'double up' brewing, anyone do it?


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

'double up' brewing, anyone do it?

Postby Wh&yel-appr... » Nov 9th, '11, 03:35

Did a search on 'double up'...couldn't think of any other way to describe it. Must have been some other threads espousing this idea before, but I can't think of how to search for them.

Was thinking about how it is said many of the top quality, old tree teas can give up to 10 or more infusions. But the later infusions typically are much milder and can taste somewhat dilute/watery.

It is said multiple infusions show a variety of flavors as the tea 'opens' up.

Say you have as larger teapot, and you get to that point where the infusions are getting weaker and weaker.

I had a thought, if I start with a smaller amount of leaves, then brew up several infusions until most of the bitterness/caffeine is gone, leaving that later infusion buttery/salty quality (at least for oolongs...depends on the oolong, but most give that quality in some degree)...but starting to get dilute/watery.

Do any of you try adding or 'doubling up' the teapot with the same amount of new tea leaves to add back in the complexities/qualities of the early infusions and also give you some of the late infusions flavor profiles?

It's different, you combine both the qualities of the early infusions which I like, but also get the qualities I like of the later infusions mixed together. Kind of like Champagne blending technique using the same Chardonnay grape, but from vineyards that give differing qualities of grapes due to micro-climate differences, imho...not the same thing as mixing in two different types of teas, that would be more like blending multiple varietal red grapes as in Chateauneuf du Pape.

I like doing that sometimes. Sure I could just start with 2x as much leaves, and I've done that plenty of times when I want a really stronger flavor cup---but that's a different experience.

Suppose the idea is sacrilegious for more expensive teas, like high-end Dan Cong, but for the less expensive Dan Cong> it's and interesting way to approach tea drinking.
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Re: 'double up' brewing, anyone do it?

Postby Herb_Master » Nov 9th, '11, 19:47

Your last paragraph gels with me.

The top end DCs, particularly those from Imen, go well all the way, but cheaper DCs can tend to astringency if you infuse for too long on the early infusions, yet are too weak if the infusion is not long enough.

I have contemplated, in my mind, something along the lines you have in mind.
In practice, I have resisted, part of the fun in playing Gong Fu with cheaper DC is in finding the sweet spot between the 2 extremes.
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Re: 'double up' brewing, anyone do it?

Postby MIKE_B » Nov 9th, '11, 23:00

I used to do something like this. After a bunch of infusions, when I felt like the tea was losing its "oomph", I'd just toss in a small pinch of fresh leaves. A little booster when I wanted a few more cups but didn't want to start a fresh pot again.
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Re: 'double up' brewing, anyone do it?

Postby teaisme » Nov 10th, '11, 17:53

I don't double up, but have found adding a tiny bit to the pot after each infusion works pretty well. Japanese greens do well like this.

This gives all the infusions a more uniform taste, so if part of your enjoyment with that particular tea is to experience the evolution of flavours then this method may not suit that tea.
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Re: 'double up' brewing, anyone do it?

Postby Oni » Nov 11th, '11, 04:28

This is forbidden with everey tea, it is a waste, generally used up leaves are just used and eat up the falvour of the unused tea, I would prefer putting enough leaves at the begining, around 5 grams / 100 ml, and use it until you like the flavour, or just buy higher quality tea if you want more durability and aroma.
P.S. Japanese green are not meant for multiple infusions, they usually last 3 infusion, exception is gyokuro, it gives around 4, if you want fresh tea again, clean the teapot and restart your tea session, usually I drink 2 diffrent teas, I take my time, sometimes I drink tea for 2 hours, and if I get a very good tea I might get teadrunk (that is a way of experiencing "cha qi").
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Re: 'double up' brewing, anyone do it?

Postby teaisme » Nov 11th, '11, 15:28

I dunno its kinda debatable...

As long as your are keeping infusions short for the japanese green's , and you are adding after each infusion (not just after the tea starts to fade at #3 or 4), then you could really go on pretty long. Rule of thumb for me is not to let combined infusion time go past roughly 6 mins-8 mins. I use this method for drinking senchas, kukichas, banchas, kabuse etc when there's a lot of people who are thirsty. If done well the infusions taste good (kinda a cross between #2 and #3 when brewed 'regular', not flat, muddled, and lifeless like you may think. I can comfortably get about 5-6 infusions like this, more if I pushed it, but I don't like tea wateriness too much anymore.

