Favorite Morning Puerh Brewing Method when Time is Limited?
What’s you favorite Puerh brewing method for two people when you don’t have time for multiple steeps with a gaiwan and you want four 6 oz. cups per person?
I REALLY enjoy grandpa style for ripe pu-erh. I take 2g per 8oz cup and just add boiling water, then stir once about 5 minutes later and drink. The leaves sink to the bottom and it’s super rich in flavor :-)
I’d definitely recommend grandpa too. You can rinse the tea twice in a gaiwan and then dump into a large teapot or thermos and pour hot water on! I wouldn’t dream of drinking shou pu without rinsing it first.
Before switching to a gaiwan, we used to brew gong fu style with a Finum brew basket in a tea mug. It’s fairly time-efficient due to the larger volume/steep. With this method, steep times were typically: 1, 2 and 3 or 4 min.
Does anyone have a favorite shou brewing method for two people when time is limited using a teapot / yixing?
When time is limited, I don’t think there’s any reason to think a teapot (non-western size) will be any different that a gaiwan you mentioned in your original question.
I’ve had times, when all set up for a gongfu session, have had to split. If I can’t find my trusty mason jar to grandpa it all in, sometimes I’ll just brew it in the teapot, pouring each steep into a mug until full. Since we’re only talking seconds of steep time for each one, it doesn’t take long at all. Only slightly longer for 2 people. Basically just a tea session on fast forward, with an end goal in mind (fill the mug), instead of a process / experience that a usual session is.
Understood. How does the flavor of “fast forward” gong fu (all steeps combined into one mug) compare a pot of shou brewed Western style?
I had sheng pu’er for breakfast, made in a clay pot, and it went pretty fast. Using a gaiwan wouldn’t change much (a larger size one, of course). I try to leave a reasonable amount of time for breakfast but sometimes it ends up cut short, and I’m on a time-table related to taking my daughter to school at a set time.
There are a couple of tricks you might consider for really rushing the process. Depending on how you are heating water using a thermos could speed it up related to using a batch, unless using an electric kettle already covers that. Using multiple cups at the same time lets you brew faster than you drink, and gives the tea time to sit a few minutes to cool to drinkable temperature. It’s possible to speed that up even more by drinking a small cup of cold water in between tea infusions, letting that drop the cup temperature. Combining infusions is an option, if that makes sense as part of the process, called stacking.
Per my experience it’s really about the mechanics becoming so comfortable and familiar that it doesn’t feel like making breakfast more hectic to add more tea preparation steps. The time isn’t as much an issue, it’s more about the extra messing around seeming natural versus like a bit much. The most natural answer is to brew the tea grandpa style instead but personally I don’t like sheng prepared this way. If you meant that you are drinking shou that works out about the same prepared Western style, per my experience. In either case having extra tea that’s not yet spent may come up (I only made it through 6 or 7 small cups this morning), and one option is to set it aside for a day, or another is to put it in room temperature water in the refrigerator to cold brew, until you happen to get back to it.
Thanks for your many suggestions. Yes, we use an electric kettle.
“The most natural answer is to brew the tea grandpa style instead …. If you meant that you are drinking shou that works out about the same prepared Western style, per my experience.”
Yes, brewing shou. If there’s no flavor difference between these two methods, we have a few very attractive western-style teapots that my mother gave to us that we’d liked to use occasionally. Thus, we’d also appreciate any shou western teapot brewing recommendations. Thanks again!
I find that loose leaf shou works well Western style when I am in a hurry. You can even keep the time short as 20 or 30 seconds. There is no need to really give it the 3 minutes of a Western style steep. It does well with short steeps. At my old job I used to brew a 64oz of shou and put in a thermos. I used 25g of tea in a big glass iced tea maker and gave it just 25 seconds to brew. While not as good as gongfu it was good enough to drink at work where I couldn’t make tea. I would frequently share it with others as well.
When I used to do enough for a 64oz thermos I used 25g and about 25 seconds. As I recall it came out dark but not pitch black. I did rinse the leaves first. I do not think super short steeps like five seconds would work though because I was not using a lot of tea when you consider I was brewing 64oz.
I think the most time efficient way is to thermos brew. Dump a suitable amount of leaf in a thermos and fill it up with boiling water the night before. When morning comes your tea is ready to drink with zero preparation.
This works both with leaf you have already “steeped out” in a gaiwan/pot, or of course with fresh leaf (the result is somewhat different). I have become a fan of thermos-brewing especially for those mornings when I know I will be short on time. If you thermos-brew sheng you need to watch the ratio for obvious reasons, shu being much less sensitive to overbrewing.
I seem to recall that James of TeaDB did a video on thermos brewing long ago, but I don’t remember what it was called.