How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?


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

Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby gingkoseto » Oct 15th, '12, 14:49

the_economist wrote:I think Chrl mentioned

chrl42 wrote:Another, Weng Hui-dong of late-Qing pointed out to (in his chaozhou chajing)
1. take water when it boils to 'fish-eye'
2. take leaves and let it on top of chaozhou stove, to be awaken
3. put it on white paper, seperate thick and thin leaves
4. insert the thickest leaves first, then thinnest one, then thick leaves on top of pot
5. fill a pot with 7~80% of leaves

It's just one of old-fashion style..in present day, manufactering tea is different, pot is different..many people just fill 4~50% when it comes to yancha


Let's start here. Is something like what Weng HuiDong described considered 'bad brewing'? Suppose I do this with something like Seadyke Lao Cong Shui Xian (a popular choice among South East Asian Chaozhou people). Would that be 'bad tea' and 'bad brewing', with too much bitterness for you TO?

Actually I think Weng Huidong might not disagree with Tead Off on this...
He especially emphasized that "don't put too many tea leaves, because high grade tea leaves and tender buds expand rapidly, and having too many tea leaves would hinder the release of flavor and causes unfavorable bitterness and astringency..." and "... if the tea is made too concentrated, then there will be too much bitterness and astringency, and all the gongfu would be wasted..." (that's my sketchy paraphrase...) For the leaf shape of dancong and the size of chaozhou teapot, even if you try hard to put as many leaves as possible to a teapot, there won't be much. Weng Huidong's 70-80% full is not much at all.

But overall, I don't think his method is the only good method and I believe the best method is the one that suits the tea and the tea drinker. Weng Huidong was sort of a middle-class(?) intellectual and I assume he drank higher grade tea most of the time. If it's old tea leaves of dancong (which could be pretty good and cheap), more leaves and extended infusion time would be needed to get enough flavor out.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby gingkoseto » Oct 15th, '12, 14:51

I like seadyke lao cong shui xian too :D
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby 135F2 » Oct 15th, '12, 15:59

This thread gave me the mood to brew high-fired TKY today :)

My modus operandi for brewing high-fired TKY has always been to fill my Yixing pot half-way full of dry leaves. The leaves would expand to the very brim of the pot while still allowing the lid to close. I've been doing it this way since I was a teenager (I'm in my mid 30's now), and it suits me just fine.

"Drink how you like, like how you drink."

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Last edited by 135F2 on Oct 15th, '12, 16:50, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby AdamMY » Oct 15th, '12, 16:21

135F2 wrote:This thread gave me the mood to brew high-fired TKY today :)

My modus operandi of brewing high-fired TKY has always been to fill my Yixing pot half-way full of dry leaves. The leaves would expand to the very brim of the pot while still allowing the lid to close. I've been doing it this way since I was a teenager (I'm in my mid 30's now), and it suits me just fine.

"Drink how you like, like how you drink."

Image



Where is the drooling emoticon :?: . That looks so good that my tea after class tonight is probably going to be high fired TGY.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby 135F2 » Oct 15th, '12, 16:47

AdamMY wrote:Where is the drooling emoticon :?: . That looks so good that my tea after class tonight is probably going to be high fired TGY.


Drink in good health, Adam!
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby the_economist » Oct 15th, '12, 17:42

gingkoseto wrote:Actually I think Weng Huidong might not disagree with Tead Off on this...
He especially emphasized that "don't put too many tea leaves, because high grade tea leaves and tender buds expand rapidly, and having too many tea leaves would hinder the release of flavor and causes unfavorable bitterness and astringency..." and "... if the tea is made too concentrated, then there will be too much bitterness and astringency, and all the gongfu would be wasted..." (that's my sketchy paraphrase...) For the leaf shape of dancong and the size of chaozhou teapot, even if you try hard to put as many leaves as possible to a teapot, there won't be much. Weng Huidong's 70-80% full is not much at all.


I don't know if Weng Huidong and TO disagree or agree, because I don't know what TO means by 'bad brewing' and 'bad tea'. The Weng Huidong quote is so that we can discuss an explicit way of brewing (70~80% full). I agree that the 70~80% full refers to dry wiry leaves like yancha and dancong. Interested to see what TO thinks about such brewing methods.

By the way, no one is saying excessive bitterness or astringency is a good thing. But bitterness is not a bad thing either in my books. I'm trying to understand where TO is drawing his line for bitterness levels, which is particularly important here because he has claimed that the levels of bitterness brewed by Chaozhou people in general is bad bitterness.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby wyardley » Oct 15th, '12, 17:56

the_economist wrote:I don't know if Weng Huidong and TO disagree or agree, because I don't know what TO means by 'bad brewing' and 'bad tea'. The Weng Huidong quote is so that we can discuss an explicit way of brewing (70~80% full). I think the 70~80% full refers to dry wiry leaves like yancha and dancong. Interested to see what TO thinks about such brewing methods.

