Li Li Xian TGY


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Li Li Xian TGY

Postby AFHokie03 » Apr 11th, '06, 01:25

Hi everyone! I am new to loose tea and so far I love it, can't get enough. I purchased a sampler from a local tea house, also online at www.sevencups.com. It contains Li Li Xiang TGY. I found a lot of conflicting oolong brewing advice. I brewed a cup with 1 tsp. at about 180F for 7 minutes. It was not bitter but definitely had a very vegetal/grassy taste and the flavor was a bit flat. Does this type of oolong fall into the boiling 5 min category or the lower temp/time catagory? Or did I do it right and that is just the way it tastes? I do not have anything to brew it gaiwan or gongfu style, just an ingenuiTEA. Any advice is much appreciated.
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Postby MarshalN » Apr 11th, '06, 01:48

A few questions

Was the liquor that was brewed more yellow or green?

Was the taste light or heavy? That's hard to tell, perhaps, but you can probably tell if it's strong or if it seems weak. You seem to say it's weak.

Are the leaves green? Fresh, light green? Dark green? Brownish? What do the leaves look like (dried)? Rolled tightly into balls? Loosely? Are there stems? When you brew it, and unfurl it, is the colour greener? Reddish? Or???

There are lots of variables, and depending on what you've got, you need to change the brewing style. Although for tieguanyins in this country, going with a higher temperature is a safer bet. You can try something in between. How big is your cup for your 1tsp?
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Postby Phyll » Apr 11th, '06, 02:27

AFHokie03, not to make life more complicated, but the proper brewing method for oolong is to use near boiling water (203-212F/95-100C). Also, the best way is to use a small teapot or gaiwan and enough leaves so that you can infuse for a few seconds only the first time (I use 10 secs the first time) and then increase by 5 sec every subsequent time (10, 15, 20, 25, etc).

The problem with infusing the leaves for too long is that your tea will be very tannic (bitter and pucker-y). Brewing time is important in this way to avoid some of the undesireable taste to be dissolved due to long steeping time (it is known that tannin gets into your tea later than all the wonderful flavors).

Also, if you can write a 50-page dissertation to answer all of MarshallN's questions, you will graduate with a Bachelor's degree in tea sciences. :lol:

Best of all advice that I've learned about drinking wine/tea/vodka/etc: Drink what you like, like what you drink. Drink how you like, like how you drink.
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Postby AFHokie03 » Apr 11th, '06, 11:51

Wow, no kidding on the B.S. in tea. I do not have the tea with me so I will answer as best as I can remember. The tea is wrapped into balls, tight or loose I can't answer, and the leaves are a pale green. The liquor is defintely yellow in color and the flavor was definitely on the light side. I noticed no bitterness at all so I don't think I oversteeped. My tsp. measurement was using a dining teaspoon (read somewhere measuring spoons tend to be a bit small for measuring) and it was with 8oz. of water.

Phyll, I totally agree with the drink what you like philosophy. I am just wondering what my best approach would be for the next brew. I only have one or two tsps. left so I want to try and get the best flavor so I have a good idea of the flavor of the tea before I run out.
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Postby Phyll » Apr 11th, '06, 13:38

AFHokie, even with the guidance and advises you receive, there will still be some amount of trial and error to adjust the tea to your own taste. Since you only have 1-2 tsp of the sampler left, my suggestion is to:

- use 1 tsp into your IngenuiTEA
- flash "rinse" the dry tea leaves with a bit of near boiling water. Immediately discard this water out (3-5 seconds "rinse" is enough).
- use a near boiling water fill your IngenuiTEA set with just about 4oz (about quarter full...if IngenuiTea is a 16oz capacity)
- brew for 15-20 secs the first time, drain the tea and drink.
- Adjust the timing up/down on the next brew to your taste (or you can judge by the color).
- Remember cooler water requires longer brewing to achieve the same effect of shorter brew with hotter water.

The end goal of this method is to obtain the tea liquor as it would have been had it been done the gong fu method. And this is a good starting benchmark to judge the quality and taste of the tea. BUT as I said, drink how you like, like how you drink (This is also known as CMAC's philosophy). No rules here...just guidance and suggestions.

Don't throw the leaves after the first brew. They are still good for 5+ more brews.

I was surprised to see the demonstration video for IngenuiTEA. The video implies that the leaves need to be thrown after the first brew! While this may be the case for some low quality black tea leaves, most loose leaves can be steeped multiple times.
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Postby AFHokie03 » Apr 11th, '06, 14:55

Thanks! I'll try that tonight to see how it comes out.
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Postby MarshalN » Apr 11th, '06, 20:38

What Phyll said sounds about right. If I may also add that when you pour the water in, try to pour it in a small stream (i.e. slowly) and from high up. Don't pour it in a big gush that will disturb the tea too much.
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