What is the correct brewing temperature for Pu erh tea?
Summary: The optimal brewing temperature for Pu erh tea depends on the specific variety, such as Shou or Sheng. A temperature below 90°C (194°F) is recommended for young Sheng, while (near) boiling water is recommended for Shou Pu erh and old Sheng. It is advisable to experiment to discover your preference.
Differences between Shou and Sheng Pu erh
Pu erh tea has a rich history and tradition from China. Within this tea variety, there are mainly two well-known varieties: Shou and Sheng. Each of these has its own unique flavor profile and therefore its own ideal brewing temperature.
Temperature for young Sheng Pu erh
Young Sheng Pu erh is known for its delicate and refined flavor. Brewing this tea at a temperature below 90°C (194°F) preserves its subtle notes and prevents a bitter taste.
Setting temperature for Shou and old Sheng Pu erh
Shou Pu erh and older Sheng Pu erh, because of their robust nature, benefit from (almost) boiling water. This maximizes their deep and rich flavors. However, personal preference always plays a role, so experiment to find your perfect temperature.
- Pedan, V., Rohn, S., Holinger, M., Hühn, T., & Chetschik, I. (2018). Bioactive Compound Fingerprint Analysis of Aged Raw Pu'er Tea and Young Ripened Pu'er Tea. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23(8), 1931.