Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?


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Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby Ritva » Aug 21st, '09, 05:43

This is maybe not so much about teaware itself but the use of it. I know that very high quality tea like single bush Dan Cong or vintage pu erh can last even for 20 steepings or more. This much tea can be too much for one drinking session and I've read that people continue brewing the same leaves the next day. If tea is brewed in porcelain gaiwan then I see no problem with that. But what about yixing? Can you keep the moist leaves in yixing overnight or several days without causing damage (staining, mold development) for the pot? Is it possible to move the leaves to another vessel for storage and then put them back to yixing? Wouldn't this disturb the leaves?
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby JP » Aug 21st, '09, 09:44

I wouldn't store wet leaves in a porous yixing because of the potential of something growing in the clay. That would be difficult to clean out.
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby wyardley » Aug 21st, '09, 12:09

A good yixing pot should be able to hold the leaves overnight with no problems. Just don't forget about them.

Porcelain should be fine too. Just keep in mind that some teas will tolerate the overnight treatment better than others, or at least so I'm told. I don't usually bother unless it's a really expensive tea.
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby AdamMY » Aug 21st, '09, 14:02

I keep leaves over night in Yixings all the time, though mind you usually they are doing an over night infusion. If you are the least bit worried about something growing, as long as its only the next day do a realy quick rinse with boiling water. I figure as long as you are putting boiling water in there repeatedly over the 2 or more days of drinking, they should be sanitary enough to weather an over night.
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby Maitre_Tea » Aug 21st, '09, 14:28

It's been said that Chao Zhou pots can keep tea leaves "fresh" for weeks, because the seal on Chao Zhou pots are usually tighter.
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby beachape » Aug 21st, '09, 14:43

I've been told not to drink tea that has been steeped over night by some Chinese tea shop clerks and a DCM (doctor of chinese medicine). Forgot to ask why though. It is possible that leaves that are steeped over night (hot/warm not cold) could engage in chemical reactions that produce products unfriendly for the body.

Not sure about leaves alone. Just food for thought.
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby Maitre_Tea » Aug 21st, '09, 14:53

Speaking on leaving tea soup overnight, don't do it...and at the very least, use a covered container or put it into the fridge. I remember I was saving some of my tea soup to photograph for my blog (I usually review teas at night when I'm refreshed after a shower) so I poured some into a cup to photograph the next day. The next morning I noticed that the tea (a Japanese asamushi) had turned a dark brownish-green color. In a less brighter decision of mine I decided to taste it...and I immediately spit it out. I think oxidation plays a huge role in making tea go bad. Learn from my mistake...don't leave tea soup out all night uncovered
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby Seeker » Aug 21st, '09, 15:44

I've read that one can keep and use puerh in yixing for three days.
Has anyone else heard this/read this? Or have any of you heard/read/been instructed not to do this?
I wouldn't ever do it with any other tea though - oxidation and such.
I've done the three day puerh thing several times, and the tea has always, always seemed fine.
However, once I forgot it, and left it for a week - only to discover mold overgrowth, very hairy innards of yixing teapot. Nothing I did could clean the pot, so I've never used it again. Luckily, it was a cheaper, mass-produced, though very attractive teapot.
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby Maitre_Tea » Aug 21st, '09, 15:53

some people have done weekly marathons of brewing tea. I think Toki or The Mandarin's Tea has a post about it. I think it's called "detail tasting."
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby AdamMY » Aug 21st, '09, 17:28

beachape wrote:I've been told not to drink tea that has been steeped over night by some Chinese tea shop clerks and a DCM (doctor of chinese medicine). Forgot to ask why though. It is possible that leaves that are steeped over night (hot/warm not cold) could engage in chemical reactions that produce products unfriendly for the body.

Not sure about leaves alone. Just food for thought.


Really thats odd, as I have been taught with aged teas, when you think you have nearly exhausted the tea, one of the best things to do to try and squeeze the rest out of it, is to do one last infusion for many hours, which usually works out as a nice way to wake up in the morning, with a cold, but refreshing, bit of tea. Notice this is usually done in yixing pots, so after about the first hour they are room temperature, and then its nothing more than room temperature brewing over an extended amount of time.

I see no way that this is any less sanitary than anything discussed about cold brewing, or room temperature brewing. Especially since with the lid on the pot this has basically been sealed except for the spout and the little hole on top of the pot.
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby woozl » Aug 21st, '09, 18:31

Maitre_Tea wrote: The next morning I noticed that the tea (a Japanese asamushi) had turned a dark brownish-green color. In a less brighter decision of mine I decided to taste it...and I immediately spit it out. I think oxidation plays a huge role in making tea go bad. Learn from my mistake...don't leave tea soup out all night uncovered


The asa will not hold up like a DC.
I wouldn't bother saving a green overnight.
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby moot » Aug 21st, '09, 18:56

I've had good results with keeping oolong and pu-erh in a *closed* gaiwan or an *open* yixing overnight.

Yixing has such a smaller opening that the tea stays moist, yet never molds.

I'm cautious about leaving tea in yixings, because I've lost my two favorite pots to forgetfulness and mold, but I've never had a problem with a day - or even two - with the lid off. Most importantly, if you forget about it, the tea dries out instead of molding.

That said, I've never done side-by side tastes of covered and uncovered overnight tea chillin'. There may be loss of something from an uncovered pot. But I've been satisfied.

I frequently let dan congs hang out overnight - especially since they take so many steepings, and because they're so damn expensive. Try refreshing them with a quick hot wash the next day - works wonders.
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby Intuit » Aug 21st, '09, 19:48

CZ, tight-fitting top, thoroughly drain first. I wouldn't leave any vessel with wet tea sitting overnight with the lid off, especially if you live in a wetter area of the country or live in a dwelling with known mold problems.

While porcelain is thought to be somehow sanitary, I would rely on tight (relatively nonporous) iron-rich clays for an overnight break from a long tea session.

I suppose an option might be popping the decanted leaves in the fridge to chill overnight if the pot has a tight lid, but you might be playing Russian Roulette with thermal stresses on the pot and damp refrigerators are notorious for mold problems.

You could decant the drained leaves into a small tightly-lidded container, leaving the teapot to dry inverted. I've done this without a problem for long-lived oolongs.

I would avoid leaving white, yellow and green teas to sit overnight.
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby beachape » Aug 21st, '09, 19:49

I don't believe that the concern is microbial growth. It may have something to do with the oxidation or interaction of the different chemicals over night. Personally I imagine if it tastes fine you are probably ok. Greens and oolongs tend to get funny over night in my experience. The oils and water minerals form a film over the top. Not appetizing.
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Re: Where to keep leaves in long brewing sessions?

Postby AdamMY » Aug 21st, '09, 19:55

Well in my experience any tea that lasts enough infusions to warrent an over night steeping, would be an Aged tea, on its last legs... I do not know about Dan Cong's if they can handle an over night steep. There is something about it being aged which drastically reduces the tannin levels, or at least the transfer of the tannin levels, where say an hour or so of hot steeping, and then several hours of room temperature steeping produces no major negative side effects.
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