Green tea and second steep


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Green tea and second steep

Postby anna_anna » Jan 15th, '14, 17:22

Hello everyone,
Did you ever notice, or am I the only one, that, once too often, when you steep green tea, such as Long Jin or antoher, the second steep gets a weird undesirable taste, some seaweed taste like. I don't know how to describe it, but it's really like algae or it smells like rotten fish, I don't know but it's really nasty. That's why I never have a second steep with green tea, only with special black or oolong of course.
What do you think about that ? Does it happen to you sometimes ? Do you think it's related with low quality tea or is it specific to green tea ? I usually buy very good quality though...
Thanks !
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Re: Green tea and second steep

Postby William » Jan 15th, '14, 18:00

anna_anna wrote:Hello everyone,
Did you ever notice, or am I the only one, that, once too often, when you steep green tea, such as Long Jin or antoher, the second steep gets a weird undesirable taste, some seaweed taste like. I don't know how to describe it, but it's really like algae or it smells like rotten fish, I don't know but it's really nasty. That's why I never have a second steep with green tea, only with special black or oolong of course.
What do you think about that ? Does it happen to you sometimes ? Do you think it's related with low quality tea or is it specific to green tea ? I usually buy very good quality though...
Thanks !


How do you brew your green teas?

Ps. Welcome! :D
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Re: Green tea and second steep

Postby Chip » Jan 15th, '14, 18:20

Welcome to the forum! :mrgreen:

This can come down to at least several issues including personal tastes, quality of the tea, type of tea, freshness of the tea, origin of the tea, vendor, water quality, brewing techniques, how much leaf is used ... to name a few.

I think I have always enjoyed just about every green tea for at least a few steeps.

So, I would not give up quite yet ... but perhaps you could share more details.
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Re: Green tea and second steep

Postby miig » Jan 15th, '14, 18:33

Hi,

yes some details please :)
I used to think exactly the same way. It changed out of two reasons: First, i got less critical: I tried to just 'accept' the second brewing for what it was. Also, I discovered a nice little trick that worked quite well for me, enhancing my tasting perspective:

Prepare the infusion vessel as well as two drinking vessels. Prewarm everything. Maybe you have a lid or cover for the cups, that would be perfect.
- Infuse the tea as you usually du, maybe take less water.. two thirds maybe, and infuse slightly shorter. Put the infusion into a vessel.. a cup with a lid or something. Don't drink it yet.
- Then, infuse a second time, with slightly hotter water, and maybe a bit longer (depends on the tea etc.).
After its finished, start with the second infusion. Drink that one, and try to familiarize with the qualities of the tea. See how it tastes.
Then, and only then, move to the first infusion. I won't tell you yet what i found, but if you're interested, i'm looking forward to comparing experiences. :D

Greetings
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Re: Green tea and second steep

Postby debunix » Jan 15th, '14, 20:29

With green teas, I nearly always cut the time for the 2nd infusion to half or less from the first infusion, and this dramatically improves the results (to my taste, at least). And I tend to drink a minimum of 4 infusions from most green teas, and if I'm not particularly in the mood for caffeine, I may go several past that, to enjoy the dilute sweetness at the end of brewing.
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Re: Green tea and second steep

Postby anna_anna » Jan 17th, '14, 14:18

Thank you very much for your answers. I'll try it your way mig, until now, I just stopped at the first steep. My water is a filtered water, I brew green tea at 70 degrees unlike my black ones that stand boiling water, and I brew it in a whole glass little round teapot... But first time, I tend to let it steep quite a long time, because I like it strong, maybe the tea is like "drained", "exhausted" then ? I bought high quality as well as low or basic quality. But I practically I like to buy there especially [url]http://www.terredechine.com/en[/url] , as it's located in Paris (I live there). They sell high quality tea, but I've already bought on ebay too some lower qualities ...
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Re: Green tea and second steep

Postby miig » Jan 19th, '14, 07:41

Hi Anna,

yes, thats true.. it depends on the leaf/water ratio. If you infuse much longer than a minute for the first steep, the leaves might be exhausted indeed.
I had high quality chinese teas which lasted for three or four infusions... but they were really quite expensive, I'm talking about 30-40€ for 50g or so. Your tea shop looks nice, even though I suspect you might get better deals and a much broader selection from some other vendors.

Did you ever try japanese teas? I have come to prefer them. This is not to say they're better. Its a bit like with white wine and red wine: The one has things the other simply can't deliver, without one being superior.
You might want to look at the shop of thés du japon.. some compatriotes of you which have a quite decent shop in Japan.
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Re: Green tea and second steep

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Jan 19th, '14, 14:39

debunix wrote:With green teas, I nearly always cut the time for the 2nd infusion to half or less from the first infusion, and this dramatically improves the results (to my taste, at least). And I tend to drink a minimum of 4 infusions from most green teas, and if I'm not particularly in the mood for caffeine, I may go several past that, to enjoy the dilute sweetness at the end of brewing.


+1 I seldom get anything less than 4 good steeps from my green teas. With sencha, generally, I'm using about 1-1.5 grams per 30ml of water, and cut my second steep time to half or less of my first steep as well.

Blessings!
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Re: Green tea and second steep

Postby hopeofdawn » Jan 20th, '14, 12:10

Oddly enough, I have a Korean junjaek green tea that has a lovely buttery popcorn taste on the first 2-3 brews--but if I push it past about 5 brews, I've noticed that it acquires a very strong 'fishy'/seaweed kind of taste ...
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Re: Green tea and second steep

Postby debunix » Jan 20th, '14, 13:30

Different elements diffuse from the leaf at different rates, and at different temperatures. Dens Tea has a nice chart and description of some of the temperature variations here, but a more complete picture would have to include another dimension to show the rates at which the elements diffuse.

All of which is a hand-waving explanation for why the flavor profile changes through the infusions, as some elements become exhausted and others come to the fore, and you can optimize these things to your taste by adjusting the time and temperature of your infusions for a particular tea. For most green teas, I increase the temperature through the infusions, and this boosts the sweet/vegetal elements to fit my preference. But sometimes what I think of as a 'briny' element--seawater-like but not salty--is resistant to these manipulations. I've noticed that in some Korean greens too.
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