Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?


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Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby iheartea » Dec 9th, '11, 02:53

I am mostly a green tea aficionado, but I have felt the urge to "take a break" and try white teas and oolongs. I just received a batch of oolong, Tie Guan Yin, but it didn't have the usual brewing instructions that other teas come with. I pour 175 F water into 2 teaspoons of leaves in a 7 oz. gaiwan. I steep it for 1 minute, then a second infusion for 30 seconds. The second infusion is noticeably lighter in color. By the time I attempt a third infusion, there is no taste.
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby Oni » Dec 9th, '11, 03:00

You are brewing it like a green tea, if you use a small amount of leaves, like 3 grams for 200cc you should leave it there for 10 minutes and drink it, that is a single serving, but I recomend buying high grade TGY like Yunnan sourcing imperial grade for 34 $/100 grams, that is the highest grade I have tried, and I like it a lot, try to gong fu it, use a lot of leaves, you can do the exact same that houdeasianarts blog recommends, their brewing instruction is very good, I use the same for TGY.
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby Poohblah » Dec 9th, '11, 04:21

iheartea wrote:What am I doing wrong?
Listening to the instructions by the vendor. Just follow your taste buds instead. If the brew is weak, try using more leaf or brewing longer. If it's acidic, bitter, or astringent, do the opposite. Soon enough you'll figure it out.

As a guide, TGY generally is supposed to be light and floral in taste. If your TGY doesn't taste like that, try doing something different.
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby Akuma37 » Dec 9th, '11, 10:50

Using hotter water also helps ;)
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby iheartea » Dec 10th, '11, 05:09

Thank you for the suggestions. Yes, since green tea has been my choice for years, my brewing techniques are all about green tea. I will try using hotter water, then if that doesn't work, I will try using more leaf. Thanks for the advice!
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby MIKE_B » Dec 10th, '11, 15:32

I agree that hotter water might help. Maybe brew a little bit longer. If the leaf just about fills the gaiwan when fully opened, and you still aren't tasting much after the second steep, I'd blame the tea.
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby Oni » Dec 11th, '11, 02:58

I found out that 5 grams to 100 ml water is enough room for the leaves to fully open, do not put more, I use 6 grams to 120 ml, and a good TGY should give at least 6 infusions.
With oolongs you should use gong fu method of tea preparation, it is designed for it, if you use very little leaf, the tea will be tasteless, you might be used to green tea glass preparation.
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby brandon » Dec 11th, '11, 08:10

http://vimeo.com/32176305

Art student made this and edited it towards the conceptual, but if you pay close attention to both hands, I think you might learn something about brewing TGY.
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby iheartea » Dec 12th, '11, 00:29

Thanks, Brandon, the video was sublime.

I've used more tea, steeped it longer, and there is little or no taste left for the third infusion. I'm going to experiment a little more before I blame the tea.

Can anyone recommend a TGY so I have a basis of comparison? This is my first TGY.
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby Oni » Dec 12th, '11, 03:08

Where have you bought your tea? I suggest buying online, I really liked yunnan sourcing imperial grade.
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby iheartea » Dec 12th, '11, 03:12

Oni, I bought it from Jing. I will try your suggestion soon. Thank you!
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby brandon » Dec 12th, '11, 08:02

iheartea wrote:Oni, I bought it from Jing. I will try your suggestion soon. Thank you!


Jing or Jing tea shop? Which one? I tried several from the later and some of them were, indeed, quite lacking in flavor.
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby bcrav1024 » Dec 31st, '11, 22:20

If you're using a 7-ounce gaiwan with 2 teaspoons of TGY, I recommend steeping at 195-200 degrees at 2-3 minutes, increasing your time by thirty seconds to one minute for each infusion. Brewing it this way will probably yield no more than four cups at most. 2-3 cups sounds about right with the grade it seems you're using.

You might want to throw in an extra teaspoon of the TGY (making 3 tsp./1 tbsp. total) and steep for 1-1.5 minutes at the above temperature. You'll get some more infusions.

I recommend TGY from http://www.uptontea.com/shopcart/home.asp as they have many grades of TGY you can sample and choose from.

My favorite TGY comes from http://verdanttea.com/ as theirs is reasonably priced and has the best flavor of any TGY I've had.
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby FlyedPiper » Jan 1st, '12, 02:54

Get a 80-120 ml gaiwan. Preheat with boiling water. Fill 25% full with TGY. Do a flash steep (as fast as you can pour the water in and out). Discard this brew. Brew subsequent brews 3-5 seconds until the tea gets weak. Add time as needed.

Always boiling water- let it stop bubbling then it's ready to use. The leaves should be filling the gaiwan by steep 5 or so. If not you didn't use enough leaf...

Hope that helps.
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Re: Tie Guan Yin - What am I doing wrong?

Postby iheartea » Jan 8th, '12, 03:48

brandon wrote:
iheartea wrote:Oni, I bought it from Jing. I will try your suggestion soon. Thank you!


Jing or Jing tea shop? Which one? I tried several from the later and some of them were, indeed, quite lacking in flavor.


I'm sorry I wasn't aware that that there were two Jings. I will have to do a little more research.
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