Taiwanese oolong brewing


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Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby Xell » Jul 30th, '11, 00:48

I just received my samples of Taiwainese oolongs, but since they are quite small, only 7g each. I don't want to do any mistakes with brewing. Want to verify if it's right way to prepare. I got samples of Wu Ling, Ming Xiang (dong ding), Zhong Shu Hu, Shi Zuo, GABA and a sample of Da Yu Ling.

Is it about right to use 1g per ~30ml of water? Going to use small glazed kyusu for this 2-3g at a time. First time just pour half of water and after several seconds remove it, not for drinking. Boiling water, first infusion for 50sec, second 40, third 50?

Correct me if i'm wrong, please :)
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby Rayuela » Jul 30th, '11, 04:52

As so often, it depends on the drinker. I use 5g per 100ml for gaoshan in a gaiwan. If it's good tea, then no rinse, 65 secs, 55 secs and then increasing. For lower altitude oolongs, slightly more tea (6-7g) and slightly shorter infusions. Lower quality teas will not be able to take this treatment and will rapidly grow astringent.
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby debunix » Jul 30th, '11, 12:12

If the tea is very limited, I start with a shorter than usual first infusion, and feel my way to longer infusions based on the taste of the first one.
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby Drax » Aug 1st, '11, 07:07

Hrm, for 'balled' oolongs, I will do a 30s rinse and then let the leaves 'rest' for 60s before the first infusion. Then my infusions are usually 60s, 60s, 90s, 120s, etc. All boiling water.

I would also use a gaiwan if you have it, or something porcelain. I think 1g in ~30mL sounds about right. Normally you can 'eyeball' it in a gaiwan by creating a solid carpet of leaves so that they cover the bottom of the gaiwan (about 1-2 layers thick). That amount results in a full gaiwan once the leaves have all opened.

Parameters may vary for non-balled oolongs. But I have gotten great results with the above...
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby teaisme » Aug 1st, '11, 14:14

keep things hot as possible
maybe try to base your infusion times more on how the tea reacts during the rinse, does it seem to be releasing itself slow or fast?
don't rinse too short, dont rinse too long :wink:
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby BioHorn » Aug 6th, '11, 00:36

Good post.
Thanks for posting some example of Taiwanese brewing parameters.
After drinking so much Phoenix DC the Taiwanese tea seemed very light...!

Does anyone know what Sebastien uses as a general rule? (I see for one tea his seventh brew was two hours.)

Am curious to see what experience other members share.
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby Xell » Aug 6th, '11, 07:41

After going through most of tea from samples i got to ~1g per 15-20ml water. And did what Drax suggested, i.e. longer rinse and let it rest a bit before first infusion. With this method i got best result. Da Yu Ling had most smooth and rich flavor and i could get out about 15-17 brews, but still didn't enjoy much. Most tasty tea for me was ding dong Ming Xiang, probably will return to this tea latter. But after i try different oolongs, may be i can find something even more fitting my taste.
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby David R. » Aug 7th, '11, 12:32

I suggest you try some gao shan cha with fewer leaves and longer brews. That's the way I prefer to drink them. It is as if something sweet comes out of oolong after a minute or so. It really suits gao shan cha very well, at least for me.
Last edited by David R. on Sep 25th, '11, 18:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby teaisme » Aug 8th, '11, 14:00

a 30 second rinse seems awfully long. Personally I go 10 seconds max.
Taste that 30 second rinse next time. If its a good hmt I bet it is pretty potent and drinkable, even qualifying for a first infusion.

If its a pretty clean tea you may want to skip the rinse all together and preheat the teapot longer, and ensure you have hot hot water with force on first infusion.
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby bambooforest » Sep 25th, '11, 17:41

While I haven't spent much time with Taiwanese oolongs, at this early stage, I have concluded I'm not a big fan of hard core gong fu style with oolongs from Taiwan.

I go, in general, 1 gram per ounce with water that's 190 to 205 degrees... and steep the first steep for 2 minutes, 2nd for maybe 2:15, 3rd for maybe 3 minutes and 4th for 4 minutes or so if it can go for a 4th which some can.

Since I'm steeping 2 minutes for the first steep and using 1 gram per ounce I do not rinse my tea prior to the first steep.
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby David R. » Sep 25th, '11, 18:19

That's more or less what I am doing, yet I am diminishing drastically brewing time after the first infusion, once leaves are opened (30"). From there I increase slowly.

Doesn't your second brew a little strong ?
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby bambooforest » Sep 25th, '11, 20:44

My second brew doesn't brew all that strong... Just a little stronger than the first.

The oolongs I have currently, from Taiwan, are very light and maybe that's why.

Even so, if you're using 1 gram of oolong per ounce, I'd imagine you'd be fine to brew the second steep for the same duration as the first or in my case, a little longer.

Unlike Japanese green tea where you indeed need to shorten the brew significantly on the 2nd steep.
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby David R. » Sep 26th, '11, 03:10

I realize that I was talking about gao shan cha here, for which my average parameters are something like : ~ 4g/10cl - boiling water in a preheated vessel - slow pour - no rinse - 1'30 / 30" / 1' / 2' / ... The first one is longer to compensate for the fact that there is no rinse. Its goal is to open the leaves.

It is I think the same thing than with japanese green tea : first brew to open the leaves, and once they are opened, one uses shorter brews, in this case, way shorter.

I only rinse for hygienic reasons. For this kind of teas I don't see the point, although I am aware of the necessity to properly open the leaves first when not rinsing, hence the longer first brew compared to the second, a good preheating and the use of boiling water.

Anyway, I don't say I am right, just that this is my way of seeing things. I am happy with the results.

To be thorough, for medium to heavy roasted oolong, I tend to use much more leaves and shorter brews, more gong fu style. But this kind of light parameters works fine too, but I found I had way fewer brews than if using just a few grams more.

However, when using a gaiwan, which is often the case, I tend more and more to eye-ball the dosage and follow my nose rather than using a chronometer.
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby Alex » Oct 1st, '11, 05:51

I dont know how much I use....probably 4-5 grams per 100ml.

I never go over 90c with some Taiwan oolongs. I always feel over 90c brings out a sharpness from scorching the leaves on some of the really nice Alishans I've had. Once its out no drop in temp brings back down and the leaves are ruined. This is on some of Taiwan oolongs I've had from the highest quality to the lowest.

As with all things tea its a personal thing though. I like it smooth, sweet and subtle

I do 30 sec brew which I drink. then let it sit and then do a 15, 30 45ish then it kind of goes in to feel and last couple/few are minutes long.

With the greenest of tieguanyins though I cant stand anything less then 98c and feel like a huge amount is missing if I dont start out with that temp.
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Re: Taiwanese oolong brewing

Postby djlau » Oct 27th, '11, 02:51

I always use boiling water for the 1st brew. Usually for one minute, until the leaves open up.

I'll then brew 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th infusions at 195F for 30, 45, 60, 75 seconds.

I find 4.5g per 120mL / 4 oz of water generally suitable. There has to be enough water for the leaves to have "room to swim," but I don't want the flavor too diluted either because I use shorter infusions.
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