My first venture into Pu Erh which was met with quite a bit of experimentation. The directions indicate that you should steep 1 tablespoon with 8 ounces of water for 5-6 minutes. Using these directions resulted in an extremely dark and almost thick brew which was loaded with flavor but had a certain astringency that I did not think Pu Erh’s could get. Apparently this “western” style of preparation is not considered to be the most dependable and can result in poor tasting tea. I made another attempt using a “Gongfu” style, steeping 1 teaspoon (instead of tablespoon) for 30 seconds and increasing each subsequent steep by 10-15 seconds. The taste was much more pleasant and I was able to rid the tea of the initial astringency. My only reservation is that I am not sure if this is correct practice for this tea. I feel as though there is alot more flavor lurking beyond a 30 second steep and I should perhaps consider longer for next time. I will continue researching and am open to any suggestions.