I found myself in the mood for a puerh today — it was cold and cloudy outside and I needed something to warm both my body and mind.
I dug into my stash and decided upon one which I had recently purchased from UNYtea: a 2006 Gong Ting Ripe Puerh.
The packaging called for 5 grams per 100 mL of water at 96 C (205 F) and a steeping time of 2-3 seconds.
I got a little over eager and decided I would brew 10 grams with 200 mL of water. I didn’t stop to consider that I may regret this later…
Name: Gong Ting
Type: Ripe (Shu) Puerh
Origin: Lincang, Yunnan Province, China
As I re-read the packaging instructions it called for a steeping time of 2-3 seconds, with additional steeps at 5-7 seconds on the 5th steep and later (Gong Fu brewing).
Now I generally steep my puerhs a bit longer, so this caught me a little of guard.
How long do you steep your puerhs for?
I did a little bit of quick research online and found a variety of steeping times suggested. I found several suggestions online that called for 25-30 seconds for the weight of tea I was brewing.
I decided to settle on ~10 seconds per steep and closer to the packaging instructions. Yeah, I am a rebel.
I rinsed the tea and began my session.
Steep 1: 7 seconds
Light amber colors. Light taste. Am I brewing this long enough? Admittedly, my nose is slight stuffed up today… taste may be slightly askew as a result.
Steep 2: 10 seconds
The color is a bit darker than the 1st steep. Still somewhat light on flavor compared with the Indefatigable Ox from Monday. However, the brews here are significantly shorter. The brew is quite mellow and good. I am getting a woodsy taste coming through.
Steep 3: 10 seconds
Even darker. Wow. Tasting a lot of complexity… having trouble placing specifics… there is a sweetness… caramel? maybe a fruit? Definitely a sweetness. Maybe a little bit of tartness too… cherry?
Steep 4: 10 seconds
Color is the same as steep 3. Delicious! Admittedly, I got a little distracted and more or less chugged through this steep.
Steep 5: 10 seconds
Color is a little lighter than the last. Steep longer next round. Regretting chugging through steep 4… I am now teadrunk.
I decided to take a break from additional steeps. There was still plenty of life left in this tea.
However, I was drinking alone and decided a pause in the session was necessary.
I will try to pick up again later.
All and all this tea was delicious. It was a nice and mellow brew with a lot of complexity in it. It was not too musty or overpowering on the palate. I definitely will revisit in the future.