What is the Best Water Temperature to Brew Puerh Tea? | white2tea Information blog

January 15, 2015 3 min read

The Best Water Temperature to Brew Puerh Tea: First Choose a Category

When you consider what temperature your water should be when you brew Puerh tea, understand that Puerh tea can be separated into three broad categories: young raw (Sheng) Puerh tea, aged raw Puerh tea, and ripe (Shu) Puerh Tea. Different categories of Puerh tea require slightly different temperatures for optimal brewing results. Brew Puerh Water Temperature for Brewing Puerh

3 Ways to Separate Puerh Teas

Young Raw Puerh Tea Brewing Temperature For the purposes of selecting water temperature, we will define young raw Puer tea as raw Puerh tea which ranges from fresh to 3 years old. The ideal water temperature for steeping young raw Puerh is around 90°C ( ~195°F). Younger raw Puerh teas behave similar to green teas, especially if they were recently produced. If the water temperature is beyond 90°C, additional bitterness and astringency will be coaxed out of the leaf. The suggested temperature of 90°C can be lowered further to roughly 85°C( 185°F) in order to further reduce astringency or bitterness. For taste testing, and in order to understand the full breadth of a tea’s characteristics, we recommend using water at a full boil for steeping. Water at a full boil paints a more accurate portrait of a tea’s personality, both the flaws and the merits. Aged Raw Puerh Tea Brewing Temperature Older raw Puerh teas require higher temperatures to open up. Imagine the aged raw Puer tea as being in a hibernation state. For teas that have been in slumber for a period of ten years or longer, they respond best to a rinse at 100°C (212°F), or water that is at a rolling boil. For future steeps in the session, we recommend using of water at 95°C (203°F), or water at a full boil. After the leaves have opened up sufficiently, gauge what temperature yields the best tea through experimentation. In our experience, the ideal temperature is rarely below 90°C. Ripe Puer Tea Brewing Temperature Ripe Puerh tea is generally much less sensitive to water temperature than raw Puerh tea. In addition to a lack of sensitivity, the production conditions are often such that a full boiling rinse will aid in cleaning off any excess dirt or dust. We recommend using water at a full rolling boil (100°C or 212°F) for the rinse and all subsequent steeps. There is little need to worry about bitterness and astringency in relation to the water temperature; a full boil will usually yield the best results.

Reheating Water for Puerh Tea Steeping

If your water should fall below a boiling temperature, it is not necessary to constantly reheat it or keep it at a continuous rolling boil. However, if the temperature drops significantly, we recommend reheating the water to a boiling state. Some tea drinkers believe that continuously boiling water is detrimental to the quality of water and will affect the tea in a negative way. In addition to the advice above, we also recommend experimenting to discover and hone your own personal tastes when your brew Puerh tea. The rules above are helpful guidelines, but they may not suit your own preferences perfectly. For example, you might find that you really enjoy fresh raw Puerh tea steeped at 75°C (167°F), and there is nothing wrong with that! Steeping tea is similar to food preparation. The best way to cook a meal is the way that satisfies you the most. For further tutorials on brewing technique, read our gongfu tea brewing guidelines.
White2Tea
White2Tea


4 Responses

Amon
Amon

January 26, 2020

Just some technical feedback:

young raw (Sheng) Puerh tea, aged raw Puerh tea ///// ( = at the moment a dead link)

Otherwise good advice, thnx.

garweyne
garweyne

January 26, 2020

It is usual to see recommendations of always use 100°C for raw puerh. Your advice to handle them as green makes a lot of sense; I tried at 90°C a few raw that I had discarded as too bitter for me, with a much more satisfying result, thanks.

TwoDog2
TwoDog2

January 26, 2020

No problem – and thank you for taking the time to make a note. Love hearing success stories of better brewing results. Cheers!

mrmopar
mrmopar

January 26, 2020

I will also rinse an older tea and let it sit and open an hour or so sometimes. I try to give the leaf some time to absorb all that moisture and steam. Keep writing nice to read these things good info.

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