Tea sitting around, throw out myth?

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Tea sitting around, throw out myth?

Postby bambooforest » Nov 23rd, '07, 20:42

Just now, I finished a third steeping of fine Japanese sencha. The time that elapsed between the 2nd and 3rd steep has to have been at least a couple hours.

How did it taste? It tasted brilliant!

This however, is not a first. This has happened before, in which I waited around a long while before the next steep. Yet, how many times do wee see websites which say if the leaves have been sitting around too long, dump them and make a fresh pot?

Point is, from my own personal experience, I find this calculation a myth. Nothing overly detrimental happens to the leaves ability to impart flavor if they have been sitting around for a while. Maybe there would be between long gaps of time between many steeps... But, if you have a last steep that sits around for a while, doesn't seem like the flavor is hurt too much at all.

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Postby Warden Andy » Nov 23rd, '07, 21:18

I haven't played around with cold tea enough to know for sure, but I think only certain teas are affected, and the teaware and water temp could play a part. I think what causes tea to become sour after it becomes cold, is the length of time the leaves sat in a hot pot. Chinese greens in particular stew easily if left in a hot pot (or gaiwan) long enough. Sencha doesn't seem to stew easily, so maybe that's why you got a good infusion after a couple hours. Oolong and puerh don't stew easily either, and those can be brewed hours after without and sourness. Aged puerh can even be brewed the day after without sourness.

Like I said earlier in the post, I don't have much experience or sources to back up what I'm saying, but maybe it's time to experiment. I don't like brewing green teas "gongfu" because they stew so easily inbetween infusions, but maybe if the lid is left off between infusions, it won't cook in a hot gaiwan.
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Postby Wesli » Nov 23rd, '07, 21:46

You have to take into account the factor that when you drink steep, after steep, after steep, your taste buds become accustomed to the flavors of that tea.

When you wait a few hours between steeps, they may use that time to recover and deliver a new abundance of flavor from that 3rd steep you never new existed!

:arrow: I just tried it out, and this seems to be the case for me. 2-3 hours later the third steep was more potent than it would normally be if drunk in quick succession after the first two.
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Postby Proinsias » Nov 23rd, '07, 23:00

I don't like brewing green teas "gongfu" because they stew so easily inbetween infusions

I use a small pyrex jug to gong-fu green tea but I'm not sure what you mean by this - I can't see a gaiwan with the lid off keeping enough heat to ruin tea.
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Postby BillyG3 » Nov 23rd, '07, 23:16

hehe hehe tea. :P :P
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Postby Proinsias » Nov 23rd, '07, 23:38

Cheers, thats cleared it up.
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