ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan


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ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby plant partaker » Oct 30th, '11, 17:44

I have a porcelain Gawain that holds four ounces of water. I am trying to figure the ratio of leaf for puer. Does anyone use a four ounce Gawain?
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Re: ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby Bryan_drinks_te... » Oct 30th, '11, 18:18

That will ultimately be decided by a few things : what type of pu-erh is it? is it raw or cooked? what's the vintage? and also, what region does it come from? being able to answer those questions might help you decide what tea:water ratio to use. Personally I start out at 1.25:1 (five grams in the gaiwan) and then go up or down from there depending on the taste/aroma/etc.

Good Luck! :D
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Re: ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby plant partaker » Oct 30th, '11, 18:26

I brewed a sheng pu from menghai. I just covered the bottom with leaf and used boiling water to brew it. I know for certain I didn't use as much as 5 grams. That seems a bit much seeing how its only four ounces of water. Do you know if boiling water is the correct temperature?
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Re: ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby Drax » Oct 30th, '11, 20:29

I used to brew a lot of sheng pu'erh at a 1g:1oz ratio, but lately I've been dumping about 6g in my 4oz gaiwan. The greater amount of leaf just means that you'll have shorter steeps and be able to do a larger number of steeps.

You can go lighter, but you will likely need longer steep times, and you'll get fewer steeps. You also run the risk of having a weak and lifeless tea. But of course, it all depends on the tea -- certainly there are some teas (such as Bulang) where you can use less leaf.

As for temperature, I usually go with boiling. I have heard some suggestions of trying cooler temperatures (say, 180F) for young sheng, treating it a bit like other Chinese green teas, but I cannot provide any further insight on that change-up.
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Re: ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby TokyoB » Oct 30th, '11, 20:53

Hobbes at the Half-Dipper blog uses about 12gms for that size. I use about 6 myself. I think anything less than 5g would be pretty light. At 6 gms I brew the first few steepings for 5 - 10 secs while Hobbes at 12g pours the water in and right out. So it also depends how much tea you want to drink during the day and what your caffeine tolerance is.
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Re: ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby plant partaker » Oct 31st, '11, 01:31

Thanks I am going to have to try to increase the leaf. Now what would you consider with shu pu? Same amount of leaf? Longer steep then sheng?
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Re: ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby zhi zheng » Oct 31st, '11, 02:38

plant partaker wrote:Do you know if boiling water is the correct temperature?

Water should be boiling, or very near it. The first couple of steepings are particularly critical.

Drax wrote:I have heard some suggestions of trying cooler temperatures (say, 180F) for young sheng


If I inadvertently poured 180F (80+C?) water onto the leaves in the first few steepings, I'd probably just throw it away and start again as the deleterious effect on the tea's fragrance is obvious and irreversible. If it was after many steepings, it might be less critical.
Last edited by zhi zheng on Oct 31st, '11, 14:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby debunix » Oct 31st, '11, 03:28

zhi zheng wrote:If I inadvertently poured 180F (80+C?) water onto the leaves in the first few steepings, I'd probably just throw it away and start again as the deleterious effect on the tea's fragrance is obvious and irreversible.


Perhaps you would be as horrified to see the abuse I put tea through as I am to think of throwing tea out because it was started brewing cooler than desired. I often have very limited time to prepare my teas at work, and at times I have started a tea soaking in cold tap water while waiting for the water to heat up. This is particularly helpful in speeding things up with very tightly compressed puerhs, when the goal is to prepare a full thermos of tea to take with me in 5 minutes. The various infusions are combined, but the result can certainly be a thermos full of lovely tea.

I've also started some greener young shengs cooler to minimize the startup bitterness, and haven't noted that the later infusions are 'ruined'--it seems more that the early infusions are not as interesting, in addition to being less bitter.
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Re: ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby zhi zheng » Oct 31st, '11, 07:40

Haha, Hopefully I'm not that much of a tea snob!

I also have used various brewing methods when conditions have dictated it. I think the temperature issue is debatable: There is (I think) a significant difference between say 90+C and 80+. Other aspects of the teas character may be less affected by lower temperature brews, but in younger sheng teas the fragrance seems to suffer particularly badly, and my experience has been that even if the temperature is raised after the initial brews, it never seems to recapture the true fragrance of the tea.

Do you find that in brewing young sheng teas cooler to reduce bitterness, it tends to increase astringency?
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Re: ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby debunix » Oct 31st, '11, 10:36

yes, and to my palate that's also a good thing.
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Re: ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby Bryan_drinks_te... » Oct 31st, '11, 11:16

Zhi zheng,

I didn't write what you have me quoted under. it's okay, im' not upset, i'm just curious as to how that happened. :D
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Re: ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby zhi zheng » Oct 31st, '11, 14:41

Hmmm, That's strange. No, it's not something that you wrote - I didn't notice at the time.

I'm not sure how that happened either!

Just edited it.
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Re: ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby fdrx » Oct 31st, '11, 20:52

my experience has been that even if the temperature is raised after the initial brews, it never seems to recapture the true fragrance of the tea


This would prove the importance of having the gaiwan well warmed before to wash the tea, isn't it? i'm quite shure i always get better results when i do all this right... now things are more obvious, thanks zhizheng
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Re: ratio of leaf to 4 ounce gaiwan

Postby bearsbearsbears » Nov 1st, '11, 11:43

I use a ratio of 1g leaf to 15ml water. That'd be about 8g for your gaiwan.

Depends on on leaf size, though. Menghai Dayi factory stuff tends to be smaller leaf size, so I might back off to 7g. Bigger leaves, I might go up to 10 or 12g.
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