gongfu brewing?


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gongfu brewing?

Postby jogrebe » Jun 17th, '06, 00:40

A question for all your gongfu brewers out there. Is there actually much of a difference in gongfu brewing beyond the hype and the caffeine overload? I've been experimenting with gongfu brewing in a gaiwan for the past few days and I am not noticing any real difference in the taste with the teas described, although I now know from firsthand experience what getting "tea drunk" is all about. Ok maybe I'm not doing something right but as of now the only difference that I'm noticing is the increased caffeine (which I *never* really feel in tea) and the increased rate at which I'm going through large amounts of tea.
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Postby Warden Andy » Jun 17th, '06, 01:07

You tried it with only cooked puerh, right? I don't remember much of a difference with cooked puerh either. I also didn't notice a difference when making black tea like that either.

But it seems to get more flavor out of other teas. Just try brewing some other teas.
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Postby jogrebe » Jun 17th, '06, 01:14

I also tried it with green tea and a "generic" dark oolong, which also had no noticeable difference for me.
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Postby Warden Andy » Jun 17th, '06, 01:51

How exactly did you brew those teas?
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Postby jogrebe » Jun 17th, '06, 05:03

For the oolong tea I used three heaping teaspoons of leaf into my gaiwan which was somewhere around a quarter of the volume and used the brewing times suggested on the Chinese tea 101 website. For the gunpowder green tea I used a single heaping teaspoon (I normally use a half teaspoon when I brew it English style) which I filled with my normal 40% room temp 60% boiling water mix (mixed in a small teapot before pouring into the gaiwan) and around 20 seconds for the first brew. The gunpowder took a few rounds show any signs of blowing up but once it did took up around a half of the gaiwan space.
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Gongfu

Postby hop_goblin » Jun 20th, '06, 02:24

I do think that it is appropiate to brew black teas especially Pu-erh tea in a Gaiwan. Studying the subject now for 5 months, most gongfu'ers suggest that yixing pots are the appropiate and best vessles to brew black and especially pu-erh teas as they retain the necessary heat to extract all of the oils and essence of the tea. Of course assuming that your gaiwan is made of porcline, it is best for green, yellow and white teas. However, oolong also does very well in a gaiwan as the bowl like structure gives the leaves more surface space in which to unferral and allows the extraction of the delicate flavors of those teas. I personally use Yixing pots for my oolong, pu-erhs and black teas and a Gaiwan made of Jade for the light teas.
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Postby Warden Andy » Aug 5th, '06, 12:38

Well, there is a reason why it's called gongfu ("great skill"). It takes some practice to get a great cup of tea. I've been brewing like this for so long, and it's still not really gongfu since I still don't have "great skill."

I have a few tips. For the green tea, that ratio of water will come out very cool, so 20 seconds is way too short. Try brewing it again with 45s-1m first infusion. I'm not sure exactly how cool that water is, but it sounds cool enough that it would require leaving the lid on. Also, to avoid bitterness, slowly pour the water around the wall of the gaiwan.

I saw the times that site suggested for oolongs, and they seem a bit long. From my experience, 5-15 seconds is good for the first infusion. Give that a try and see if it comes out any better.
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