do you rinse oolong tea


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do you rinse oolong tea

Postby guitarfreak2641 » Feb 10th, '07, 13:35

I was wondering if I should rinse my Oolong and black teas. If I should how exactly do you do it? Do you just run water ofer it?
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Postby Mary R » Feb 10th, '07, 15:24

Here's my technique, though I obviously can't speak for everyone:

I basket infuse, so I place the basket into a cup, measure the desired amount of tea into the basket, then pour water at the desired temperature over the leaves, generally filling the cup about 1/2 full in the process. I move the stream of water in circles to insure that all leaves are "wet." I let the tea sit for 5-15 seconds or so, slightly agitating the basket if the tea sort of clumps together. Basically, I just want to make sure all leaves get a little wet.

Then I pull out the basket, allow the water to drain out, place the basket in a warmed cup/pot, pour the desired amount of appropriately heated water over the leaves and steep.
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Postby MarshalN » Feb 12th, '07, 13:21

I'd suggest definitely rinsing your oolong, especially the fisted kind. Wetting the leaves open them up and makes for a better cup. There are often a little bit of off flavours too that you're washing off, and this is especially true with lower quality tea.

Just pour water and drain, really. 5 seconds is more than enough, IMHO. If you use a gaiwan, then there's the additional step of scooping off the foam from the water, but otherwise, that's difficult to do.
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Postby Libertatis » Feb 12th, '07, 14:26

With regards to rolled Oolongs,

I always rinse my oolong. Just pour some hot water in the Gaiwan, swish the leaves around a bit, and pour the water off. You will notice this really brings out the roasted smell and flavor of the tea (as well as opening the leaves up a bit). I have found that rinsing the leaves improves the taste of the first brewing. (though typically 2nd and 3nd steepings for green oolongs are my favorite).
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Postby Salsero » Feb 12th, '07, 15:56

Slightly off the main topic, do you use full boiling water for the lighter oolongs, say high mountain Taiwanese?
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Postby guitarfreak2641 » Feb 12th, '07, 19:16

thanks for the help. I tryed rinsing the tea and it tasted a lot better.
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Postby Libertatis » Feb 12th, '07, 21:48

Salsero wrote:Slightly off the main topic, do you use full boiling water for the lighter oolongs, say high mountain Taiwanese?


I have tried this method, and i know many people do it this way. Normally i do the ~180-190 degree water and steep a little longer. This seems to work the best for me. (i use a Gaiwan or a yixing pot)

I must admit though, if you use really hot water (just under boiling), and steep very quickly, you can steep your teas more times. I think this is because the hot water extracts the flavor better in later steepings.
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Postby MarshalN » Feb 14th, '07, 12:04

I use slightly off boiling water -- so something like 97-98 degrees, instead of 100, for the lighter oolongs.

Taking the temperature down to 80 is a little excessive, IMHO, and you lose a lot of stuff that way.
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Postby Chip » Feb 14th, '07, 12:35

I think it is important to differentiate between Chinese and Taiwan green oolong. Even the greener Chinese oolong seems to take heat much better than Taiwan green oolong. If you go too high with Taiwan oolong, and smell the leaves in the pot after pouring off the liquid, you can tell if you went too hot...they smell off, like cooked, bitter veggies.
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Postby Oolongaddict » Feb 15th, '07, 13:48

Libertatis wrote:With regards to rolled Oolongs,

I always rinse my oolong. Just pour some hot water in the Gaiwan, swish the leaves around a bit, and pour the water off. You will notice this really brings out the roasted smell and flavor of the tea (as well as opening the leaves up a bit). I have found that rinsing the leaves improves the taste of the first brewing. (though typically 2nd and 3nd steepings for green oolongs are my favorite).


Like Libertatis, I rinse my oolongs. Always. In fact, I rise all my teas. The reason behind this is twofold.

1) It removes dust, dirt, grit, and other demons that might have attached itself to the tea during the packing process.

2) It brings out the flavor, and aroma, of most teas.

I use a gaiwan for all my teas. Pour a bit of water over the leaves so that the water saturates the leaves. Whisk the water around the cup or pot to make sure, then discard it. Simple as pie.
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Postby tenuki » Mar 8th, '07, 03:02

I always rinse unless I'm in a hurry. I taste the rinse and smell the leaves to get a hint of my starting brew time.

I use boiling water and very short brew times (usually start around 30 seconds, and add 10 seconds or so each brewing)

I drink only Taiwan oolongs, don't like chinese oolongs for some reason.

I use the same yixing pot for green oolongs, and another for oxidized ones, and another for roasted.


btw, a added benefit of a pre-rinse is you can pour the rinse water over your pot during brewing to keep the temperature elevated, it works for me. :)
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Postby tiekwanyin » Mar 9th, '07, 01:26

If you are using tea set instead of drinking directly from the cup, another benefit of pre-rinsing the tea is that you use the first brew to "warm" the pot, as well as cups that you use to drink the tea.
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Postby TeaFanatic » Mar 9th, '07, 17:12

I don't think that rinsing can ever be a bad thing for your tea. Always do it unless you don't have the time.
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