Trouble with Bai Hao #40


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

Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby bcrav1024 » Jun 14th, '11, 15:37

All right, I've made this stuff three separate times now, and the last two have been extremely astringent, although my steeping times/water temps have been somewhat similar. Let me list all three sessions, and if any of you can point me in the right direction that'd be amazing:

Session - IngenuiTEA - 2 heaping teaspoons
1st Steeping: 30 seconds at 195 degrees - watery and not much flavor
2nd Steeping: 2 minutes at 208 degrees - more flavor. Sweetness really came out.
3rd Steeping: 3 minutes at 195 degrees - same as 2nd steeping, but a little weaker. More savoriness apparent.
4th Steeping: 1 minute at 195 degrees - not much flavor left, but lingering umami/savoriness still present
5th Steeping: 4 minutes 30 seconds at 195 degrees - basically tastes like weakly-flavored water

Session - Teavana Perfect Teacup (single cup serving strainer you insert into the cup you'll drink tea out of) in glazed ceramic mug - 2 heaping teaspoons.
'Washed' leaves at 15 seconds and 195 degrees
1st Steeping: 2 minutes and 30 seconds at 195 degrees - very astringent. Too bitter to drink.
2nd Steeping: 1 minute and 30 seconds at 195 degrees - still noticeably bitter
3rd Steeping: 1 minute at 195 degrees - still a little bitterness present, but umami/savoriness present here

Session - Teavana Perfect Teacup in glazed ceramic mug - 2 heaping teaspoons.
'Washed' leaves at 15 seconds in 195 degrees
1st Steeping: 45 seconds at 195 degrees - astringency is still largely present, but sweet aftertaste comes out, too.
2nd Steeping: 45 seconds at 185 degrees - not nearly as astringent. Tastes a little flat but much more sweetness present
3rd Steeping: 1 minute 45 seconds at 185 degrees - Tasted peppery with the lingering sweetness, but started to taste watery.
4th Steeping: 3 minutes 30 seconds at 195 degrees - Tasted pretty watery, but with the savory aftertaste.

So what do you guys think? I thought that the ceramic mug vs. the IngenuiTEA might be making a difference, but idk. This tea is good, but it is so delicate you have to be very careful with it.

Any help would be appreciated!
bcrav1024
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 14th, '

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby teaisme » Jun 14th, '11, 16:45

have never had adagio version or used the brewing devices you have so...consider that
If your spending $16 for 2oz perhaps a Taiwanese vendor for this popular taiwanese tea?

Here are a few things you can try...
in IngenuiTEA: 3-4 of your teaspoons, preheat, 5 second rinse boiling, 1m 15-30secs at 185, 1 min 190, 3-6 mins at 190-195ish

In perfect teacup : 2 teaspoons, 160 for 5 mins or 170 for 3 mins, after that first infusion pour cold water over leaves and put in fridge for a few hours and cold brew the second infusion to taste
or for single infusion, 1 heaping teaspoon, no preheat, rinse, brew 5-8 mins, 195ish
.
Good luck!
User avatar
teaisme
 
Posts: 1390
Joined: May 27th, '

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby gingkoseto » Jun 14th, '11, 17:20

I am not sure how big your brewing vessel is. But a possible cause of the problem is leaf/water ratio is rather small. I've found bai hao oolong more "puffy" and "fluffy" than most other teas. A small sample bag I use can easily hold >10g green tea of most kinds, almost 20g of ball-shaped Taiwan oolong, but the same bag can barely hold 6-7g of bai hao oolong, Sometimes even 5g can hardly fit in.

The comparison between vessels is quite interesting. Are the latter two vessels smaller than the ingenuity vessel?
User avatar
gingkoseto
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 2141
Joined: Sep 24th, '
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby bcrav1024 » Jun 14th, '11, 17:57

Ya sorry for not specifying. And churng, thanks for the steep time advice.

I drink tea 8 oz. at a time, so since the InegnuiTEA hold s16 oz., I use half of that. Same thing for the Perfect Tea thing -- I put it in an 8 oz. mug.

So either way, I'm using 2 teaspoons per 8 oz. of water. I, too, noticed it is pretty fluffy, similar to White Peony.

Also, this is Adagio's Bai Hao I am using.
bcrav1024
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 14th, '

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby Rayuela » Jun 15th, '11, 02:53

For me, Bai Hao is really one of those teas that improves immeasurably when brewed a bit more gong fu.It really needs concentration to bring out the spicy notes. If you are going to drink fairly diluted 8oz shots, a nice 2nd flush darjeeling will come in much cheaper and taste much the same. But that's just me.
Rayuela
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Oct 24th, '

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby bcrav1024 » Jun 15th, '11, 03:56

/\ So for 8 oz. of water, you think 2 heaping teaspoons is too little? I was going by the Adagio bag, as 2 heaping teaspoons/cup were recommended.

But if more leaf is necessary for that amount of water, I'll def give it a try.
bcrav1024
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 14th, '

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby gingkoseto » Jun 15th, '11, 08:20

I think what Rayuela means is probably using smaller cup, but not necessarily more leaves (or in addition to it)?

This just reminds me of another question. In tea world, is a cup 8oz. or 4oz.? I had never thought of this before since I usually go by oz. or ml. But the other day when shopping on Amazon I saw one guy writing "this coffee pot is not as big as the described 12 cups ", and another guy responding "a coffee cup is 4oz, not 8oz". Is a teacup 4oz. as well?
User avatar
gingkoseto
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 2141
Joined: Sep 24th, '
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby Proinsias » Jun 16th, '11, 10:06

Another vote for more tea, less space. I've not tried Adagio's but I find that in general it's quite a tricky tea to brew and responds well to lots of tea to not much water. Carefully removing the brewing recommendations and placing them in the bin is a good start.

