Resteeping?


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Resteeping?

Postby cupcakerica » May 31st, '13, 18:34

Hi guys/gals! As a loose leaf newbie, I was hoping someone could shed some light on resteeping. Is resteeping the right word? Can you resteep all types of tea (I drink flavored blacks, oolongs, greens, whites)? Is there a limit on how many times you can reuse the leaves? Thanks so much!
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Re: resteeping?

Postby Senchamatcha » May 31st, '13, 19:54

it depends on the tea and at what point you get tired of resteeping.
depending on the tea it can be anywhere from 1 steep to 20-30 steeps.
Most teas you can get 1-3 really good steeps and then depending on the tea steeps # 6-8 will still have good flavor but may be significantly weaker.
I brew my Kagoshima Sae Midori fukamushi usually about 6 times.
I brew my Formosa oolong about 8 times.
I brew my Organic dong ding about 10 times.
And a mystery oolong usually gets about 6 steeps. With this one sometimes i add an extra half serving of tea after 6th steep to boost flavor and then brew it to steep 12 or so.
It all depends on where you want to give up, after it starts loosing its flavor and turning weak? or after it literally tastes like plain hot water? its all up to you and your taste buds.
you can resteep everything but matcha! :lol:
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Re: resteeping?

Postby debunix » May 31st, '13, 20:02

I resteep until
-I don't like the flavor anymore (since I like 'sweetwater', this can go one quite a while)
-I'm done for the night
-flavor is weak and I'm craving another tea
-I really need a stronger hit of caffeine from a fresh tea

I expect 2-3 steeps from black tea, 2-4 from white, 3-6 from green, and sky is the limit for nice roasted oolongs and puerhs.

And as you get some practice and learn what you like, you can better predict the right size vessel to brew in, matching # of infusions and volume per infusion to your bladder capacity....
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Re: resteeping?

Postby Senchamatcha » May 31st, '13, 20:12

debunix wrote: matching # of infusions and volume per infusion to your bladder capacity....


:shock: this is a major determining factor. i had one green oolong tea that brewed for ever. i did not know this and the first time made 8oz portions. i started at breakfast and drank tea through out the day, by my late night snack time i thought my bladder would explode. *edit: I think i brewed about 25, possibly 30 total infusions, 20 of those were 8oz* i decreased the water to 4oz and halved the steep time. I am sorry I failed to mention that.

also, if you know you have infusions left but dont want to drink tea right now you can drain the leaves (dont squeeze) and place them in a small clay or ceramic vessel (not plastic, glass might do in a pinch) and cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in your fridge for the next brewing session. you probably want to use and discard the leaves within say a few days to a week depending on how cold your fridge is.
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Re: resteeping?

Postby Mooniac » May 31st, '13, 22:27

I brew tea till I don't like the flavor. Usually means that later steepings are longer.

Personally I observed one raw puerh which was brewed over 47 times over a time period of two days (it was standing in an open teapot without any liquid over night) and still had flavor and potency.
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Re: resteeping?

Postby victoria3 » Jun 1st, '13, 00:00

I also resteep and switch gears when the flavor becomes too mild. At that point I enjoy placing the leaves on the stove top, adding water, and giving it a 5 second boil and letting it steep 4+ minutes. A pleasant astringency comes out at the end.
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Re: resteeping?

Postby AdamMY » Jun 1st, '13, 00:09

All good comments so far but let me highlight one thing: how you brew changes how many steeps you can get. By that I mean if you are using 2 grams for 8 oz of water and doing very long steeps you will not get nearly as many steeps, as if you brew it at a much stronger ratio say 2 grams for 4 oz, 2 oz of water ( or less). As you are a new member I am unsure how you brew but I imagine you brew similar to how most of us started out the so called western style, very little tea with a lot of water and very long infusions. Depending on the tea when brewing this way sometimes even one infusion can seem like too much for the tea, and often the best teas can not go much more than 5 or so steeps, unless you really do like sweet water.

I suggest you explore, get to know your teas, and your preferences. It is a fun and crazy world when you really start to get into it. :D
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Re: Resteeping?

Postby cupcakerica » Jun 1st, '13, 13:02

Thank you to everyone that replied, I appreciate all the help! And yes, apparently I'm brewing it in a more Western fashion, a tsp or two per 8 oz of water, for 3-5 minutes. I thought I was such a cool kid, getting my ingenuitea and brewing copious amounts of tea :-( This weekend shall be for tea experimenting! Thanks again!!
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Re: Resteeping?

Postby John Delaney » Jun 3rd, '13, 23:08

cupcakerica,

It is hard to give an exact number of resteepings by tea because it can vary depending on the quality of tea. Also, in reality, you can keep resteeping tea until you get tired of it. However, most people will only steep until the point where the tea will start to go down in taste. So let's give some rough guidelines on where that can be.

Most loose leaf teas will give you a good 3 or 4 steepings. It doesn't matter the variety. The one tea that can go much further is usually oolong teas. These teas are traditionally used with smaller cups which can lead to 10+ steepings. However, with regular sized cups, you can expect 6 or 7.

Tea can also keep where you can allow it to stay out over night or a couple of days and resteep the next day. However, I generally do not recommend continuing to use steeped leaves beyond 24 hours.

I also should mention that even with teabags, you can often steep that tea once or twice more if the tea leaves used in them are quality leaves.
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