When first getting into Chinese tea, the act is rinsing tea before drinking it is often a new concept.
Although many Westerners don’t rinse their tea, in China it is rather common when brewing some types of tea, such as puer.
After all, most people wash their fruits and vegetables before consuming them, so it makes sense to rinse tea before drinking it.
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Why Does the Tea Need Rinsed?
There are several reasons why you may want to rinse your tea.
To Remove Dust or Debris
Tea is, of course, delicious, but many of the manufacturing plants are perhaps a bit primitive.
It’s not unreasonable to expect a bit of dust to be in or on tea, for whatever reason.
Rinsing your tea can help remove potential dust or other particulate matter, making your tea drinking experience that much more enjoyable!
To Hydrate Compressed Tea
Some teas, such as puer tea, is often sold in compressed form, such as traditional bings or tuos.
This can result in the tea initially tasting weak in flavor before it decompresses.
Rinsing the tea can help hydrate and decompress the compressed tea before you begin steeping it, resulting in stronger and sometimes more well-balanced initial steeps.
To Mellow Harsh Flavor Notes
Some teas can have harsh flavor notes during the beginning of the brewing process.
Examples of this could be a smokey flavor from natural processing techniques, or a ‘fishy’ taste from fermented shu puer teas.
Rinsing the tea can sometimes help mellow harsh flavor notes, providing a more delicious cup of tea.
Achieve An Accurate Brewing Time
Since rinsing your tea helps hydrate it, it will steep quicker. This can help regulate the steep time, potentially making it easier to brew tea to your own personal preference.