Why not get a little bit more of that umami each infusion instead of just enjoying the majority of it in 1 and 2? I would just be careful not to add too much leaf each infusion, and to also be very diligent about not letting water sit in pot in between infusions (as more leaf=more mushy=more unpleasant flatness due to excess water and leafs sticking to each other, so I swirl very gently during brewing).

Much of this stems from my opinion changing sessions of gyo kukicha, blended with first flush bancha. It was great being able to adjust the balance of what I liked about that blend each infusion. Want more earthy next cup? sure. how about some more quite calm for the next one? Why not? Really opened my eyes to the possibilities of trying non standard things. Sencha is a little more of a tricky animal then a blend of opposites, since the balance is less easily manipulated and leaves are more delicate, but still doable.

Oni wrote: I would prefer putting enough leaves at the beginning, around 5 grams / 100 ml

So do I, but sometimes I change things up to accommodate for time, available teaware, available tea, #of people I am brewing for, curiosity, and sometimes, but rarely, pure laziness not wanting to wash two sets but 500ml is not enough to quench the thirst. :mrgreen:
Last edited by teaisme on Nov 11th, '11, 15:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 'double up' brewing, anyone do it?

Postby Proinsias » Nov 11th, '11, 15:35

Oni wrote:This is forbidden with everey tea


oooooo, now I want to try it
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Re: 'double up' brewing, anyone do it?

Postby Chip » Nov 11th, '11, 17:45

The good news is, TeaExperimenting is permitted by international law for TCers ...

It is important to keep open minds to new ideas. If there was no experimenting with tea since the beginning, we might still be chasing down falling tea leaves in hopes of having one land in our cup of water ...

Having said that, I have not tried this ... and since I personally reallllly enjoy the evolution from steep to steep, I personally see no need at this time.
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Re: 'double up' brewing, anyone do it?

Postby Herb_Master » Nov 11th, '11, 18:22

Chip wrote:Having said that, I have not tried this ... and since I personally reallllly enjoy the evolution from steep to steep, I personally see no need at this time.


+1

But the thought occurs to me, that if after filling my yixing to the desired level with dry leaf, I discover there is not enough leaf left in the canister for a decent sized brew at a later brewing session ...

... and I don't feel like a high packed session ...

... and finding myself still thirsty when the infusions start to fade ....

... maybe this would be a way of using the last few grams :idea: rather than having some scraps that would need to be blended to make a meaningful session.
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Re: 'double up' brewing, anyone do it?

Postby Oni » Nov 12th, '11, 04:17

In Asia they have been brewing and making tea for a very long time, they experimented with everything, and if they say that this is not allowed, than it is tested, and there are some measures that satisfy a man, for example a 210 ml of tea is enough for 3 person, 70 ml / person 3x it is 210 ml of japanese tea, and 30 - 40 ml gong fu cup 6 to 8 times it is enough for me so 120 ml is enough for 3 person, if you want to drink tea during smoking a water pipe, make a large dose, for example take a measure of taiwanese oolong like Dong Ding and add 1000 ml x 0.015 = 15 and leave for 10 minutes, this is the general formula for brewing a larger amount of single serving, you can add more water, but I would use a warmer so that the tea does not go cold.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc1oKxCYSV4
Please watch the link.
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Re: 'double up' brewing, anyone do it?

Postby Cole » Nov 12th, '11, 04:27

If you like to ice your final brew of an oolong (or, like me, toss your leaves into another pot with boiling water and let the final steeping "brew" until it cools), this is a good way to make sure your iced tea packs a solid punch! If I think I've used up all the "good stuff" in my leaves, I'll toss in three or four new oolong "pearls" in with the rest of my spent leaves and get a much stronger, fresher brew.

You don't normally need to do this with high mountain oolongs (as I've always been surprised with how many infusions I can squeeze out of those), but it's a great way to kick back up a cheaper TGY or Dong Ding. Mmm...!
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Re: 'double up' brewing, anyone do it?

Postby AdamMY » Nov 12th, '11, 13:11

Honestly the double up method sounds like a great way to get a lot of mediocre infusions. It also removes the ability to "brew to completion" by that I mean brew until the tea is absolutely wiped out.

It sort of makes sense if you just want to be drinking tea all day, and do not feel like changing teas at all or stopping to clean out your teapot. But I personally like to be able to say "I had a full session of these 3 teas."
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