Okay, so that you’ve had an terrible pu erh tea expertise. The query is: “Now what?” You possibly can throw your tea within the rubbish can, or attempt to ‘fix’ it with this information!
Typically instances, when folks style an disagreeable pu erh, they blame the standard of the uncooked materials or poor storage. Then they provide up on the tea. But, even seemingly dangerous pu erh can flip right into a treasure if you happen to cope with it the precise method. Now let’s begin fixing your tea.
Reading: How to make pu erh tea taste better
Pu erh tea can odor bizarre whenever you’re coping with one which both very previous (greater than 10 years) or when it’s not correctly saved (too humid, too sizzling). There are two issues you are able to do to resolve this:
- If the tea is compressed, pry it into smaller chunks and retailer it in an tea caddy constructed from Yixing clay. These jars are glorious, as a result of it protects the tea from humidity, mild and temperature fluctuations, whereas it lets the tea ‘air’. This can be a very efficient methodology to take away the dangerous odor.
- As soon as the tea is aired, carry out two fast rinses earlier than you steep the tea. Merely at sizzling water into your tea vessel and discard it in 10 seconds. Two rinses needs to be sufficient to take away the ‘bad’ layer of style and make the tea prepared for and attractive steep.
Under a video on how one can let tea air in a caddy:
Pu erh Tea Tastes Like Grime
Most individuals who drink pu erh the primary time, discover it too sturdy. “This pu erh tea tastes like dirt!” is one thing you typically hear from first time drinkers.
It’s necessary to notice that there are two varieties of pu erh: uncooked & ripe. Particularly with the latter kind, folks typically complain the style is just too sturdy.
There’s just a few issues you are able to do:
- Rinse a few times earlier than you begin your first actual brew. This may take away the storage taste of ripe pu erh.
- Scale back the brewing temperature to 90ºC: Whereas ripe must be brewed at excessive temperatures, you possibly can considerably cut back the temperature to make the tea softer in style.
- Shorten the steeping time: Western brewing strategies typically use steeping instances that final a number of minutes. That is superb with most Chinese language teas. Nevertheless, with ripe pu erh, you’ll simply get a really disagreeable, darkish brew. To style the finer notes of ripe pu erh, you must shorten the steeping time to 1 minute in a big teapot or 10-20 seconds in smaller vessels resembling a gaiwan. The steeping time can then be slowly elevated for subsequent brews.
- As a final resort you would taste your ripe pu erh with flowers or herbs. Extra on this within the final paragraph.
- If the above recommendation nonetheless doesn’t be just right for you, then swap to uncooked pu erh teas. Uncooked pu erhs are much less savory and intense, as a substitute they are usually extra inexperienced, flowery and recent, which could swimsuit you higher.
Pu erh Tea Tastes like Fish
Whereas ripe pu erh can style like filth, a uncooked pu erh can generally style fishy. There are just a few methods to elucidate. Some uncooked pu erh has a vegetal seaweed style. Some folks will describe this as ‘fishy’. If so, there’s nothing flawed with the tea, and also you most likely don’t prefer it. What’s additionally potential is that it has been badly saved. The options recommended above for ripe pu erh also can work for uncooked: prying in chunks and let it air, rinsing and enjoying round with temperature and steeping time.
This is a full article on fishy tastes in tea.
You might also don’t just like the bitter style of uncooked pu erh. In that case, learn the subsequent paragraph.
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With ripe pu erh, the bitterness is usually smoothened out on account of intensive post-fermentation in a heat and humid room. Uncooked pu erh haven’t undergone this course of. As an alternative they’re saved for sluggish pure fermentation course of that may take a few years. Due to this fact uncooked pu erhs can style bitter and right here’s what you are able to do:
- Retailer it away: typically instances, uncooked pu erhs simply aren’t prepared for consumption. That is the case when the tea continues to be very younger. Retailer it away and let it slowly ripen. Over time, the bitterness will likely be diminished and the tea will change into darker and sweeter. Begin ingesting the tea from when it’s aged for a minimum of 3 years. Then revisit yearly to see the way it continues to age and remodel.
- With uncooked pu erh you possibly can play much more with the temperature and steeping time than ripe pu erh. You could strive temperatures between 80 to 100ºC to see what works for you. Alter the steeping time accordingly. If steeping at full temperature leads to a too bitter brew, you possibly can strive 90ºC and 80ºC. Particularly on the decrease vary, you’ll discover that it tastes like a totally totally different tea. It’s gonna be a lot softer, and it will likely be simpler to acknowledge the fragile flowery and fruity notes.
- Swap to ripe pu erh if the above doesn’t be just right for you. Ripe pu erhs are very easy and thick in taste and have hardly any bitterness. Even once they’re nonetheless very younger.
Final Resort: Mix Pu Erh with Flowers & Herbs
Okay, so that you’ve tried all the pieces above, and you continue to can’t get accustomed to the style. Then there’s a final resort: taste your tea!
With flavoring it’s not such as you’re gonna randomly mix it with no matter there’s within the kitchen cupboard. We’ve to search out extremely suitable elements whereas we nonetheless ‘keep it real’. We would like the tea to be nonetheless very recognizable pu erh, however repair the components of the flavour that you simply don’t like.
Don’t really feel dangerous about it. There’s nothing flawed with this, and it’s oftentimes finished in China. Actually, it’s an efficient strategy to begin studying to drink pu erh. Additional time, you’ll be higher capable of settle for the bottom flavors and style the distinctive notes of every tea. That’s when you must swap again to pure play.
- Chrysanthemum flowers: by far essentially the most used elements to mix with pu erh are chrysanthemum flowers. These flowers make a ripe pu erh style extra soothing and refreshing!
- Fruits: dried fruits like goji and jujube are additionally actually really helpful to brew with each ripe and uncooked pu erh. Goji is nice to present it some additional sweetness. If you happen to like savory bitter notes, dried jujube is nice.
- Nuo Mi Xiang herb: this herb has a sticky rice flavors that splendidly smoothens out and add additional taste to the style of each ripe and uncooked pu erh. This herb isn’t readily available for purchase, however you would look into pre-blended nuo mi xiang pu erh.
Under a video about mixing pu erh with chrysanthemum:
If you happen to’re curious to study extra about pu erh, we suggest you to learn this text: Pu erh tea style defined.
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