Puer tea traditionally comes in round disk-shaped cakes, rectangular bricks, and small melon-shaped cakes called tuo cha. They also come in small single-serve balls or mini tuo cha. Many loose-leaf puer teas are now available as well.
How to break apart compressed Puer Tea Cakes
Loosen and gently break off about 5 grams of tea from the brick with a puer needle or letter opener. Try to split the flattened layers of tea leaves apart and avoid breaking the whole leaves. See the video tutorial below for more tips.
Brewing Puer Tea
Once the leaves have been broken from the cake, you can brew puer tea like any other loose-leaf tea. They may take a little longer to infuse at first as the compressed leaves plump up again in the hot water.
Storing Puer Cakes
Store puer tea in a dark, well ventilated area with less than 70% humidity, below 25°C (77°F). Store your cake in the paper or fabric that it comes in, not plastic. Keep it away from odors and fragrances! Tea will absorb odors from its surroundings very easily. If you are storing it in your cupboard or your kitchen, be sure to keep it well away from spices.