Poohblah wrote:Usually higher leaf/water ratio results in a stronger flavor as well.
yanom wrote:Poohblah wrote:Usually higher leaf/water ratio results in a stronger flavor as well.
I don't understand how that can result in a stronger flavour if you're shortening the brew time.
You can brew a few leaves in a big mug all day if you want, but they'll never be as flavorful as one flash steep in a full gaiwan.
yanom wrote:Anyway the reason for the question was to try to find some logic behind some of the advice about smaller sizes and to try to understand why, for me, it works for oolong but not for pu'er. Maybe unconsciously influenced by tradition!
tingjunkie wrote:yanom wrote:Anyway the reason for the question was to try to find some logic behind some of the advice about smaller sizes and to try to understand why, for me, it works for oolong but not for pu'er. Maybe unconsciously influenced by tradition!
Ok, I think I'm understanding your question a bit better now. As I'm sure you've probably figured out, not all Chinese teas across the board will be "best" by using the same weight in a 100ml brewing vessel. The key is finding the optimal amount of leaf/water ratio for any given tea. Of course, this amount will change for every single tea drinker out there. It's all subjective. When I brew, my goal is usually to push teas to their limit. Occasionally I do like to brew a slightly more relaxed style, especially if I'm not in the mood to really focus and give a tea the attention it deserves, but otherwise I want to bring each tea right up to the line of maxing out on flavor, mouthfeel, aftertaste, energy, etc.
If I brew 15g of traditionally high roasted Shui Xian in a 100ml pot, or if I brew 8g in the same pot, I will get different impressions of the tea. There may even be some things I notice in the lighter brew that get lost in the heavy one, but for me, I'd be missing out on much more by taking it easy. That's my personality though. I enjoy taking my hobbies and passions all the way to their limit. (One reason I'll never try hard drugs or let myself get really into alcohol! ) Now, my "limit" with high mountain Taiwanese oolongs will be substantially less leaf. For 100ml I think about 5-6g tastes best there. Any more than that, and I feel I have exceeded the teas limit because it will get too bitter and the higher floral notes will be lost.
The other huge reason to use smaller pots is this- good tea is expensive! If I'm brewing for myself, I'd rather use a 60ml pot for yancha than a 120ml pot because I just halved the cost of that pot of tea. When teas start approaching $1+ per gram, that could save me $5-$10 dollars per pot.
Drax wrote:*sigh* I have a sneaky suspicion that nobody has really understood what yanom is really asking.
I'll use an abstraction and we'll see if this is what he wanted to know...
Let's say 5g of tea leaf has "1000 flavor points" in it.
We put the 5g of tea in a 100 mL pot and we steep it 10 times for roughly "100 flavor points" in each steep. Of course, it doesn't work that way, likely it would be something like 90, 130, 130, 110, 100, 90, etc, etc...
Now we put another 5g of tea in a 150 mL pot. But we only steep it 7 times, and at longer times than when we did it in the 100 mL pot -- so we're actually trying to get roughly "150 flavor points" in each steep. Of course, we get fewer total steeps (but we have more volume of tea per steep).
Note that what I've done is try to get the "flavor points:volume" ratio to be the same between the two methods -- which makes the assumption that this ratio is what would make two cups brewed in different fashions taste the same (science people will notice the similarity to "molarity," a way to measure concentration of a solution).
Thus, assuming that the laws of extraction and diffusion work that way, why choose one method over the other?
I could be way off the mark here, so I suppose I'll stop there and see if that was closer to the original question...