Brewing Oolongs Western Style

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

Re: Brewing Oolongs Western Style

Postby rabbit » Nov 18th, '10, 14:40

I would recommend a small gaiwan (130ml and under) for oolongs, yixings can be hit or miss from what I hear and you wouldn't want to spend a bunch of money on a pot that turns out to not pair well with the oolong you are drinking... unless this doesn't bother you and you'll just experiment until you find a tea that pairs well with the pot.

When drinking good tea you'll want to use more leaf and less water for shorter steeps (usually like 1/4 to 1/3 of the vessel filled with dry leaf (depending on the type of tea) and steepings for like 10 seconds, 15s, 20s, at first) you'll get a better quality outcome, and more steepings that way.

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Re: Brewing Oolongs Western Style

Postby teaisme » Nov 18th, '10, 16:35

There's nothing wrong with brewing in a bigger pot ie. 220-300ml ish, it does however provide you with many more challenges though to extract the optimal potential of the tea

I understand some people do not have a zoji, or a quick electric kettle, so brewing many small steeps of 80-150ml is just impractical (esp if you are thirsty!)

Gongfu brewing with small pot is pretty straight forward when broken down to small steps, and is a very well thought out process. It pretty much guarantees good brews packed with flavour and change.

However I've found that a lot can be discovered/learned (and a lot of tea can be wasted too if not thoughtful), by trying to optimize 3-4 brews from a bigger yixing. It's all a learning process and potential for disappointment is plentiful, but when you do figure out a teas sweet spots it is a worthwhile experience.

So by all means buy a small pot, but also consider a big one too. You may find some teas, esp aged oolongs (guessing some pu's too), brew up very nicely in a bigger pot with longer times, less leaf/water ratio, while others are more suited for heavily packed gongfu brewing in small pot.

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Re: Brewing Oolongs Western Style

Postby entropyembrace » Nov 18th, '10, 16:49

Yes you can get very enjoyable brews from many oolongs using a larger pot and brewing western style...those pots are just not suitable for gongfu :)

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Re: Brewing Oolongs Western Style

Postby teaisme » Nov 18th, '10, 16:55

yeah deff not suitable for heavy packing unless you are brewing for a lot of people and made of $$$$
1/4-1/3 full comes out 10-16 grams :cry:

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Re: Brewing Oolongs Western Style

Postby britt » Nov 18th, '10, 22:40

TwoPynts wrote:I often brew Western style at work and am normally able to get an average of 4 infusions out of most oolongs. More if it is a good one. I do use a higher leaf to water ratio, and don't steep very long for the first couple of infusions.

This is what I was going to write, thanks for saving me the trouble! I agree with everything you said. I typically use Hou De's oolongs and doing a conventional brew with a good amount of leaf gets at least four infusions. I consider all of Hou De's teas that I've tried to be very good quality and they all have stood up well with multiple infusions. This is where more expensive can sometimes, in reality, be less expensive.

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