.
Posts: 276
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:26 pm
Location: Brno / Montreal

Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:52 am

It may not be possible in this case, but otherwise you may also go for a mix of bigger chunks and smaller ones/separate leaves. Let the loose one power the early infusions, later the bigger chunks will kick in.
Noonie
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:30 pm
Location: Canada

Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:35 pm

.m. wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:52 am
It may not be possible in this case, but otherwise you may also go for a mix of bigger chunks and smaller ones/separate leaves. Let the loose one power the early infusions, later the bigger chunks will kick in.
That’s been my strategy so far, but all I had left was a bigger chunk. All good though, as online learning about tea.
.m.
Posts: 276
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:26 pm
Location: Brno / Montreal

Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:52 pm

Noonie wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:35 pm
That’s been my strategy so far, but all I had left was a bigger chunk. All good though, as online learning about tea.
In that case either as others suggested, or throw the whole chunk into a big pot or a thermos and let steep it for like an hour - it can make for an interesting brew.
t-curious
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:22 pm
Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:09 pm

What I do in those situations is do a normal rinse and then start the next steep right away. Wait about a minute or so, and then pour a bit in my teacup and see where it's at taste wise. Once it's close to where I want, I dump into my pitcher and drink. Another strategy, when I'm using a gaiwan I'll poke at the lump with the lid and judge and how it's opening, and the color of the liquor.
aet
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:56 pm
Location: Kunming ( China )

Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:19 pm

hard pressed teas we usually wash 2-3 times . Quick rinse with less water ( to not waste much water ). So put the piece into the gaiwan and pour the water just cover the chunk ( don't pour up to the rim ). Take a half minute rest between the pourings. Don't use longer infusion to loosen the tight leafs , it's going to just make bitter tea. For hard pressed teas need patience.
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