Tea cosy and stewing

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Tea cosy and stewing

Postby absence » Jul 11th, '10, 18:48

I've read (and experienced) that brewing tea with a tea cosy on the pot results in "stewed" tea that is unpleasant and bitter. I've had this happen to both black and green tea, but white doesn't seem to suffer as much. Of course, black and green teas have so short steeping times that a tea cosy isn't needed, but some white teas are supposed to steep quite long. This Yin Zhen says seven minutes, for example. Even it doesn't get bitter with the tea cosy, is the taste still damaged? Is it better to steep without the tea cosy and let long-steeped white tea become somewhat colder?

I assume this isn't an issue for rooibos and herbal infusions that don't go bitter (please correct me if I'm wrong), but what about pu erh? I've read that the aged kind can't be oversteeped, but I'm not sure if that holds for temperature as well as steeping time. And what about raw pu erh?

Actually, after writing this, I wonder if even a pot without tea cosy causes minor stewing compared to steeping in a cup without lid due to the higher insulation/temperature of the pot. What do you think? :)

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby Victoria » Jul 11th, '10, 18:57

The cozy goes on after brewing is complete to keep the pot warm.
At this point the leaves are removed, so the cozy will have no effect
on the brewing process.

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby absence » Jul 11th, '10, 19:29

Yes, but my post was about brewing with the tea cosy on. :)

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby Chip » Jul 11th, '10, 20:32

I have never felt the need to brew with a cozy or similar. It really is not necessary, so I guess I wonder why?

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby absence » Jul 12th, '10, 03:29

I felt that after seven minutes of brewing with water at 70 °C the result is a somewhat lukewarm tea when not using a cosy. Maybe that's how it's supposed to be?

Edit: Another bag I have says 80 °C water for 8–12 minutes. With those instructions the tea gets even colder.

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby Chip » Jul 12th, '10, 09:24

Heh, I never brew tea that long. Whites I brew a couple minutes using more leaf.

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby ladybean » Jul 12th, '10, 10:02

Chip wrote:Heh, I never brew tea that long. Whites I brew a couple minutes using more leaf.



Thanks for that, Chip. I will keep that in mind when I start trying white teas. I certainly would have been standing there cussin' because my tea got cold while brewing if i follow the directions completely. :lol:

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby ladybean » Jul 12th, '10, 10:03

absence wrote:Yes, but my post was about brewing with the tea cosy on. :)



I have to ask, is there a particular reason why you would WANT to brew with the cosy on? Is it perhaps because you only have one pot to work with?

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby absence » Jul 12th, '10, 10:50

I don't see how the number of available pots matter, but as I've mentioned a few times already, the reason I've been putting a cosy on is that the tea goes cold before it is done brewing. :)

I could try shorter brews, but why do tea vendors suggest that long steeping times in the first place?

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby Chip » Jul 12th, '10, 15:59

absence wrote: I could try shorter brews, but why do tea vendors suggest that long steeping times in the first place?

Ask 10 vendors how to brew a tea, and you will get 10 answers.

They tend to brew in a "Western style" which usually includes less leaf and longer steeps. Eastern brewing often includes more leaf and shorter brews.

The nice thing with Eastern brewing, you usually get multiple steeps and often better tasting tea.

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby Victoria » Jul 12th, '10, 16:05

absence wrote:I don't see how the number of available pots matter, but as I've mentioned a few times already, the reason I've been putting a cosy on is that the tea goes cold before it is done brewing. :)

I could try shorter brews, but why do tea vendors suggest that long steeping times in the first place?


I assure you that if you use boiling water and steep for 3 mins, the water will not get too cool. Put the cosy on or off, no matter. No effect on the tea.

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby absence » Jul 12th, '10, 16:55

Victoria wrote:I assure you that if you use boiling water and steep for 3 mins, the water will not get too cool. Put the cosy on or off, no matter. No effect on the tea.


Boiling water for silver needle? Am I missing something here? :?

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby Victoria » Jul 12th, '10, 17:00

As Chip said lots of vendors suggest different times.
Try it, you might like it.

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby absence » Jul 12th, '10, 17:40

Victoria wrote:As Chip said lots of vendors suggest different times.
Try it, you might like it.


Wow, I've always heard boiling water is bad for green/white. I'll try it once I get some more silver needle. :)

Victoria wrote:Put the cosy on or off, no matter. No effect on the tea.


Is it only for white tea that the cosy doesn't have any effect? Black and green go bitter it seems, but what about other types?

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Re: Tea cosy and stewing

Postby Chip » Jul 12th, '10, 17:49

No, I don't think Victoria meant to pour boiling water over whites.

Still there is debate over temps for many types of teas including whites.

I personally tend to do first steeps of whites at around 170*. About one gram leaf per ounce water. Twoish minutes. Comes out nice and sweet, fruity, floral. Of course a lot will depend on the selection.

Often I hear temps of 185* for whates which is a bit too hot for my tastes.

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