Charlie is also correct to point out that with the types of oolongs which are balled / rolled (tieguanyin, for example) used to be much more loosely balled before the advent of machines for tea processing. I think it's also more common now to see some balled teas that are stem / two leaves / bud style instead of single, stemless leaves.

Brewing the more traditional style tieguanyin, single leaf with a looser twist, I would definitely use ~ 75% full by volume, whereas I'd use a bit less with more modern style ones.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby chrl42 » Oct 15th, '12, 22:26

Bitter or not is not the only way to judge tea's quality, because type of tea is different. For example, bitterness in green or Puerh demonstrates the poor quality, but in Oolong is different plus high-firing causes bitterness inevitably. Nor could they claim low-firing to be superior because they have no bitterness, in that I do not agree with Teadoff's claim that bitterness on par with low-quality...it's just one of types, the traditional.

gongfu drinking is the way they make it like espresso, concentrated in a mini cup..you could use a mini cup for hard liquor but not for beer..it's just some style of drinking by southern Chinese people paved over times...nothing to get our nerves up about :roll:
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby Tead Off » Oct 16th, '12, 01:37

chrl42 wrote:Bitter or not is not the only way to judge tea's quality, because type of tea is different. For example, bitterness in green or Puerh demonstrates the poor quality, but in Oolong is different plus high-firing causes bitterness inevitably. Nor could they claim low-firing to be superior because they have no bitterness, in that I do not agree with Teadoff's claim that bitterness on par with low-quality...it's just one of types, the traditional.

gongfu drinking is the way they make it like espresso, concentrated in a mini cup..you could use a mini cup for hard liquor but not for beer..it's just some style of drinking by southern Chinese people paved over times...nothing to get our nerves up about :roll:

No, chrl42, I didn't say bitterness is on par with low quality. I said low quality tea + strong and long infusions often produce bitterness. This is a style I don't particularly like. I often like bitter foods but not bitter tea. I like to be able to taste the flavors of tea and if there is too much bitterness in a tea, it obscures the flavors. All of this is completely subjective and I am not trying to create a rule of law in brewing or how much tea to water is the correct ratio. I don't care about any of that. I just know what I like from years of drinking tea and trying to brew with different techniques and parameters. Many of my own myths have been busted and I have a good laugh at the way some people talk about their own experiences.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby Tead Off » Oct 16th, '12, 01:45

One more thing, about coffee. Espresso is not about bitter coffee. Bitterness in espresso is usually attributed to an unclean machine as well as bad coffee. But, espresso does have a bitter quality to it. It's nature is bitter but how bitter is too bitter? When the bitterness overwhelms the subtle flavors, it is too bitter. But what if someone like that overwhelming bitterness. I say, they are not into the coffee but the bitter sensation that the coffee gives them. Am I right or am I wrong? I honestly don't care. I like a good cup of coffee that is full of flavor. Is bitterness a flavor?
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby wyardley » Oct 16th, '12, 01:54

Tead Off wrote:One more thing, about coffee. Espresso is not about bitter coffee. Bitterness in espresso is usually attributed to an unclean machine as well as bad coffee. But, espresso does have a bitter quality to it. It's nature is bitter but how bitter is too bitter? When the bitterness overwhelms the subtle flavors, it is too bitter. But what if someone like that overwhelming bitterness. I say, they are not into the coffee but the bitter sensation that the coffee gives them. Am I right or am I wrong? I honestly don't care. I like a good cup of coffee that is full of flavor. Is bitterness a flavor?


Yes, bitterness is a flavor - in fact, an elemental "flavor" in a more pure sense than some of the things we "taste" (in the sense that we have specific receptors for it). And, like coffee, tea's flavor is bitter. I get what you're saying, because I also find certain teas too bitter or too astringent for my personal taste.

Since you bring up the coffee analogy... personally, I prefer the style of espresso currently popular where I live, using beans with a bit lower roast, which will make espresso with less crema and a pleasant sweet-sour flavor. It's a taste I've come to enjoy. But, I do not go to Italy (where these days, most espresso beans come from one of a few companies, and most espresso machines are completely automatic) and say "what is this swill... I'm going to school you about espresso. Where are my single origin beans roasted locally this morning?". Because, just like Chaozhou people invented gongfucha, Italians invented espresso. I just shut up, drink my shot of espresso at the bar, and head on my merry way.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby MarshalN » Oct 16th, '12, 02:04

135F2 wrote:This thread gave me the mood to brew high-fired TKY today :)

My modus operandi for brewing high-fired TKY has always been to fill my Yixing pot half-way full of dry leaves. The leaves would expand to the very brim of the pot while still allowing the lid to close. I've been doing it this way since I was a teenager (I'm in my mid 30's now), and it suits me just fine.

