brewing mao cha


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brewing mao cha

Postby kasey » Dec 7th, '11, 02:43

Can someone please explain to me why mao cha should be brewed at 6-7 grams instead of the standard 2.25 grams per 6oz cup?
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby G-off-re » Dec 7th, '11, 03:34

What standard are you talking about? 2.25 grams per 6oz cup sounds like a let it sit for 2 min type of brewing. There is no set rule but most people here brew more leaf, shorter steeps and smaller size pot because it gives the flavor and such that they want. The largest pot i have is 5oz but i prefer my 4oz gaiwan with 5-7gm. You can brewed it with as much or as little leaf as you want to suite your taste.
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby vacuithe » Dec 7th, '11, 07:23

Make it simple : maocha is very bulky compared to cakes or tuocha.
Just full your gaiwan to the brim with leaves, add water, and begin with very short brewing times. :mrgreen:
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby tenuki » Dec 7th, '11, 14:57

kasey wrote:Can someone please explain to me why mao cha should be brewed at 6-7 grams instead of the standard 2.25 grams per 6oz cup?


Um, anyone who tells you there is only one way to brew a certain tea should be ignored and maybe ridiculed. ;)

Just experiment for yourself until you get the most enjoyment from the tea. I generally fill my gaiwan half full of a good mao cha and flash infuse it. But then I usually am drinking pretty intense Banzhang or something similar so again, adjust to your tea and taste. :) Look at all the different answers you are going to get from this question and open your mind to all the possibilities!
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby Drax » Dec 7th, '11, 16:33

Didn't somebody have a graph that plotted leaf:water ratio versus steep times to show the general result...?

In any case, I have generally brewed mao cha with shorter initial steep times as compared to a chunk of compressed pu'erh -- because the leaves don't need as much time to 'wake up' because they are already separated from each other.

But regardless of steep times, I generally use the same amount of leaf to the volume of water whether mao cha or beeng/brick/tuo.
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby Bryan_drinks_te... » Dec 7th, '11, 17:38

Tenuki, that's an epically good post. perhaps we should make a 'nuggets of wisdom' section for all those with brewing questions to peruse and ponder. Again, good post :)
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby kasey » Jan 6th, '12, 03:01

I have a problem with the so-called gong-fu method which seems totally haphazard. I like consistency. This is what attracts me to mao cha as opposed to tuo cha. Loose leaf brewed at a consistent time and temperature. Is this not possible with this leaf as with most all others? Does anyone really know?
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby debunix » Jan 6th, '12, 03:34

Why would gongfu cha be any more haphazard than brewing a single cup western style?

To me, it's less of a gamble than western-style brewing, because I can correct my brewing parameters as I go along. If I overdo the first infusion (too long, too hot, too much leaf), I can compensate the next time by brewing differently (shorter, cooler). If I really screw it up and produce something undrinkable, I've only 'lost' 1/5th or 1/20th of the potentially enjoyment of that quantity of tea leaf (depending on whether it's a sencha I usually infuse 6 times or a puerh I might infuse 20 times), as opposed to the 100% I lose if I screw up a single western-style infusion.
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby the_economist » Jan 6th, '12, 04:05

kasey wrote:I have a problem with the so-called gong-fu method which seems totally haphazard. I like consistency. This is what attracts me to mao cha as opposed to tuo cha. Loose leaf brewed at a consistent time and temperature. Is this not possible with this leaf as with most all others? Does anyone really know?


'haphazard' and 'gongfu' don't go together. if its haphazard, it means the brewer has no skill (no gongfu).
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby JakubT » Jan 6th, '12, 06:53

kasey: When you're used to gongfu, it may be consistent too. But you have much finer control over the result. Therefore, when you feel like having a brew a bit stronger because you feel like that currently, you may easily do that. Also, as previously mentioned, you may easily correct any mishaps.

Also, I don't see why maocha should be more consistent than tuochas (unless we're speaking of faked tuochas with pretty leaves on top and garbage under). Actually, same tuochas stored in different regions will probably be more alike than same maocha stored in different regions (as maocha ages quicker in a way and tends to take the smell of environment more readily than tuocha).
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby kasey » Jan 15th, '12, 19:22

I have some mini sheng tuochas from Upton Tea Co. that are my first venture at this. I brewed one in a guiwan at 185 degrees for starters after rinsing for 10 seconds and followed the gong-fu recommendations for length of brewing time. Sometimes mild, sometimes bitter, but never satisfying. I am admittedly lacking in the requisite expertise, but my feeling is that gong-fu is a style that must adapt itself to a compressed chunk of tea that simply resists being brewed. Last night I carefully crushed up another of these tuochas in a plastic bag with a hammer and brewed it at 170 degrees for 90 seconds. Voila! A bit of powder, but all the flavor you could want, consistent through four infusions. When I originally asked about brewing maocha it was because it appears to be loose leaf, which would probably age faster than a cake besides being easier to establish an optimum and repeatable brewing time and temperature. I have since bought a few cakes and a couple of 2011 sheng bricks which I'm thinking of breaking up before storing.
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby debunix » Jan 15th, '12, 19:42

I think it is quite traditional to gently steam a beeng or tuo of puerh to loosen it and permit separation of leaves before drying the now-separated leaves again and storing the loosened tea for brewing up within a few weeks or months.

I haven't yet wanted to try this--committing myself to using up an entire compressed piece in a short time--so can't give any advice, but I think it has been discussed here previously.
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby MarshalN » Jan 16th, '12, 00:29

kasey wrote:I have some mini sheng tuochas from Upton Tea Co. that are my first venture at this. I brewed one in a guiwan at 185 degrees for starters after rinsing for 10 seconds and followed the gong-fu recommendations for length of brewing time. Sometimes mild, sometimes bitter, but never satisfying. I am admittedly lacking in the requisite expertise, but my feeling is that gong-fu is a style that must adapt itself to a compressed chunk of tea that simply resists being brewed. Last night I carefully crushed up another of these tuochas in a plastic bag with a hammer and brewed it at 170 degrees for 90 seconds. Voila! A bit of powder, but all the flavor you could want, consistent through four infusions. When I originally asked about brewing maocha it was because it appears to be loose leaf, which would probably age faster than a cake besides being easier to establish an optimum and repeatable brewing time and temperature. I have since bought a few cakes and a couple of 2011 sheng bricks which I'm thinking of breaking up before storing.


Mini tuocha is your problem - they're terrible. They're basically puerh's version of teabags - made from inferior material that can't be sold in nicer forms (cakes, tuos, bricks, in that order). So, try things other than mini tuocha and your luck may improve.
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby kasey » Jan 16th, '12, 20:40

That may explain why this tuocha has a predominantly smoky flavor. Is this likely to change over time? But my essential point is that one shouldn't try to brew a compressed chunk of tea.
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Re: brewing mao cha

Postby G-off-re » Jan 16th, '12, 21:29

Kasey,
Check out clouds article on brewing tea. It should answer your question about how to deal with compressed teas. There are 4 sections.

http://www.cloudsteacollection.com/html ... log_e.html
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