How much tea should I put in the pot?


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How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby ndw76 » Dec 6th, '10, 00:16

I've been trying to find out how much tea should I add to my little tea pot for gongfu tea. I have read that I should fill the tea pot between 1/3 to 1/2 full. But is this when the leaves are dry or wet?

I tried filling the pot to 1/3 full with dried leaves and when I filled the pot for the second time the leaves had expanded well up into the lid of the pot.

Am I doing this right?

Thanks for your help.
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby debunix » Dec 6th, '10, 00:34

I tend to brew on the light side with my green teas. I usually coat the bottom of the pot or gaiwan with a moderate layer of leaf, so that the wet leaf is perhaps 20-25% filling the vessel. I think if you're reading about 1/3 full, it would be 1/3 full after the leaves are wet and have expanded.

Oolongs are the only teas I enjoy brewed so tightly packed that they essentially fill the brewing vessel, and then, only the greener floral versions.

Editing to say that I thought I read this in the GREEN tea forum, oops!

Still basically correct--I brew my greens less full, the green oolongs so that expanded they nearly or actually fill the vessel (but not so tight that i have trouble keeping the lid on), and dark wuyis and especially Dan Congs I brew so the vessel is more like 1/3 full after the leaves are fully expanded.
Last edited by debunix on Dec 6th, '10, 17:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby chrl42 » Dec 6th, '10, 05:17

I fill about 1/3 with Yancha..if more I brew it quicker.

For TGY or Taiwanese tea, I'd fill as much as I have a space to close a lid.. :shock:
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby argus » Dec 6th, '10, 05:23

I generally try to cover the bottom of the brewing vessel. I usually use a gaiwan but thr principle is the same.

One other way is to use 1 teaspoon of tea for 100-120 ml water
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby Alex » Dec 6th, '10, 09:37

for rolled oolong usually about 1/3 full or just under. Basically as long as it expands to fill the vessel. For Yancha I'm on 2/3rds full. Some times more some times less depending on how I'm feeling.
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby entropyembrace » Dec 6th, '10, 16:33

ball shaped oolongs because they expand so much usually just fill the bottom of the vessel...

wiry oolongs I pack them in until it´s full of dry leaf now that I have vessels small enough that this isn´t prohibitively expensive.
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby tenuki » Dec 6th, '10, 17:33

put the exact amount in that produces the best possible tea to your taste.
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby Alex » Dec 7th, '10, 05:08

tenuki wrote:put the exact amount in that produces the best possible tea to your taste.

This really is the best answer :D I even vary depending on day to day.
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby Herb_Master » Dec 7th, '10, 09:17

tenuki wrote:put the exact amount in that produces the best possible tea to your taste.


I f you stumble on the eact amount, you then have to experiment with different infusion times to discover what length of stee[ings does in fact produce the greatest taste for you.

With different lengths of infusions different constituent elemnts will be leached from the leaves. Various people prefer different concentrations of these constituents, you need to identify your own favoured style.

If you put less leaf in you will need longer infusions and will get fewer brews from the leaf.

The more leaf you add then the shorter the infusions need to be and you will get more brews from the pot.
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby brandon » Dec 14th, '10, 15:35

Is there room left in the pot?
You didn't use enough. :shock:
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby edkrueger » Dec 14th, '10, 16:58

I think that a pretty good rule.
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby the_economist » Jan 10th, '11, 13:29

decided to revive this topic. im making my first forays into chaozhou style gongfucha and i'm doing something like 60-70% of my gaiwan for rolled teas (roasted dongding/tgy). it has really released quite a different set of flavours although the later infusions settle into what one would taste if one begins with say just 25%. i haven't learned how to crush leaves yet which leads to two issues:
- the lid of the gaiwan won't close. i guess this isn't too much of a problem, but i worry that it loses heat. should i be holding down the lid during brewing?
- some of the rolled leaves don't unfurl.

so basically i'd like to know if crushing would be the way to resolve these issues, and how 'crushed' is crushed?
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby wyardley » Jan 10th, '11, 14:12

the_economist wrote:decided to revive this topic. im making my first forays into chaozhou style gongfucha and i'm doing something like 60-70% of my gaiwan for rolled teas (roasted dongding/tgy). it has really released quite a different set of flavours although the later infusions settle into what one would taste if one begins with say just 25%. i haven't learned how to crush leaves yet which leads to two issues:
- the lid of the gaiwan won't close. i guess this isn't too much of a problem, but i worry that it loses heat. should i be holding down the lid during brewing?
- some of the rolled leaves don't unfurl.

so basically i'd like to know if crushing would be the way to resolve these issues, and how 'crushed' is crushed?


Keep in mind that in the old days, TGY was much less tightly balled. If yours is tightly balled, I think slightly more than 1/2 full might be a good place to start. If it's two leaves / stem rather than single leaf (as some Muzha TGYs are), I would use even less.

Two ways to crush.

1) Put the tea leaves (about 1/6 of them, maybe) along the first section of your finger (before the first joint). Close your fingers around it and crush. This takes practice.
2) Alternatively, put them in the bottom of a gaiwan and crush with your thumbs.

The crushed leaves won't help much with the upward expansion of the tea leaves. For this type of tea brewing, you'd really like to be using a small shui ping pot or another small round shaped pot, rather than a gaiwan. What I'm told is that the pressure of the tea against the top of the pot pushes out more of the oils. I have no idea how much basis in fact there is there, but that's what I was told.

Even so, if the leaves aren't pushing the lid off your pot, you're not doing it right....
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby Tead Off » Jan 10th, '11, 23:19

Yes, hard to separate the old wives tales from the facts. I would think the temperature of the water would have a greater effect on the oils than the upward pressure of the leaves on the lid.
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Re: How much tea should I put in the pot?

Postby TIM » Jan 10th, '11, 23:37

the_economist wrote:decided to revive this topic. im making my first forays into chaozhou style gongfucha and i'm doing something like 60-70% of my gaiwan for rolled teas (roasted dongding/tgy). it has really released quite a different set of flavours although the later infusions settle into what one would taste if one begins with say just 25%. i haven't learned how to crush leaves yet which leads to two issues:
- the lid of the gaiwan won't close. i guess this isn't too much of a problem, but i worry that it loses heat. should i be holding down the lid during brewing?
- some of the rolled leaves don't unfurl.

so basically i'd like to know if crushing would be the way to resolve these issues, and how 'crushed' is crushed?


Unfurl leaves are the less of the chaozhou style gongfucha concern. Its not a tea bag or english style brewing :wink:
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