How long between first and second brewing?


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How long between first and second brewing?

Postby maxman » May 26th, '06, 17:44

Let's say I make a pot of tea in the evening. The leaves sit in the infuser overnight. Think its OK to make the second infusion with those leaves the next morning?
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Postby MarshalN » May 26th, '06, 20:22

Depends on what kind of tea, but generally, not a good idea
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Postby TeaFanatic » May 27th, '06, 00:23

The problem with that in my opinion is that wet tea leaves are a great climate for bacteria. I think that perhaps within an hour would be a good resteeping time period, but after that you should probably throw out the leaves.

Also, since this is in the black tea section, normally black teas are not good for a second resteeping anyway, although if you like the second steeping, then you should go for it.
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Postby MarshalN » May 27th, '06, 01:02

Well, within a few hours is ok, IMHO. Overnight gets a little iffy, although in the case of puerh, even that's ok.
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Postby jogrebe » May 27th, '06, 11:24

I'd say finish your multiple infusions preferably within an hour at most two hours. Just remember that the cost of getting sick once from bacteria growing on the leaves that you used after sitting out for too long is a lot more than the savings of a few pennies here and there by recycling older wet tea leaves.
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Postby Daughteroftheki... » May 27th, '06, 21:56

If you live in a really dry climate (like Colorado) and if your leaves have been drained, you have a little more time. (I push it more in the winter as my house is pretty chilly.) But be careful, because some people's systems are just more sensitive to slight bacteria than others.

As to reinfusing black teas -- IMO Darjeeling and Earl Grey Bravo are even better on the 2nd steeping.
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Postby maxman » May 27th, '06, 23:15

Well, I'm still alive. Anyway, the other evening I brewed a pot of yunnan jig. I got up the next morning and poured boiling water over the same leaves. It didn't seem like there was a lot of flavor in that pot.
That yunnan jig is great stuff. I've been brewing the leaves 2x and the second pot is as good as the first. I'll quit with the overnite lag time just to be safe.
Thanks for the input.
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Postby MarshalN » May 27th, '06, 23:27

I won't worry too much about bacteria, but the taste of the tea suffers overnight. It can come out sour and bitter after sitting so long.
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Postby H.M. Murdock » Jun 22nd, '06, 16:26

And with tea, it is all about taste. Otherwise we could just drink water, take a vitamin and be just as well off.
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Postby Darth Jeeling » Jun 22nd, '06, 22:46

or drink water, take a vitamin, and throw wet leaves off the ground at people, anyway. :P
Are there any vitamins in tea?
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Postby filiagro » Aug 8th, '06, 10:15

Don't people usually boil water to kill bacteria? I do it a lot when I camp. So if you poured boiling water over old used tea leaves, and they sat in the water. Wouldn't that kill most of the bacteria if there was any? That's at least what I think.
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Postby klemptor » Aug 8th, '06, 13:25

filiagro wrote:Don't people usually boil water to kill bacteria? I do it a lot when I camp. So if you poured boiling water over old used tea leaves, and they sat in the water. Wouldn't that kill most of the bacteria if there was any? That's at least what I think.


Leaves that are typically re-steeped (oolong, green, white) are not generally subjected to boiling water (which is 212° F) - they're usually subjected water anywhere from 160° to 180°. And even if boiling water was used (like for reinfusing pu-erh), I'd be surprised if the bacteria didn't affect the taste of the tea.
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Postby keelyn » Aug 8th, '06, 22:25

Let's say I make a pot of tea in the evening. The leaves sit in the infuser overnight. Think its OK to make the second infusion with those leaves the next morning?


I developed my own method for dealing with such a predicament. I've tried rebrewing the re-dried leaves and its terrible. The bacteria or something else about the process changes the taste significantly for the worse. Here's what I do.

I'll make a cup of tea to enjoy right away, the usual way with 1 tsp leaves and ~8-12 oz water with appropriate steep time.

After I filter the leaves, I immediately pour fresh hot water over them and let sit for a lengthier time, maybe an hour or two, then drink that. The temp is cool and the taste is not bitter at all, but maybe a bit weaker.

Again, I immediately pour more hot water over the leaves, and let sit overnight, room temp. I drink it the next morning or even in the afternoon the next day. It is similiar ito the 2nd cup.

This works best with teas that generally don't take well to multiple steepings like blacks and herbals. They lose flavor too quickly, which is why I can steep them so long without making them bitter.

Constantly being in water also protects the leaves from direct bacterial attack. No "weird" tastes are present in my overnight tea.

It might be a weird way of doing things, but I've made many a good cup of tea this way.
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Postby jogrebe » Aug 8th, '06, 22:56

If you want to get as many infusions out of a tea as possible but can't drink it all in a single sitting, why not brew them right after each other and then save them in a cup or pitcher in the refrigerator. That way you can either reheat it or drink it as iced tea later on without having to worry about the bacteria issue.
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