Tea knife (also Pu-erh knife), a tool in the shape of knife made of ox bone or horn, hard wood or stainless steel, is used to loosen compressed tea as mentioned before. It can be found in places where Puer tea is sold.
Pu-erh tea, especially the fermented and compressed tea, has to be loosened with the Pu-erh knife before being brewed. There will be some tea grounds in the tea liquid, so it is better to filter the grounds before drinking. Thus, a strainer is more important in Pu-erh tea making than in making other kinds of tea.
Brow Pu-erh tea in boiling water. Pour boiling water on the tea and then pour the water out immediately. Repeat once or twice in quick succession to prevent the tea substances from dissolving in the water, which may affect the taste of the tea liquid. This is called "soaking the tea." To "soak tea" is also known as "to wash tea." Careful drinkers will wash whichever kind of tea they drink.
There are many steps in making Pu-erh tea and they all involve time. The longer the tea is stored, the more likely they will be polluted with dust and dirt. Although soaking tea can wash the dust off, high-quality Pu-erh tea should not be soaked long or repeatedly in hot water and Chinese tea sets.
Soaking tea can help loosen the lumps of stored-for-long and compressed tea. For old tea which has been stored for many years, soaking can also get rid of the strange smell and wake up the dormant tea. Therefore, soaking is an indispensable step in making tea.