question about multiple infusions..


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

question about multiple infusions..

Postby Ian » Oct 26th, '07, 04:40

Please forgive me if this has been answered somewhere before, but...How long is it acceptable to leave the leaves in your brewing vessel between infusions? I recall reading somewhere that it is "not recommended" to allow the leaves to sit for extended periods of time, but that was referring to oolong teas in a gaiwan, I believe.

So, is it ALSO dependant on vessel type and/or tea type? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


-Ian
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Postby Mary R » Oct 26th, '07, 09:32

My September 2007 Between the Leaves article might answer some of your questions. (Sorry about the shameless self-promotion, all.)

I'm embarrassed to admit that when I brew with my Zarafina, I'll often keep whatever leaves I'm using in there for the better part of a day and keep resteeping them...even when they're clearly gone. The machine is just such a pain to clean compared to sweeping out a gaiwan. But I wouldn't keep any leaves around past a daylight-day (12 hrs), less than that if the leaves are uncovered.
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Postby Wesli » Oct 26th, '07, 09:58

My philosophy is, that as long as the leaves are hot, no bacteria/mold/fungus will get to them. But once the leaves cool off, I don't let them sit for longer than half an hour. If I wait much longer than an hour, I find that the tea takes on a more "dry" taste.
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Postby xine » Oct 26th, '07, 11:18

Ah, Mary you beat me to plugging your article :)
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Postby Space Samurai » Oct 26th, '07, 11:27

I have a bad habit of not rinsing out my teapots imdediately, and I can tell you that after a day or two, the leaves will take on an unpleasant smell, and you wouldn't want to drink tea from it.

I have re-used tea leaves 8-10 hours later, but never longer than that.
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Postby Wesli » Oct 26th, '07, 15:03

That seems really weird to me, you guys. Have you guys ever waited this extended (8-10h) period between sencha, or other Japanese green infusions?
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Oct 26th, '07, 15:14

Sencha doesn't seem to keep well like that-- the leaves turn brown relatively quickly. I've been known to leave oolongs out for several hours though, and find that some still have a fair amount of potency.
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Postby Ian » Oct 26th, '07, 17:20

Hey all, thanks for all the info. So far, in the few months that i have been drinking loose leaf teas daily and trying out different methods and such...the longest I have let the leaves sit in their brewing vessel between infusions is about 2 hours. And I've done that with about all of my teas (whites, oolongs, sencha, etc.). What I've noticed personally is that the tea definitely LOOKS darker in the cup than if it were steeped in an immediate succession of infusions. As far as taste, I'm not qualified to even say..but it seems fine.....maybe the sencha gets a little more bitter but that could be the temperature and duration that I've been steeping at.

my main concern and impetus for asking this question was a health one, i would be worried if i'm cultivating mold in my brewing vessels!

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Postby Wesli » Oct 26th, '07, 19:12

Ian wrote:my main concern and impetus for asking this question was a health one, i would be worried if i'm cultivating mold in my brewing vessels!


Heh, that's my worry as well, and is why I don't steep my leaves after they've been cool for half an hour. But, if you're using boiling water, then that should take care of any life growing on your tea leaves.
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Postby Space Samurai » Oct 26th, '07, 22:13

yeah, what he said.

That, and if I ever leave my leaves in a cup for more than a day, I boil the fuka out of the insides and rinse thoroughly.
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Postby Mary R » Oct 27th, '07, 10:50

Boiling water does a nice job at sanitizing, but it doesn't exactly make things sterile. You've got to go well beyond boiling temperatures for that.

So there will likely be some sort of prokaryotic life on the leaves even after a soak in hot water...but you probably won't get sick from it. Immune systems are a many splendored thing.
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Microorganisms

Postby Trey Winston » Oct 27th, '07, 14:27

The immune system actually needs something to work on to stay in fighting shape, so a few innocent germs or spores from tea leaves shouldn't be any problem.

The current growth in allergies and asthma in kids is to a large part due to the fact that kids today grow up in highly sanitized environments, so that their immune systems simply are not powerful enough/tuned to handle unknown microorganisms or microscopic particles. It's a "use it or lose it" kinda deal :)
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Postby Mary R » Oct 27th, '07, 15:59

True that. A little bit of dirt is very necessary.

While we're sort of on the subject, one of my best friends currently attending NEOUCOM recently sent me the following slide from her med school lecture on appropriate antibiotic usages. I adore it.

HISTORY OF ANTIMICROBIAL THERAPY

2000 B.C. – Here, eat this root
1000 A.D. – That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
1850 A.D. – That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
1920 A.D. – That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
1945 A.D. – That pill is ineffective. Here, take this penicillin.
1955 A.D. – Oops....bugs mutated. Here, take this tetracycline.
1960-1999 – 39 more "oops" Here, take this more powerful antibiotic.
2000 A.D. – The bugs have won! Here, eat this root
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Postby Trey Winston » Oct 27th, '07, 17:04

I hadn't seen that, Mary, great stuff. :lol:

It won't be long before doctors in all seriousness will be prescribing things like garlic (which is quite effective against many chronic inflammations).
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