Fitz said

help request (UK steepsters)

Hi all – I am just about to begin the PuErh journey, never yet tasted any.
I splashed out 4 months ago and got half a dozen cakes, some from Chinatown in Angola and some from EoT (2000 green stamp and green peacock). I am total novice with this, none are even unwrapped yet, so would appreciate any advice
How to break the cakes?
how long to air them?
How to brew the tea?
Where to buy a gaiwan?
I intend to start when I return to UK in 2 weeks so any advice would be gratefully received. Many thanks in advance.

6 Replies

Ideally just let the tea acclimate for a week or two once it has arrived in the UK, but don’t worry – if you have whole cakes, just start and learn along the way. Noticing how they change over time is part of the fun.

Postcard teas has nice handmade plain white gaiwans…

Maybe try around 6g/100ml, begin with a quick rinse and short first brew – then adjust the brewing time to taste as you go on.

Fitz said

Many thanks – those cups look very elegant and high quality.

Oh! I forgot, I got samples of each. I can start with those.

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AllanK said

Yunnan Sourcing in China is a good source for inexpensive gaiwans, I have made forty or fifty orders with them and they are a good source for both tea and teaware.

Fitz said

Thanks – I know that site but have not ordered from them yet. Might have to wait till after the new year celebrations.

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mrmopar said

Canton Tea used to have some nice stuff on your side. Essence of Tea stated some good points. Let it breathe before you brew it and learn as you go. Google how to Gong Fu and just adjust it to you preferences. Really no right or wrong way to brew. Just enjoy what is in the cup.

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Fitz said

Hi everyone – home at last and about to start sampling

A small aside here, only obliquely related to tea. I was looking for suitable containers to air tea and I noticed in the dishwasher a large bowl my daughter uses for mixing pancakes and cake mix.

it’s been in the house in use for I don’t know how long but it was upside down and I noticed it was Chinese and the base was unmarked thus pre 1920 which peaked my interest so I examined further. It’s white porcelain with cobalt painting of boys with kites

I don’t expect it to be hugely valuable as painting looks quite crudely done, only thing I am fairly sure of is it is probably pre-1920 as every import after that date had to have a mark “made in China”

So….. if anyone knowledgable has a moment to look at the pics and give an opinion I would be very grateful.

To me it looks like an import for the British domestic market as it is large and robust probably Victorian – just glad it has survived completely undamaged so far. Now I’ll use it to hold tea where it will be out of the way and protected for damage.

Link to pics – thanks in advance.

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