Volume for Oolong teas?


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Volume for Oolong teas?

Postby garney11 » Jun 11th, '10, 13:11

Hey everyone-

I'm new to the forums, but I've been an Adagio customer since 2004!

I wanted to ask a question about oolong tea. Recently I took it upon myself to sample all of the oolongs Adagio stocks. I noticed that the volume varied quite a bit. Some of the rolled-up oolongs expanded into a very large volume, and the leafy, less dense teas expanded to only half that upon infusion. Does this mean I should use two teaspoons per 4oz for the voluminous leaves?

Also, I read somewhere that breaking the leaves will make the tea more bitter. Any experience with this?

Best-

Greg
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Re: Volume for Oolong teas?

Postby wyardley » Jun 11th, '10, 13:23

I would either not try and measure at all (and learn to eyeball it), or measure by weight.
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Re: Volume for Oolong teas?

Postby tmorten » Jun 11th, '10, 23:42

I agree that you should either measure by volume in your brewing vessel or look into purchasing an electronic scale. There are several different electronic scales you can purchase online that are fairly inexpensive. I tend to favor using a scale because sometimes it is hard to judge volume, especially with each tea having it's own particular shape and density.

If you are going to weigh your leaves with a scale, I would recommend experimenting with different leaf to water ratios in order to find out what suits your taste. I find that I end up using between 1 and 2 grams of leaf per ounce of water, depending on the type of oolong. I usually brew oolongs in a gaiwan gongfu style with these measurements.

Measuring by volume will also work fairly well if you become accustomed to filling the leaves up to a certain point in your brewing vessel. Regarding your question about the leaf expansion of balled up oolongs vs. long shaped leaves, here is my recommendation for measurement. For balled up oolongs such as Ali Shan, fill up your brewing vessel 1/4 to 1/3 full of leaves. For long, twisted oolongs such as Baozhong, I recommend filling your vessel 1/2 to 3/4 full of leaves. You can use more leaf with the long oolongs because they are less dense and are already slightly unravelled.

Whatever method you choose to use is just a matter of personal preference and also how much time you have. Each method will probably take some tweaking, but experimenting with different ratios is half the fun of it. Good luck! :mrgreen:
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Re: Volume for Oolong teas?

Postby garney11 » Jun 12th, '10, 10:55

Wow, very interesting. I'd never considered using a scale before.

Thanks for your replies, guys.

The pursuit of the perfect cup of tea remains eternal...
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Re: Volume for Oolong teas?

Postby Tead Off » Jun 12th, '10, 23:44

This is a question that will be answered differently by many tea drinkers. Personally, I think many drinkers use too much leaf, making the brew strong and losing many of the subtleties that good tea has. Drinking Wuyi teas with the pot filled with leaf can be brutal. This is what I generally do and then adjust from there when you get to know the properties of the different teas.

Rolled oolong: The bottom of the pot gets covered. With many rolled oolongs, the leaves expand quite a bit and packing the pot with too much leaf seems a waste. Brewing shorter or longer adjusts for leaf amount also.

Wuyi & Dancong oolong: I usually fill the pot 1/3 to 1/2 with loosely packed leaf. Brew time will vary depending on tea.

I use mostly smaller teapots 100-140ml depending on the number of drinkers or my mood. I only measure out Japanese teas.
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