What am I doing wrong?

White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.

What am I doing wrong?

Postby TeaRevorThomas » May 9th, '13, 10:05

I'm pretty new to tea life. I recently bought some loose leaf, pina coloda flavored white tea, the people told me to steep it for 2 minutes, with water that is 195 degrees, and 6 oz's of water per teaspoon of tea. But yet it still comes out tasting like hot water. I'm very frustrated. Any suggestions??

Posts: 2
Joined: May 09, '13

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby amaranto » May 9th, '13, 10:26

I tried a pineapple-flavored tea once that just tasted like water. Maybe it has something to do with the ingredients themselves. A lot of white tea takes up more space than other teas per weight, so you might try doubling or tripling the amount because of this if you are measuring using teaspoons.

User avatar amaranto
Posts: 216
Joined: Dec 12, '12
Location: Mexico City

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby TeaRevorThomas » May 9th, '13, 12:01

Ok I'll for sure try this. It happened with an oolong that I tried also. I'm wondering if it has something to do with my teapot because my friend made both of these types of tea in his teapot and they turned out great. :o But thanks for the advice!!!

Posts: 2
Joined: May 09, '13

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby Devoted135 » May 9th, '13, 12:38

Personally, I prefer about two teaspoons of oolong per 3oz water to get the flavor I'm looking for. Then I do many shorter steeps instead of one or two longer steeps. Out of curiosity, what kind of teapot do you have?

User avatar Devoted135
Posts: 341
Joined: Sep 08, '12
Scrolling: scrolling

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby teaisme » May 9th, '13, 17:50

if your friend has the same tea as you and you know what it can taste like, then you can start eliminating things

bad water, poor kettle , poor teapot

that is the order I would start with

User avatar teaisme
Posts: 1390
Joined: May 27, '09

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » May 13th, '13, 02:25


I'm curious what tea vessel your using to brew. Also, when I open a new tea, one I'm familiar with but that is a new season or just a tea that is completely new to me, I use a tasting set to first sample the tea. With my teacher in Taiwan, with every pour of a tea, we first poured the tea in a tasting set to get a feel for its character (boiling water, 5 min. 3g of tea or 4g if it was a rolled oolong, in a porcelain tasting set..). This way, as your tea taste distinction grows you'll have a general measurement and practice to reference all your other brewings by. I keep a tea journal wherein I note the date, the tea I'm brewing, any experimental notes from the prior brew of the same tea, the exact grams of tea I'm pouring, the water I'm using and it's temperature, what type of kettle I used to heat the water (iron, silver, ceramic over charcoal, electric, gas etc.), the tea vessel of the day (pot, gaiwan, etc.), as well as any other tea vessels (cups, table settings, etc.), the times for each brew, etc. Usually, to unlock a challenging tea, I look back at my acquired notes and find within the the notes what I need. Remember tea is a rich journey; don't be too impatient, but I too share a frustration at times when I am just not synchronizing with a tea well, especially if it's an expensive tea. :D

What are your leaves looking like with each round, are they limp too soon, how is their expansion/opening in the vessel, etc.? This can tell you if you are over-steeping or steeping with too hot/cool of water, etc. Note the leaves between rounds.

As teaisme noted...start the elimination process...water issue (too hot/not hot enough, steep times too short/long, grams of tea leaf too little/too much, wrong brewing vessel (clay/glass etc.) for the tea, pour water quality, how old/fresh is the tea (did you buy it bulk from a tea tin that has been open too long?), etc.

I also use a 聞杯wen2bei1(smelling cup) when I brew. Often the smell cup can tell me exactly what I need. If there is no fragrance, often, but not always, and the smelling cup has been kept sufficiently warm, then, in general the temp. needs to go up, in general. It does take some time and experience to know what scent notes a tea will likely have but the smell is a useful tea addition. Tea can be such a subtle art...there is obviously more that can be said.

With silver needle teas I tend to brew them lower temp. and not too long, in general...but everyone has their methods and preferences.

Lastly, in Taiwan my teacher (it's all personal though) recommends 8 grams of leaf per 150 ml. I prefer weighing my tea leaves compared to scooping them in a teaspoon, etc.

Please report back; I'm curious to find out what your results are. Blessings in the process!

User avatar 茶藝-TeaArt08
Posts: 503
Joined: May 11, '13
Location: Sacramento, California

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby Evan Draper » May 13th, '13, 13:24

It's the tea.

User avatar Evan Draper
Posts: 483
Joined: Jan 23, '07
Location: Philadelphia
Contact Evan Draper:

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby tenuki » May 13th, '13, 16:21

Evan Draper wrote:It's the tea.

probably this.

User avatar tenuki
Posts: 2350
Joined: Oct 23, '06
Location: Seattle Area
Contact tenuki:

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » May 14th, '13, 00:17

The leaves...right...and possibly. If his friend was able to brew the teas to satisfactory flavor then perhaps there is more going on. While I have encountered poorer quality teas, I have never found a tea that could not be made to "dance" somehow...even if the adjustments moved the tea from poor to mediocre. In fact, I personally appreciate the challenge of getting a poorer or less fresh tea to perform and we were often given this test in Taiwan, given multiple teas, not being told what they were, some more fresh than others, and told to brew. I often find, if I listen well enough, there is a way. A teacher of mine in Taiwan often said, in regards to 茶具/teaware and 茶/tea, "每一個東西都有辦法“。。。"Everything has a/its method." So I am curious what tweaks could be made to illicit at least some improvement. (I recently had a Si Ji Chun tea(四季春)that would not perform at first. After multiple days, I finally got it to "move. This process of moving from "formlessness to form, form to formlessness" in any gong fu is what provides the deepest satisfaction and reward for my own life process. Blessings in the discernment!

User avatar 茶藝-TeaArt08
Posts: 503
Joined: May 11, '13
Location: Sacramento, California

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby hongtea » Apr 13th, '14, 05:17

@Thomas, what do you mean of tasting like hot water? not tasty? I suggest you use water lower than 170 degree and less water if the taste is still light.

And as the tea you brewed is flavored, hope there is enough real white tea leaves existing.


Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 22, '13

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby Misou » Apr 14th, '14, 08:07

Could also be that 1 teaspoin is not enough tea for how much water you are using. Some white teas are very fluffy. 1 teaspoon might be a whole lot of air and not much tea.

Posts: 40
Joined: Mar 24, '14

Today's Poll


In total there is 1 user online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest