Tea in a cup


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Tea in a cup

Postby skilfautdire » Sep 1st, '10, 20:12

I'm starting to drink tea in a cup, like so many Chinese people do. This means putting some leaves in a (tall) glass and adding water, leaving the leaves in the glass while driniking and adding more hot water when needed.

I haven't got the transition from teapot to cup yet. Putting the same amount as in a teapot (eg. kyusu) yields a way too strong brew for the first minutes the leaves are steeping. So I'm putting less and less leaves. I went to the other extreme and simply didn't put enough, resulting in a tea without much taste.

I'm currently trying with taiping houkui. I'd tend to think that not all teas could be drunk in such a way, but then maybe all kinds are suitable, depending on the amount of leaves perhaps.

Anyone drinking teas from cups in such a way here ? Any advice ? Thanks.
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby MadeForTeaVea » Sep 1st, '10, 21:59

This is relevant to my interest. I have seen this done several times on the webz but I have never tried it out myself since I don't know the technique.

Can anyone elaborate on the technique and which teas work best? Thanks in advance.
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby TubbyCow » Sep 1st, '10, 22:40

MadeForTeaVea wrote:Can anyone elaborate on the technique and which teas work best?


I'm not sure about the "correct" way, but I just put in a teaspoon of leaf per cup, then fill with the correct temp of water. When cool enough, I sip until it's about 1/3 full (or 2/3 empty, depending on your outlook on life), then fill with water again. Repeat until the tea is too weak, then you can either add another teaspoon of leaf and keep going or finish off the cup. I have gotten to the point that there's more leaf than water with a full cup.

I've tried it with quite a few teas, and my personal favourites are a roasted corn herbal, Dragonwell/Long Jing, and any really high quality white, like a silver needle. Basically any tea that doesn't get bitter no matter how long you steep it works well, and I prefer large-leafed ones because I really suck at straining with my teeth.
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby Nenugal » Sep 1st, '10, 22:49

I'm no expert but I also got used to drinking green teas (except sencha) and TGY that way after seeing a Chinese friend do it. She uses less tea than expected, just barely covering the bottom of a tall glass, but then she also says that she don't like it too strong. The glass is refilled as soon as it is down to a half or 1/3 remaining, otherwise the second round would be too weak. If the tea is good, it will usually not be bitter even after a long time in the glass. I have also done this with white and yellow teas and it works reasonably well for those too.
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby entropyembrace » Sep 1st, '10, 22:54

I´ve done this with a mug and quite a bit of leaf...I find it´s best to pick teas which don´t have a tendency to get bitter if oversteeped in a pot. Black Dragon Pearls from Yunnan were what I normally used...though I´ve tried with a few other teas too.
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby nickE » Sep 1st, '10, 23:01

Many people around here call this "grandpa style." Apparently quite a few people in China enjoy tea this way.

MarshalN has a few interesting posts about it:
http://marshaln.xanga.com/585961443/the-grandpa-method-of-making-tea/
http://marshaln.xanga.com/730365996/grandpa-style-techniques/

I use this method when I'm too lazy for gongfu cha.
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby MadeForTeaVea » Sep 1st, '10, 23:12

nickE wrote:Many people around here call this "grandpa style." Apparently quite a few people in China enjoy tea this way.


"Grandpa Style" I have never heard it called that but I love it.

And thanks everyone for the input. Tomorrow I shall try this method.
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby Mr. Usaji » Sep 1st, '10, 23:24

Wait, is "grandpa style" a real term? Or did MarshalN invent it because his grandfather drinks tea that way?

Also, I do pretty much the same thing as TubbyCow. I only do it with Chinese green tea, but anything with big leaves would probably work. I think a glass beer mug is the ideal cup for brewing this way: it's big, it's clear so you can see the leaves, and it has a handle so you can hold it even when it's hot.
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby nickE » Sep 1st, '10, 23:48

Mr. Usaji wrote:Wait, is "grandpa style" a real term? Or did MarshalN invent it because his grandfather drinks tea that way?

It's a real term around these parts. :D

I do believe MarshalN invented it though.
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby Nenugal » Sep 2nd, '10, 01:35

Mr. Usaji wrote:Wait, is "grandpa style" a real term? Or did MarshalN invent it because his grandfather drinks tea that way?

Also, I do pretty much the same thing as TubbyCow. I only do it with Chinese green tea, but anything with big leaves would probably work. I think a glass beer mug is the ideal cup for brewing this way: it's big, it's clear so you can see the leaves, and it has a handle so you can hold it even when it's hot.


I use a tall half liter glass without a handle, and when I can touch it without burning my fingers, it's ready to drink :)
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby skilfautdire » Sep 2nd, '10, 19:50

I gave the subject of 'tea in a cup' because of the play on words, but 'tea in a glass' reflects much better this interesting way of drinking tea. I'm limiting the tries to this new approach to the recent Taiping Houkui I was given at the moment although it seems that the longer leaves (not as long as Houkui though !) of a Long Jin tea would be the next candidate.

Drinking tea this way gives a warm, diffused feeling. Teapot or gaiwan tea, at least the way I make it, gives a concentrated brew - not to mention puerh done in a yixing. Surely I can't have that from a glass. On the other hand, the glass offers another perspective which is quite enjoyable. The buzz from the tea is also different, but it might just be that it's the first time I'm having houkui and haven't had it otherwise.

Before asking here I asked a Chinese colleague who gave me rogh instructions mostly like try it and adjust to your taste. For him, drinking tea in a glass is simply a pratical matter in the workplace as no teapot or gaiwan is needed.
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby MarshalN » Sep 2nd, '10, 23:22

I do believe I invented the term "grandpa style", which took on a life of its own. It's now a more commonly accepted term for "brewing in a cup without careful regard for leaf/water/time"

The trick with not getting an overly strong cup initially is that you must start drinking pretty quickly, then add hot water to dilute what you've got. If it's still too strong, you may want to tone down the amount of leaves. Or, you can do the "weak tea first, and then add leaves when necessary" trick.
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby gingkoseto » Sep 3rd, '10, 06:17

Ha! That's where the term "grandpa style" is from! Nice to know and good job :D

Starting from earlier this year, I've tried comparing gongfu brewing and mug brewing ("grandpa style") of some oolongs My purpose is to find out what oolongs can tolerate grandpa style and what oolong even performs very well this way.

I didn't do it on Chinese greens because to me, mug/glass brewing is THE way of brewing most Chinese greens.

In my conversation with some new tea drinkers, I've noticed what prevents them from mug brewing is that they can't bear with having leaves in the same cup they drink from, without having them filtered away. (I advocate mug drinking to new tea drinkers because very often their only alternative is a very big teapot which can kill most greens or oolongs.) It was never a problem for me, because most of the time the tea leaves stay put at the bottom of the cup. Even when one or two float into my mouth, I don't mind.

What do you people think? Do you mind drinking from a mixture of leaves and water, not acceptable, barely acceptable, or no problem at all? Hey Chip can this be a Tea Day question? :lol:
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby Nenugal » Sep 3rd, '10, 09:37

gingkoseto wrote:What do you people think? Do you mind drinking from a mixture of leaves and water, not acceptable, barely acceptable, or no problem at all? Hey Chip can this be a Tea Day question? :lol:


For me it is no problem at all to have leaves in the glass/mug that I drink from, as long as the tea is reasonably whole-leafed. The leaves will mostly sink to the bottom anyway.
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Re: Tea in a cup

Postby Chip » Sep 3rd, '10, 10:13

gingkoseto wrote:What do you people think? Do you mind drinking from a mixture of leaves and water, not acceptable, barely acceptable, or no problem at all? Hey Chip can this be a Tea Day question? :lol:

... could be! :idea: :mrgreen:
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