Light and Dark?


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Light and Dark?

Postby Dronak » Sep 14th, '05, 20:48

I noticed that the preparation information here makes a distinction between light and dark oolongs. It says dark oolongs should use 2 tsp/cup in boiling water for 7 minutes and light oolongs should use 1 tsp/cup in cooler water for 3-5 minutes. I bought the oolong sampler pack here and I'm a little confused on how to brew them. Here's what I have and the label info:

jasmine #5 -- 180 deg., 3 min.
oolong #8 -- 212 deg., 7 min.
ti kuan yin -- 212 deg., 5 min.
wuyi ensemble -- 212 deg., 7 min.

By temperature, the last three should be dark and thus 2 tsp per cup. By time, the first and third should be 1 tsp per cup, the second and fourth 2 tsp. But the descriptions of all four here say 10 cups per sampler suggesting 1 tsp per cup for all four teas. I'm getting conflicting signals here. Can someone explain the best (or initially suggested) way to brew these teas? Thanks for the help.

P.S. -- I'm seeing the same sort of thing with some herbals, too, if anyone wants to help out on that instead of me starting an almost identical thread in the herbal forum.
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Postby klemptor » Sep 24th, '05, 21:41

OK Dronak - as we discussed:

Jasmine #5: closer to the green end of the oolong spectrum; use 1 tsp at 180 deg for 3 mins. (Treat it like a green.)
Oolong #8: very bulky; use 2 tsp at 212 deg for 7 mins. (Takes longer to release its flavor.)
Ti Kuan Yin: somewhat compact; use 1 tsp at 212 deg for 5 mins. (Treat it like a black.)
Wuyi Oolong: very bulky; use 2 tsp at 212 deg for 7 mins. (Takes longer to release its flavor.)

Enjoy!
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Postby Dronak » Sep 24th, '05, 23:46

Thanks for the reply. Now I can try the oolongs since I know how much tea should be used. :) When I initially opened the tins to check out the tea and smell it, I didn't pay much attention to the appearance of the leaves. Looking now though, I see that the Wuyi has rather large, loose leaves and so would be better with 2 tsp, to get more leaves into the pot. Similarly, the jasmine #5 leaves look much like most tins of black or green teas I have, so 1 tsp should suffice there. The oolong #8 seems to be kind of in between these two in size and the ti kuan yin looks like small, compact pieces, so I might not have been able to guess correctly on those.

Here's another question. I believe others have mentioned around here that some teas will stand up well under two infusions, in particular that some oolongs are like that and can give two brews of different flavors. Are any of these four sampler pack oolongs good for double brewing?
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Postby klemptor » Sep 25th, '05, 11:03

Personally, I've never double-brewed for two reasons:

1. It feels like I'm being a cheapskate
2. Bacteria

Apparently you can get different flavors from re-brewing leaves - I've heard that a second brew can bring out more subtle notes than were noticeable in the first brew. If you double-brew, make sure to do it within a couple of hours as bacteria thrive in tea leaves.
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Postby Dronak » Sep 25th, '05, 11:54

Normally I don't either, but mainly because I didn't think you got much from a second brew. If it's possible to get two good brews out of the leaves though, I might try it for the teas that take 2 tsp per cup. It would be nice to get 10 cups from the sampler tin instead of only 5. If I do double brew, it would be right away -- make one cup, drink it, make a second cup, probably less than an hour in between brewings. But I don't want to bother doing it if the second brew won't be worth it. That's why I was wondering which teas do make good second brews.
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Postby PeteVu » Sep 25th, '05, 18:51

many people, myself included, insist on infusing oolong teas multiple times, sometimes even up to 4 infusions. Its not about the cost effectiveness of it so much as it is, as you said, for the new levels of taste and flavor with every infusion. its surprising how different the infusions can be. as for other teas, i infuse my greens and blacks twice once in a while, whenever i feel like it (no new flavors, just more tea ^^). usually one pot of whites are enough for me. herbals can only be infused once, theres practically nothing left after the first infusion. most of the time when i have guests over, i pick out the apple pieces and some of the pretty leaves and put them in my guests' cups. those apple cubes are tasty! but most importantly, herbal leaves wont become bitter like tea when steeped longer than suggested.
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