Alright so here are a few questions about Tea


Completely off the Topic of Tea

Alright so here are a few questions about Tea

Postby deadfingers » Nov 19th, '06, 09:34

Well as you know I am a total n00b to tea, I've been reading around on here and been a little confused. Alright so I know you should use 1 tablespoon or 2 teaspoons per 8oz cup, but then I hear about infusions. I am guessing infusions means when the tea is being made. I hear people talking about making 3-4 infusions, what does that mean? Does it mean you can make 3-4 cups out of 1 tablespoon of tea? Also I read somewhere that most teas take about 3-4 minutes of steep time (which I'm guessing means how long the leaves should be submerged to get the flavor). So then how would it work, would I make one cup from that? or would I steep for 2 mins and make 3 cups? How would that effect taste though? Would you steep for 3-4 minutes then makes 3-4 cups out of that? Thanks for the input.
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Postby TeaFanatic » Nov 19th, '06, 14:30

Alright, I will try to cover as much as I can here.

First of all you want to have about 1 teaspoon per 8 oz cup of water. so if you are making two cups then you want two teaspoons of tea, typically.

Infusions mean the number of times that you can resteep tea. So if you make a cup of some type of tea, and then you want another cup, you can simply put another cup of water into your infuser.

As far as steeping time. You want to steep green teas from 1-3 minutes (depeding on taste), oolongs from 3-5 and blacks also from 3-5 minutes. I would suggest experiementing to see what time you enjoy more.

I hope I covered most of your questions, let me know if I didn't
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Postby Warden Andy » Nov 19th, '06, 18:04

Usually, when people say they got more than 2 or 3 infusions, they aren't brewing it western style with just a teaspoon or tablespoon of leaves. In my experience, western brewing exhausts the leave in one steeeping.

Most of the time, anyone who says they got 3-20 infusions out the same leaves are brewing with gongfu brewing. Gongfu brewing uses a lot of leaves (1/5 - 3/4 of the vessel) and a small teapot or gaiwan, and the first steeping is usually around 5-30s (depending on the tea, and personal preference) and gets longer with each following infusion.

Another way to get 3-4 infusions out of the same leaves is "glass brewing," but that doesn't seem very common on this forum. I prefer this kind of brewing for green tea, and I usually get 3 infusions out of the same leaves. Basically, you put some leaves in a gaiwan or cup, wait a bit for it to brew, then drink it untill you have about 1/3 tea left. Then fill it back up with hot water, and repeat untill the flavor runs out.

If you want to get more than one infusion out of the same leaves using western brewing, try using twice as many leaves as normal, and cut the brewing time in half. Add a minute or two to the following infusions.
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Postby deadfingers » Nov 19th, '06, 18:24

Great thanks for the info guys, so alright if I want just one cup I would typically use one teaspoon and steep for 3-4 mins then right? I know the time is a variable depending on the tea, but lets use that time. If I do that I can get one good cup from that right? If I want more cups I would use 2 teaspoons and steep for 1-2 min per cup right? I just want to make sure I understand this concept. Tea seems pretty intricate in the way you prepare it and such, I really like that. I like how you can make it hundreds of different ways and such. Thanks for the info guys.
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Postby TeaFanatic » Nov 19th, '06, 23:58

You do not steep for longer if you add more tea, it will always be the same amount regardless of whether you are making 1,2, or more cups of tea.

But like I said for the time thing. Just give different times a shot and see what you like the best.
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Postby deadfingers » Nov 20th, '06, 05:41

So you are saying that you can make 2-3 cups out of one teaspoon, or I could just make one if I wanted to then right? It just depends on my preference on taste and time. Yeah this would be a lot better with actual experience.
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Postby LavenderPekoe » Nov 20th, '06, 10:14

TeaFanatic is saying that if you make 1 cup (1 teaspoon) or 2 (2 teaspoons) that you would still brew for 3 or 4 minutes. You wouldn't change the amount of time. If you made 3 cups (3 teaspoons and 24 ounces of water) you would still brew for 3 or 4 minutes. Western style the brewing times don't change much once you know what you like. Personally, I won't brew blacks for more than 3 minutes because I find them to be bitter if I do. Greens, I go for less than 3 usually.
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Postby deadfingers » Nov 20th, '06, 17:25

LavenderPekoe wrote:TeaFanatic is saying that if you make 1 cup (1 teaspoon) or 2 (2 teaspoons) that you would still brew for 3 or 4 minutes. You wouldn't change the amount of time. If you made 3 cups (3 teaspoons and 24 ounces of water) you would still brew for 3 or 4 minutes. Western style the brewing times don't change much once you know what you like. Personally, I won't brew blacks for more than 3 minutes because I find them to be bitter if I do. Greens, I go for less than 3 usually.


Ahh I see that makes a lot of sense now. So for more cups you naturally use more tea and water, of course. Steep time is the same pretty much then. Alright thanks for the info.
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Postby Chip » Nov 20th, '06, 23:09

I do not know if I completely agree. If you want multible infusions, you do not simply use more leaf...that would sound logical, but we all know that tea is not always logical...it is shrouded in mystery...which is a great part of its appeal for me.

You start with good looseleaf tea! A good looseleaf tea will as a biproduct give you multible infusions as a bonus. I never add more green tea leaf in order to get multible infusions. And some teas will deliver 2-3-4 infusions. It will vary from tea to tea.

Another issue is the density of the leaf. This varies considerably from tea to tea. For instance gunpowder green is very dense while long jing is considerably less dense. Therefore, you need to use more leaf VOLUME when brewing a less dense tea like long jing. This takes a little experience to determine how much leaf to use.

I use an inexpensive digital scale almost everytime I brew tea...this is not for everyone. For me it has greatly improved the consistant level of great tea sessions, especially high quality Japanese greens. But I know how much leaf weight I am going to use for each of my teas. This is a different approach, but I feel it is the leaf weight that you use that is more critical than the volume of leaf.

Of course oolong is a different story altogether...if you are brewing gong fu style, you use a lot of leaf and can sometimes drink the same tea all day. But even for oolong gong fu style, I weigh because a rolled oolong leaf like Dong Ding oolong is considerably more dense than an unrolled oolong like most Wuyi or Dan Cong oolongs.

And steep times also vary considerably from tea to tea. So you must experiment to find your ideal brew length from tea to tea. Although, most nonblack teas I start at a minute and adjust from there. A shorter first steep not only prevents overbrewing and bitterness, but also fascilitates multible infusions.
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