Should we throw away the first time infusion of Pu-erh Tea ?

Every tea drinker could always receive a suggestion when beginning to drink Cooked/Fermented/Ripe/Shou Pu-erh Tea that do not drink the first two infusions of cooked Pu-erh Tea, pour it out and wash the tea first for better taste.

Should we throw away the first time infusion of Pu-erh Tea ?-

So, why don’t black tea and green tea need to be washed? Why does tea like Pu-erh Tea need to be washed?

Let's first learn about the purposes of washing tea.

As for the purposes of washing tea, one is to wash away some impurities on the surface of tea; and more importantly, washing tea properly is conducive to the spread of tea leaves and the leaching of tea juice, and contributes to removing dampness and coldness from tea, inducing the aroma and taste of tea, so that tea drinkers can quickly smell the aroma of tea.

Should we throw away the first time infusion of Pu-erh Tea ?-

However, not all tea is suited to be washed.

Tea Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and a famous Japanese tea researcher once conducted an experiment on Longjing (Dragonwell Green Tea) and found that after Longjing is soaked for one minute, about 1/3 of the healthy nutrients could be lost. Even if the tea is soaked for tens of seconds, it will result in the loss of a large number of effective compounds. Therefore, when brewing high-grade green tea, washing tea is a wrong operation.

Table 1 Dissolution Rate of Main Components in Tea Infusion of Longjing at Different Time (%)
Brewing Time (min) 1 2 5 10
Caffeine 38.57 71.42 88.57 95.71
Polyphenols 27.81 40.93 56.87 91.87

In addition, besides green tea, for yellow tea and black tea with high quality, because the tea buds and leaves are tender, all kinds of internal substances will be leached out quickly after 3s in water. If the tea infusion is poured out slowly, the active components in the tea will be lost in large quantities, and the tea taste will be affected, so this kind of tea is not recommended to be washed.

So, why Pu-erh Tea, especially Cooked Pu-erh Tea, basically has a tea washing process is mainly due to the following reasons.

  • Pu-erhTea is mostly tightly-pressed tea. Compared with loose tea, it is not easy to soak, and the release of its internal substances is slow. In order to make the aroma and taste of Pu-erh tea more fully released, many people will let dry tea absorb water to stretch while brewing Pu-erh tea, at the same time, the cup temperature and tea temperature are raised, so that the active components are easier to leach in the next brewing process, and the aroma is much purer.

Should we throw away the first time infusion of Pu-erh Tea ?-

  • In theproduction process, many cooked Pu-erh tea may not be up to standards of environmental health and may be easily contaminated with dust and dirt, so washing tea with boiling water can remove its dirt and make it more in line with the hygienic requirements, thereby achieving the purpose of clearing dust by washing tea.
  • CookedPu-erh tea will go through the process of pile If the aging time after fermentation is not long enough, it is prone to produce a stale odour which greatly affects the taste. Therefore, many people will try to reduce the stale odour of cooked Pu-erh tea by washing tea.

Should we throw away the first time infusion of Pu-erh Tea ?-

Then, does all Cooked Pu-erh Tea need to be washed first?

Not necessarily.

If the production environment of cooked Pu-er tea is clean enough, the aging time is long enough, there is no stale odour, and it is not in the form of tea cake, then in fact, there is no need to wash tea.