How to brew raw puer using the swirling water flowing method?
The difference between raw puer and fermented puer, just like the name, is that one is fermented, and the other is unfermented. Puer tea is made from one kind of camellia sinensis plant in Yunnan Province, China. In Chinese, we call it Yunnan large leaf tea. This kind of camellia sinensis characteristically has a much larger leaf than any other kind of camellia sinensis. It has very strong nutrients and it can be used to make puer tea, Yunnan black tea, Yunnan green tea, Yunnan white tea, and some people even try to use it to make Yunnan Oolong tea. Now let’s take a look at this unique raw Puer, which is made from the rattan tea tree.
This tea comes from an ancient tea tree which is highly unique and unlike most other tea trees, in that the branches are shaped like rattan. It even has elasticity similar to a rattan tree. Chinese farmers believe the Qi from this tree is like that of the rattan tree. As we already know, brewing raw puer tea, green tea, or white tea using the swirling water flowing method is very good for our Fire element organs, the heart and small intestine. Now, let’s take a look at how we brew it. In traditional processing, it’s also very common to press raw puer into cake shapes or other shapes. The main reason is for convenient, long term storage. In traditional history, fermented puer actually originally comes from raw puer stored for a long time to allow it to naturally fermented. But of course, today, people use the fastest fermentation method to force the leaves to fermented quickly. If you are interested in learning more about how these teas are made, you can check out my first level course: The Foundation of Chinese Tea, and other upcoming courses.
Now we’re going to use the tea needle to break the tea cake for brewing. Lots of people, when they get a big cake of tea, have no idea how to break it up for brewing. They find it more convenient just to brew tea from bags. Actually, if you know how to use the right utensil, you’ll find it to be a lot of fun, and drinking this kind of ancient tea tree tea leaves is way healthier than using tea bags.
First, after you open the packaging, check the shape of the tea cake. If the shape of the leaves is clearly visible, and the tea cake shape was pressed into a nice, smooth shape, those are the first signs that the tea cake was produced properly. Now we’re going to use the tea needle to break off leaves for brewing. Lots of people see this needle and are afraid to use it. Indeed, if you don’t hold it in the right position, it is very dangerous and could hurt your hand. Lots of people hold it in a very wrong way.
Allow me to show you how to hold the tea needle properly: First check the thickness of your tea cake. Remember to always push the needle into the middle of the edge of the tea cake. That’s because after you break off the leaves, you can see from the outside to the inside of the middle, allowing you to inspect whether the quality of the tea leaves is the same or not. Hold the tea needle like I am. Your index finger is the key to controlling the needle as you guide it to the position you want. Use the index finger to hold the top of the needle, then slowly push the needle into the tea cake with your palm, until you feel the needle reach a deep enough position. Slightly pry up the leaves, then peel off some loose leaves.
This way, you can still keep the tea cake in a nice shape, which is good for continued storage. Usually, natural paper is good for packing tea cakes. It can be wrapped around the tea cake to absorb moisture, and it’s easy to remove the tea cake and re-pack it again. Now I’m going to use another teapot to brew this raw puer tea. Remember, we’re going to brew this tea using the swirling water flowing method. So from now on, pouring the water counterclockwise is a key to proper brewing. If you wonder why we don’t pour water clockwise instead of counterclockwise, please check my second level course: Chinese Tea Ceremony. Now, let’s first wash and warm up the teaware. Because we’re going to brew the tea using the swirling water flowing method, when we pour the liquid out, we should find a way to make the water flow in a swirling manner.
Since the funnel shape of the tea filter is exactly the shape used to create a swirl, the only difference between a “waterfall” and a “swirl” is that before we pour the water from the teapot, we find a point on the wall of the tea filter. Then we move the stream around the teapot as we pour counterclockwise. The water will follow the funnel shape of the tea filter to start rotating in a swirl before it naturally flows down into the fair cup. Pouring the water from the fair cup into the teacup in a counterclockwise direction creates a sort of swirling concept, too. Now we can pick up the paper to put the tea into the teapot. At this moment, this paper can conveniently be used as a tea holder. You can also open up the paper to show the tea leaves to your audience or clients before you put the tea into the teapot.
Later, we can use the paper to pack up the tea cake again for storage. Now, we pour the boiled water into the teapot to wash the tea leaves. Again, because it’s pressed puer, I’m using high temperature water around 97 degrees celsius. We’re using a large teapot to brew this pressed, raw puer, so we can wash and open up tea using two different methods: one way is like we’re brewing fermented puer, filling the teapot with boiled water so it can infuse and easily open up. Another way is to pour the teapot half full of water, which just about covers up the leaves, then gently take the teapot and slowly turn it to let it the heat transfer to the tea leaves. Then we can pour the liquid into the fair cup. Because it’s raw puer tea and didn’t go through the fermentation step of processing, when we pour the liquid from the teapot, we should remember to open up the lid of the teapot to let heat out.Keeping the leaves as fresh as possible without overheating them, as without the fermentation step, the leaves are much more delicate.
Then, pour the hot water from the teacup. Again, pour the tea liquid into the teacup in a counterclockwise direction. After that, when the lid cools down a little bit, we can smell the aroma of tea on the lid of the teapot. Now we can pour the water for brewing for drinking. As you can see, when we pour water into the teapot in a counterclockwise direction, we can create a slight swirling movement with the water just like a swirl. This way gets the tea leaves to start flowing and turning around in the water. Fill the teapot and pour hot water on the outside of the teapot to keep the inside and outside of the teapot the same temperature. Now I hope you can see more clearly that when we pour the liquid in a counterclockwise direction into the fair cup through the funnel shaped tea filter, the water moves exactly like a swirl, which is a key to healing our Fire element organs, the heart and small intestine.
Pour the previous liquid from the teacup, and you can smell the aroma of the tea from the teacup before you drink it. Again, pour the tea liquid into the teacup in a counterclockwise direction so that you can create a swirling flow of tea liquid in the last step of brewing, as well. After a few sips of the tea liquid, you can smell the aroma of the tea from the lid of the teapot again to confirm if the aroma of the tea and the taste match, and smelling the aroma from the lid can help you more accurately assess the quality of the tea’s flavor.
Haha! Yes! That’s right, don’t forget to slightly open the lid of the teapot to make sure it won’t overheat. Then we can continue brewing for drinking until the taste gets too light. .