Rolled Oolong, first brew question.


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

Re: Rolled Oolong, first brew question.

Postby fire_snake » May 18th, '11, 12:17

tortoise wrote:boiling water is not enough in and of itself to make gao shan bitter. This happens by oversteeping the leaves.

Green gao shan can take the heat.


Ahh . . . alright, I'm getting closer. Thank you.

I might be letting it brew for too long.
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Re: Rolled Oolong, first brew question.

Postby wyardley » May 18th, '11, 13:59

fire_snake wrote:So the advice is to use water that has *just* boiled (do we wait for a minute or not?) and to brew until the leaves open. Hopefully they open quickly, otherwise we'll get some bitter tones with the flavour. Or maybe my oolong isn't that great.

This will depend yes, on the quality of the tea, but also on the type of kettle you're using, and the brewing vessel. For a long time, I thought that "boiling is boiling", but different types of kettles retain heat very differently. A metal electric kettle, even when you don't use the auto-shutoff feature, will, in my experience, give different results 10-30 seconds after taking off the heat compared to a glass kettle boiled on stovetop or open flame, which will give different results from a large capacity, heavy earthenware / stoneware kettle. Slow, thin, high pour into thin porcelain will also change the results compared to direct, heavy pour into a thick clay teapot.

For the rinse only, I'd definitely try water that's at more or less a full rolling boil (but not super-boiling) for a quick pour, wait a little and don't reboil before the first infusion after the rinse, then see if the results get too vegetal or bitter for you. If they are, you can try backing off next time.

It also depends what type of flavors you want to bring out. With a lot of gaoshan tea, and greener oolongs in general, I find that I can often get the flavors I like (less vegetal, more fruity) with just slightly off-boil water, but it's a fine line to get enough heat but not too much. Some people are more interested in texture / thickness, and don't mind the vegetal flavor; these people may use hotter water.
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Re: Rolled Oolong, first brew question.

Postby David R. » May 19th, '11, 02:36

My definition of off-boil is when my kettle has stopped making noise after removing it from fire (or auto shut down.) I guess it must be around 95-98°C

I don't rinse gao shan and use this off boil water poured slowly for my first brew in a very carefully preheated vessel. I think this is important. Sometimes, for very fragrant teas (dan cong), I even preheat my gaiwan twice. After that, when leaves are opened, I decrease the temp, especially when using a teapot, not to cook the leaves, around 90-92°C. In the end of the session, I increase the temp again.

These all were advices given to me, especially from Stephane, that I have found very good.
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Re: Rolled Oolong, first brew question.

Postby Alex » May 28th, '11, 12:41

David R. wrote:My definition of off-boil is when my kettle has stopped making noise after removing it from fire (or auto shut down.) I guess it must be around 95-98°C

I don't rinse gao shan and use this off boil water poured slowly for my first brew in a very carefully preheated vessel. I think this is important. Sometimes, for very fragrant teas (dan cong), I even preheat my gaiwan twice. After that, when leaves are opened, I decrease the temp, especially when using a teapot, not to cook the leaves, around 90-92°C. In the end of the session, I increase the temp again.

These all were advices given to me, especially from Stephane, that I have found very good.


It will probably be at 100c still. My electric kettle with 800ml of water in stays at 100c for around 2-3mins before dropping to 90c over about 10-15mins

But I'm defo going to try tweaking my temps. I've been drinking a lot of my green oolongs at 85c-90c recent so be nice to mix it up
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Re: Rolled Oolong, first brew question.

Postby David R. » May 28th, '11, 17:52

I am beginning to realize that the temperature has to depend on the vessel used. I know I need to be careful not to use too hot water with some pots cause they heat up so much that they would burn the leaves. With such pots, I think it may be better to extend the first brew rather than using hotter water. But I still do use "off boil" water for the first brew in a gaiwan which tends to cool faster.

Still trying to figure it out... I have a long way to go... :roll:
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