Help me regain some forgotten tea knowledge!


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Help me regain some forgotten tea knowledge!

Postby trallis » Dec 5th, '13, 22:15

It's been years since I posted here, and years since I had a good cup of tea. A few years back I was diagnosed with Leukemia, underwent the normal horrors followed by a successful bone marrow transplant, and am now cancer free. Unfortunately, part of recovering from a transplant is immuno suppressants. With a supressed immune system, almost anything fresh is dangerous. Plants like tea can contain natural funguses that normal immune systems have no problem destroying. I on the other hand, could get very sick. Right now I'm getting closer to reducing the drugs and I'm going to be asking my doctor if I can start drinking loose teas again.

I've been thinking more and more about tea, and I just realized that I've forgotten a lot of the things that used to be part of my day to day life. Part of it is the time I've spent not drinking tea, and some of it may be a result of the chemo. I've had some other memory issues since then. I'm hoping some of you guys can help me regain all that lost tea knowledge. This could also be a great thread for new people coming to the forum looking to learn new things about tea. So here are a few questions to give you an idea of what I'm looking for, but any info you want to offer would be great.

-Is there a certain temperature the water needs to be at in order to extract the caffeine?

-Are my brew temps correct? Green: 160, White: 180, Oolong: 210. Black: 212

-What's the proper procedure for making Iced Tea without bitterness?

-When Gong Fu brewing with a Yixing pot, what's the rough tea to pot size ratio.. in grams and milliliters or ounces?

-Terminology: formosa, sencha, shincha, cooked pu-erh vs. uncooked


And as memory loss goes, there are probably some things I forgot about that I don't remember. :) Anything you can bestow on me would be great.
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Re: Help me regain some forgotten tea knowledge!

Postby jayinhk » Dec 6th, '13, 03:55

My advice...read some threads and talk to members in chat. Your questions require rather lengthy answers and when it comes to tea, there is no 'right' way for every situation (in most cases anyway lol).

Congratulations on kicking the big C!
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Re: Help me regain some forgotten tea knowledge!

Postby bagua7 » Dec 6th, '13, 04:45

Sorry to read you had to go through that health ordeal.

Here's some advice from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine:

http://www.ccf.org.hk/upload/fnewslette ... 53efd2.pdf

Btw, Chinese tea in general and especially green, raw puerh and oolong teas (I personally recommend High Mountain Taiwanese) and very good for the liver. Don't worry about the caffeine thing too much, it is the Qi/energetic aspect what matters the most. Others prefer Japanese teas but I have no experience with them, so I will leave that to the experts.

Good luck!
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Re: Help me regain some forgotten tea knowledge!

Postby bliss » Dec 6th, '13, 07:48

Hi,
Lovely to hear you've been declared cancer free and starting to come back!

Please take what I write below with a pinch of salt. These are things that pop into my mind when reading what you've written. I'm neither an expert on tea or medical care. See it more as comments to bring up with a medical advisor.

trallis wrote:Unfortunately, part of recovering from a transplant is immuno suppressants. With a supressed immune system, almost anything fresh is dangerous.


I equate green teas with "fresh", but they have gone through some high heat. Chinese greens have been woked in a pan to make the oxidation stop and Japanese greens have been steamed. Steaming to me also sounds more "sterile" than throwing the leaves around in a wok, but I don't know the exact ins and outs of these things.

Another aspect to think about here is that green tea, and Japanese sencha in particular, requires low temperatures. It sounds like maybe you should stick to near-boiling temperatures if you are going to drink tea, since this is more likely to kill potentially harmful organisms?

trallis wrote:Plants like tea can contain natural funguses that normal immune systems have no problem destroying. I on the other hand, could get very sick.


This, to me, reads like stay away from pu-erh altogether, except for maybe brand new maocha?

I'd second the opinion on High Mountain Oolong. Flash rinse the leaves twice with boiling water with a bit of a break in between to let the tea unfurl before you start the infusion. Boiling water might be a slightly higher temperature than usual, but it's not going to ruin the tea. Do anyone else think this sounds like a good idea?

Perhaps "black" tea (or "red" in China/Japan/Korea) might be even less likely to contain organisms given the full oxidization? Regardless, flash-rinse with boiling water is still probably a good idea, even though it might be unorthodox with black tea (I think it sounds mouth watering though).

I found this image on Wikipedia under "Tea processing" (I can't link there since I'm not allowed as a n00b), maybe it might be good for the discussion?
Image

Gaiwan (and porcelain in general) are probably better to use than clays, given that they are easier to clean because of their non-porous surface.

A last thought is that maybe tea is the most dangerous to you before it has been infused with boiling water? When you open a bag and "things" might be flying around?

Again, I feel extremely awkward giving these advice, so please (as I'm sure you already do) proceed with caution.

Peace on earth!
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