Brewing from used leaves?


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Brewing from used leaves?

Postby Yemstar » Aug 22nd, '10, 16:09

Hey guys, novice question here. I am in need of your guidance! I know you can use the same green tea leaves to brew up to 2-3 times, but is it the same for black teas? I'm guessing no :?:
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby Chip » Aug 22nd, '10, 16:26

Yes, you certainly can, though more Western style brewing of blacks is much more common.

I would suggest you just try it!

And greens can easily be brewed 5 or more times.
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby Yemstar » Aug 22nd, '10, 16:28

cheers chip! :lol: :mrgreen:
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby Chip » Aug 22nd, '10, 16:39

Bottoms up Yemstar, resteep, bottoms up, resteep ......... :mrgreen:
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby debunix » Aug 22nd, '10, 18:06

The main problem you run into with resteeping is that at some point the leaves have lost too much flavor, or certain undesirable flavors take over. So steep until you don't like it anymore, then start over with fresh leaves.

It's really that easy.

But when you get comfortable with it, you can time the steeps for teas you know well to highlight the flavors *you* prefer. That's when it really starts to get challenging and more fun.
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby Leafbox Pete » Jan 2nd, '11, 22:46

Here's a couple thoughts for rebrewing tea. None of these are rules (I'm pretty picky about rules and tea [Moderator Edit])....

Anyhow, generally, the larger the leaf, the better your subsequent brewing will be. The type of tea doesn't matter. Larger leaves are harder to penetrate and extract from, giving you more good stuff to get out of them the next time you pour water on.

Oolongs are the most popular tea to rebrew, possibly because a large majority of them are made using larger leaf pieces.

Flavored teas rebrew poorly, this is because the flavorings are added to the dried leaves as sprays or oils. These get washed off in the first brew. IF you rebrew a flavored tea don't expect it to taste strawberries and vanilla - you'll just be getting the flavor of the base tea itself.

Bottom line: Virtually any tea can be brewed 2-3 times. One to get the most out of subsequent steepings would be to use the brewing advice offered up by Tony Gebely of the Chicago Tea Garden - steep for less time on the initial brew. Most teas can give you good flavor in about 1:30.

My caveat - there are no rules about brewing. Doesn't matter what the websites say. Tea is entirely about experimentation and balancing personal preferences. Resteep to your hearts content. I try to resteep every tea that enters my kitchen simply because I want to see how different teas do with it.
Last edited by Chip on Jan 3rd, '11, 00:00, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Mod edit: Self promoting link deleted per forum rules. Please read forum rules located under Introduction.
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby mbanu » Jan 3rd, '11, 15:04

It depends on how much tea use use to begin with, and how you drink it.

If you tend to do short steeps with a lot of tea (especially at lower temperatures), you can easily re-steep. If you do long steeps from a small amount of tea in boiling water, you'll find the going less smooth.

Also, do you drink your tea with milk? I've found that you usually need a strong fresh steep to really go against a significant amount of milk.
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby edkrueger » Jan 5th, '11, 18:08

Leafbox Pete wrote:Anyhow, generally, the larger the leaf, the better your subsequent brewing will be. The type of tea doesn't matter. Larger leaves are harder to penetrate and extract from, giving you more good stuff to get out of them the next time you pour water on.


False. Small leaves can sometimes be resteeped more often than large leaves. For example, a small leaf shu-pu will yeild more good infusions than a bai mu dian white. A well roasted yancha will yield more good infusions than a larger leaf gaoshan.
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby fracol » Jan 5th, '11, 20:16

Generally If I brew black tea in a gaiwan I get about 2 or 3 good steeps every time.
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby Poohblah » Jan 5th, '11, 20:23

fracol wrote:Generally If I brew black tea in a gaiwan I get about 2 or 3 good steeps every time.

Of course, much depends on the tea too. My cheap keemun will last no more than one steep, but I've had a couple great Yunnan blacks that just keep going.
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby Proinsias » Jan 5th, '11, 20:30

To get multiple steeps from any tea use more tea and steep for less time
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby TwoPynts » Jan 6th, '11, 13:57

Proinsias wrote:To get multiple steeps from any tea use more tea and steep for less time


+1
Yep, it depends on the teas. I find that many bud teas re-steep really well too. Pus too of course. I had a flavored black this morning and because it was flavored with bits of actual fruit, I was able to get 3 good infusions from it. The 4th was drinkable but not as tasty.
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby Leafbox Pete » Jan 7th, '11, 00:14

edkrueger wrote:False. Small leaves can sometimes be resteeped more often than large leaves. For example, a small leaf shu-pu will yeild more good infusions than a bai mu dian white. A well roasted yancha will yield more good infusions than a larger leaf gaoshan.


Good points, I'm not entirely familiar with the teas you mentioned, but knowing how tea is made, I can certainly your point especially about the roasted teas. Their size isn't going to matter because of the way they are manufactured.

Either way, I would say what you mentioned is probably more the exception than the rule. I resteep everything in an attempt to understand the teas I get, I usually get more steeps out of larger leaves, but as in all things tea - differences abound!
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby BioHorn » Mar 11th, '11, 22:32

I find many times the first steeping on day 2 brings the best brew of all. * Something about letting the leaf rest and release even more essence.
Had this experience recently with
Hou De's '09 "Hao Xian" hand harvested black
(quite a super floral tea. IMHO)

*applies if tea on day one is not brewed to the max! (i.e. 1/2 through decent steepings) :mrgreen:

(speaking of used leaf-I like the pics of cloud boiling those super expensive pu's)
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Re: Brewing from used leaves?

Postby Qoppa » Mar 19th, '11, 14:10

fracol wrote:Generally If I brew black tea in a gaiwan I get about 2 or 3 good steeps every time.

I was just going to post this. I just finished my forth steeping of Yunnan gold in a gaiwan. The forth was on the weak side, so I won't be doing a fifth, but the first three all tasted excellent.

That said, I can't see some of my lower quality black teas standing multiple steeps very well.
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