Brewed with a little leaf floating in lots of water is a recipe for a rather uninspiring cup in my experience.

A 4oz gaiwan may be a good investment.
Proinsias
 
Posts: 1535
Joined: Mar 19th, '
Location: On the couch

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby bcrav1024 » Jun 16th, '11, 14:42

Yes, I'm finding that the good oolongs tend to be pretty fragile in terms of brewing. Kinda sad as I was hoping I'd be able to get a good casual brew going at work. I think my next oolong I'll try Adagio's Oooooh Darjeeling oolong.

In any case, I do love tea. I'm thinking a gaiwan is in the near future... ;)

Do you guys have any personal recommendations for a good, cheap gaiwan? I was thinking about picking up the one from Mighty Leaf: http://www.mightyleaf.com/teaware_infuser-mugs/brown-gaiwan

Or Adagio's $9 5 oz. tasting set thing.
bcrav1024
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 14th, '

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby Proinsias » Jun 16th, '11, 15:48

Darjeeling oolong is likely much better suited to you current setup than bai hao.

Either the 100ml plain white or the Dayi from Steve
http://www.jas-etea.com/categories/Teawares/Gaiwan/

or the medium here
http://www.theteagallery.com/category_s/12.htm

There are plenty other options but these seem pretty reliable.

*edit*
A small tip I picked up from Wyardly, after using gaiwan for a few years, is to put the base of the gaiwan to one side and just use the cup and lid.
Proinsias
 
Posts: 1535
Joined: Mar 19th, '
Location: On the couch

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby teaisme » Jun 16th, '11, 17:58

just dont give up too quick buddy
bai hao is not some mystical tea that can't be appreciated, revered, and enjoyed if not brewed small pot, high leaf ratio

Most bai hao I have tried, both cheap and expensive, tend to be very flexible. I feel it's actually more suited for your 'casual' brewing needs then many other teas out there. What exactly do you mean by casual?

All these recommendations for small vessels are good, but if your water heating setup isn't ideal for small vessels you may be hindering your enjoyment/tea and shortchanging/clouding the experiences it has to offer. How do you heat your water, and where do you get your water?

bcrav1024 wrote:Yes, I'm finding that the good oolongs tend to be pretty fragile in terms of brewing.

All depends.

Also...although I love adagio, I did not enjoy the teas I had from them...others seem to have had more success then me :wink:
User avatar
teaisme
 
Posts: 1390
Joined: May 27th, '

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby bcrav1024 » Jun 16th, '11, 19:35

Thanks for the links, Proinsias!

churng -

I heat my water in an electric kettle that allows you to adjust your temperature manually (like Adagio's utiliTEA). Also, thw ater I get is filtered tap water.

Also, for casual, I mean using the vessels I used in my OP, like the ingenuiTEA, which are usually good for 8 oz. cups of tea. I don't mind getting a gaiwan, but with work it'd be inconvenient to master a gaiwan and steep my oolong many times. Bigger vessels like the ingenuiTEA allows me to make 3-4 steeps in larger cups. I have many different black teas and white teas which do great, but once I got the Bai Hao I haven't been able to make an awesome cup.

I feel like the 195 water temp might be a bit hot. I think I'll try 4 teaspoons (1.25 tbsp) of the Bai Hao for 8 oz. water and steep for 1 minute at 180-185 degrees. I'll let you all know how it goes.

And as this conversation keeps going, I just want to pause and say thanks for everyone's input.
bcrav1024
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 14th, '

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby wyardley » Jun 16th, '11, 23:41

bcrav1024 wrote:I feel like the 195 water temp might be a bit hot. I think I'll try 4 teaspoons (1.25 tbsp) of the Bai Hao for 8 oz. water and steep for 1 minute at 180-185 degrees. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Why do you think that would be too hot? I would use full boiling ater, or very close. Bai Hao Oolong / Oriental Beauty / is a very heavily oxidized tea, and needs hot water. If you're using cooler water, this is probably one reason you're not getting good results.

As others have said, Adagio may not be the best vendor out there for this tea.
User avatar
wyardley
 
Posts: 1904
Joined: Jan 11th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby bcrav1024 » Jun 17th, '11, 15:29

/\ In my original post I listed my sessions with Bai Hao at the designated water temperatures. Most of the steeps were at 195 degrees or higher.

So here's my latest session (currently drinking as we speak):

8 oz. water in Adagio IngenuiTEA - 4 heaping teaspoons
1st steep: 25 seconds at 195 degrees - slightly astringent, very sweet.
2nd steep: 25 seconds at 195 degrees - very astringent, slight sweetness. Wtf?
3rd steep: 15 seconds at 195 degrees - noticeably bitter, no sweetness. Slight pepperiness. Seriously what is with this tea?
4th steep: 45 seconds at 195 degrees - still a bit bitter but now has much more sweetness and savoriness. It's starting to taste a little watery.
5th steep: 1 minute 20 seconds at 195 degrees - now it tastes completely like water.

I'm starting to think I just got a bad batch. I've tried different tea amounts, different temperatures, different water, and different steep times.

Next time I think I'll try Adagio's Ooooh Darjeeling or Dan Cong Aria. I have some experience with Dan Congs so I'll have a better idea as to what I'm doing.
bcrav1024
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 14th, '

Re: Trouble with Bai Hao #40

Postby teaisme » Jun 17th, '11, 16:08

so have you tried cooler water yet...
I suggested cooler because it seemed like hotter was not working for you from the first post, maybe consider cooler water and fewer steeps like 3-4. I would be very surprised and impressed if you can push 5 good steeps out of an OB from adagio when brewing 8oz infusions...

also some OB just does not do well with very hot water regardless of quality
User avatar
teaisme
 
Posts: 1390
Joined: May 27th, '

Next

Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation