When water meets leaf.


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

When water meets leaf.

Postby fire_snake » Jan 10th, '12, 19:30

I thought I'd submit this observation for discussion. Nothing earth-shattering, but it's about those little things, and little things can make all the difference.

I've been following some water-pour advice for Long Jing: to pour against the walls of the gaiwan. I do this for other Chinese greens as well, to great effect.

What I've observed is that first, this method is gentler on the tea because it is a slower pour and cools the water somewhat. Second, this creates an environment ideal for enjoyment of the aroma, and possibly extends the number of infusions you can get out of the tea: the tea is not immersed in water on the first infusion. The tea sits on top of the water with the bottom in contact with the water, while the top layer is in a semi-wet, mostly dry state. The experience is really an olfactory feast.

I've recently taken this a step further and done what some people do with Japanese greens and even Bi Luo Chun: gently add the tea to the water. This is perhaps the best expression of "gentle contact" with the water. I have found that although the first infusion will be lighter, the second is usually more flavourful than expected; it's good at preventing bitterness (provided the water is not too hot), and seems to extend the life of the tea for around an extra infusion.

The tea isn't "hit" by the water. Contact is gentle, and the first infusion leaves some leaf in the gaiwan that has spent comparatively little time in full contact with the water.

This seems to be an especially good method to use with the more sensitive green teas.

Anyone else do this? Please post your observations and experiences.

Christian
User avatar
fire_snake
 
Posts: 239
Joined: Jan 15th, '

Re: When water meets leaf.

Postby Chip » Jan 10th, '12, 19:56

I had learned the pouring the leaves into the water method for BLC from a Chinese vendor and it is quite effective.

I have also done this with several Japanese greens that would not produce satisfactory brews when I:

A. Preheated the pot, placed leaves in, poured water back into the pot when it reaches desired and usually sub 160* temp.

or

B. Not preheating the pot and in turn pouring hotter water than if I had preheated over the leaves ... a wake up call for the leaves.

... so C. is pouring the leaves into the water when it is the right temp. This actually worked. You can really pin point temp if needed since the water is already in the pot. Though I have not HAD to do this for any Japanese greens for a few years. But there were a few selections that this was the only way I could get a good 1st steep.
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 22289
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: When water meets leaf.

Postby Xell » Jan 11th, '12, 06:22

I don't really feel difference in teas where i use low temperature, usually below 70-80C. If i hit the leaves or gently pour on side. But preheating kyusu i think does makes difference. What i usually do is pour water near boiling point into kyusu, wait until it properly warmed up and hot to touch, pour out water to cool it down and put leaves inside and close lid. Leaving leaves inside preheated kyusu for a while (probably between 1-3min) makes tea somewhat sweeter with a bit deeper flavor, or so i think :) Bonus to this method is amazing aroma from warmed up leaves when you open kyusu again.
User avatar
Xell
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 434
Joined: Jan 7th, '1
Location: Japan, Nagasaki

Re: When water meets leaf.

Postby fire_snake » Jan 11th, '12, 11:48

Thanks to Chip and Xell for the replies. :)

(Xell: hope things are good with you, haven't spoken in a while.)

So I also tried the method Xell mentioned. Preheating the pot. Interestingly enough, I had always done this with Japanese tea, but never really for Chinese tea. I *do* pre-heat the gaiwan by holding it near a heat-source (within a safe distance, and cautiously, I don't want it to crack) but never using hot water to pre-heat it.

Having used water for this purpose, I ended up with a warm gaiwan with wet walls with perhaps a bit more moisture on the bottom - one or two drops having pooled there. After adding the tea (Bi Luo Chun in this case) the aroma was incredible. I let the tea sit like this for about a minute. Then I added water, making sure to pour very gently around the walls. The result was a Bi Luo Chun with not even a hint of bitterness, and that classic toasty flavour coming through.

I'm not sure what it was that made this session so successful, but I do know that letting the tea sit in a warm, wet gaiwan for a little bit really titilated my senses, and I can also be sure that in some cases at least, being careful with how the leaves contact the water can bring great things out of the tea.
User avatar
fire_snake
 
Posts: 239
Joined: Jan 15th, '

Re: When water meets leaf.

Postby hopeofdawn » Jan 11th, '12, 14:43

I've never tried adding leaf to water after the fact, but I have tried a technique with Japanese greens that was recommended by another board member (I'm sorry, I forget who)--where you pour the water through the spout of your teapot/houhin, letting it fill slowly and gently. I was having a real problem with astringent/grassy sencha brews, and I was skeptical that this would make a difference--but it really did! My brews were a lot sweeter and flavorful without being overpowering. I should try it with Chinese greens as well, one of these days ...
User avatar
hopeofdawn
 
Posts: 498
Joined: Dec 13th, '
Location: Seattle

Re: When water meets leaf.

Postby Chasen » Jan 11th, '12, 15:54

hopeofdawn wrote:I've never tried adding leaf to water after the fact, but I have tried a technique with Japanese greens that was recommended by another board member (I'm sorry, I forget who)--where you pour the water through the spout of your teapot/houhin, letting it fill slowly and gently. I was having a real problem with astringent/grassy sencha brews, and I was skeptical that this would make a difference--but it really did! My brews were a lot sweeter and flavorful without being overpowering. I should try it with Chinese greens as well, one of these days ...



Wow, Hope! Thanks for your post. I'm new to the intracies of tea expressed on this forum, and confess I've been fascinated since I first found this site about a month ago. I have since purchased a fair amount of tea ware, some of which I hadn't known about before. One item is a small unglazed Yi Jing teapot which has an ear-shaped handle opposite the spout. On the top of the handle, just where it meets the lip of the pot, there is an opening, covered by a lid which is attached to the handle by a cord. Could this be for pouring the water in as you are doing through the spout?
Chasen
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Nov 26th, '

Re: When water meets leaf.

Postby Xell » Jan 12th, '12, 14:06

fire_snake wrote:Thanks to Chip and Xell for the replies. :)

(Xell: hope things are good with you, haven't spoken in a while.)
.......................
I'm not sure what it was that made this session so successful, but I do know that letting the tea sit in a warm, wet gaiwan for a little bit really titilated my senses, and I can also be sure that in some cases at least, being careful with how the leaves contact the water can bring great things out of the tea.


At least i have an idea how it works, when Chua (auhckw) was teaching me about puerh basics, i remember something about leaving to rest leaves after rinse about 1-2min. To let tea "wake up", probably warm moist air is good to release flavor from tea without introducing more astringency and bitterness.

This part about tea is really fun, quite many parameters can change taste. Not only need to find right tea, but also find right way to prepare it, so it will suit your taste as much as possible.

p.s.
New Year start is good for me, now everything looks good :) My tea passion got even stronger, hehe
User avatar
Xell
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 434
Joined: Jan 7th, '1
Location: Japan, Nagasaki


Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation