Boiled Tea. How to brew tea on an open fire.

Лента новостей и медиа 21.03.2022

Boiled tea is a very ancient tradition. It has been widespread in China, Mongolia, Tibet and other Asian regions. The are still some places were the tea is boiled. A thousand years ago the tea ware was not used for the tea making. The tea was cooked with salt, spices and used as a healthy and tonic beverage.

The tea boiling method was described by famous Chinese philosopher and tea master Lu Yu. He created “Tea canon”, the first tractate about tea traditions. Today this method is spread among Russian tea enthusiasts due to Russian Sinologist Bronislav Vinogrodskiy. He translated this ancient tractate, reconstructed the Lu Yu method and adapted it to the present time. 
We practice this method for many years and enjoy it a lot. So we present you a tutorial on how to boil tea, according to the ancient Lu Yu principles.

Puer tea is the first to be boiled. Anyway, it is possible to boil any other tea variety – red, green, yellow. Oolong tea is considered not to be boiled, but it is not a dogma. You may add the roasted Oolong to Puer brew for example. Also compressed Wuyishan Oolongs can be boiled (Da Hong Pao). This tea variety is densely compressed from the chopped leaves. The boiling method releases all the advantages of this tea better than steeping.


How to boil puer on an open fire 

What you need:

- A large heat-resistant glass kettle. The kettle of 1.5-1.8 liters is used, but you can use kettles of different sizes. If  there is any inner item in the kettle (for example metal tea mesh), take it away.
- Gas burner (tourist). There are two main types of burners – first is screwed on the gas cylinder and the second one has “legs”. Also, you can use any other type of open fire, just be sure you can regulate the flame (for example, gas stove)
- Gaiwan (or just a cup with a lid)
- Wooden tongs (or other preferably wooden item, that is suitable to make a funnel in water)
- Pitcher (or just one more cup)
- Cups for tea
- Tea mesh
- Presentation vessel (or any other relevant vessel for the dry tea leaves)

Take about 18-25 grams of tea.

Then proceed as follows:

- Put the tea into the gaiwan and fill it with cold water. This procedure is repeated three times while the water is boiling. First and second washings are made to clean out the dry tea leaves. Third washing allows full release of the tea.
- Take the heat-resistant glass kettle.
- Fill the kettle with good quality water. The quality is critically significant for the resulted liquor. Take good quality spring or bottled water.
- Place the kettle with water on a gas burner or any other place with open fire.
- Carefully observe the water heating process.
- Once you hear the first noise, it means boiling is coming (it sounds like a light crack, the Chinese call it "the wind in the pines"), take  about 100 ml. of water out of the kettle and fill the pitcher.
- Put the kettle back on the open fire and continue heating.
- Prepare the tea leaves.  Pour out the cold water from gaiwan, open lid and check the tongs are near.
- When the first small bubbles are going up in the water, pour water from the pitcher back to the kettle. This process is called "rejuvenation" of water.
- As soon as the water starts to boil, take tongs, twist the "funnel" and put the tea into the kettle.
- You can now enjoy the "dance" of the tea leaves in the transparent kettle.
- As soon as the water starts to boil, switch off the fire. If you use densely compressed tea, let it boil a bit, but no longer than 30 seconds.
- Now you can wait for a while and give the tea leaves settle to the bottom of the tea kettle. The tea is brewing.
- When all the leaves go down to the bottom tea is ready. You can pour the liquor through a tea mesh into the pitcher and then into the cups.

If there are 2-3 persons in the tea party and you boil 1.8 l. of tea, the tea drinking time can last about half an hour. To avoid tea gets over brewed and too cold, you can fill the thermos and keep it warm. Use the tea mesh to fill the thermos with liquor.  This step is especially needed if you brew green tea and raw Puer.
Enjoy your boiled tea!
There are many variations on this method, there is no dogma about it.
In the process of constant practice, each master improves skills. Everybody can find out the best way to boil tea in its personal style, how to feel tea and release all its advantages.
The tea can be boiled with water and ripe Puer can be also boiled with milk. The technology is the same, but you should be very attentive to avoid the milk runs away. Use fat milk (6%), it is not necessary to add any water.
Milky boiled puer is very tasty and rich drink!




(C) Sergey Shevelev especially for
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