"Drink how you like, like how you drink."

Image


Totally off topic, but did Aaron Fisher give you that cup?
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby dchew78 » Oct 16th, '12, 03:40

Tead Off wrote:One more thing, about coffee. Espresso is not about bitter coffee. Bitterness in espresso is usually attributed to an unclean machine as well as bad coffee. But, espresso does have a bitter quality to it. It's nature is bitter but how bitter is too bitter? When the bitterness overwhelms the subtle flavors, it is too bitter. But what if someone like that overwhelming bitterness. I say, they are not into the coffee but the bitter sensation that the coffee gives them. Am I right or am I wrong? I honestly don't care. I like a good cup of coffee that is full of flavor. Is bitterness a flavor?


Personally I find it funny that essentially you're saying the originators of gongfu tea do not have access to good tea leaves or knowledge of good brewing techniques.
That's all
:lol:
you're welcome to like or dislike as you please. I detest some of the types of teas that some members here revere and I'm sure my taste is not to everyone's liking but I won't go around saying the Japanese know nuts about Gyokuro or the Indians have never tasted real Darjeeling or whatever.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby Tead Off » Oct 16th, '12, 04:18

dchew78 wrote:
Tead Off wrote:One more thing, about coffee. Espresso is not about bitter coffee. Bitterness in espresso is usually attributed to an unclean machine as well as bad coffee. But, espresso does have a bitter quality to it. It's nature is bitter but how bitter is too bitter? When the bitterness overwhelms the subtle flavors, it is too bitter. But what if someone like that overwhelming bitterness. I say, they are not into the coffee but the bitter sensation that the coffee gives them. Am I right or am I wrong? I honestly don't care. I like a good cup of coffee that is full of flavor. Is bitterness a flavor?


Personally I find it funny that essentially you're saying the originators of gongfu tea do not have access to good tea leaves or knowledge of good brewing techniques.
That's all
:lol:
you're welcome to like or dislike as you please. I detest some of the types of teas that some members here revere and I'm sure my taste is not to everyone's liking but I won't go around saying the Japanese know nuts about Gyokuro or the Indians have never tasted real Darjeeling or whatever.


In fact, most of the Japanese I know know little about good teas. (I live in an area of 90% Japanese). They've drunk teas like gyokuro but don't know much about it or how to optimally brew it. Even good senchas.

In India, very few people, relatively speaking, know anything about Darjeelings except the name and what is sold in most markets outside of Darjeeling area which is really quite low in quality.

Do you think every Dim Sum maker in Hong Kong makes great Dim Sum?

And, please show me where I said Chao Zhou people don't have access to good quality tea. Please try to read a little more carefully. You are making this into something that it is not about.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby dchew78 » Oct 16th, '12, 04:34

Tead Off wrote:
dchew78 wrote:
Tead Off wrote:One more thing, about coffee. Espresso is not about bitter coffee. Bitterness in espresso is usually attributed to an unclean machine as well as bad coffee. But, espresso does have a bitter quality to it. It's nature is bitter but how bitter is too bitter? When the bitterness overwhelms the subtle flavors, it is too bitter. But what if someone like that overwhelming bitterness. I say, they are not into the coffee but the bitter sensation that the coffee gives them. Am I right or am I wrong? I honestly don't care. I like a good cup of coffee that is full of flavor. Is bitterness a flavor?


Personally I find it funny that essentially you're saying the originators of gongfu tea do not have access to good tea leaves or knowledge of good brewing techniques.
That's all
:lol:
you're welcome to like or dislike as you please. I detest some of the types of teas that some members here revere and I'm sure my taste is not to everyone's liking but I won't go around saying the Japanese know nuts about Gyokuro or the Indians have never tasted real Darjeeling or whatever.


In fact, most of the Japanese I know know little about good teas. (I live in an area of 90% Japanese). They've drunk teas like gyokuro but don't know much about it or how to optimally brew it. Even good senchas.

In India, very few people, relatively speaking, know anything about Darjeelings except the name and what is sold in most markets outside of Darjeeling area which is really quite low in quality.

Do you think every Dim Sum maker in Hong Kong makes great Dim Sum?

And, please show me where I said Chao Zhou people don't have access to good quality tea. Please try to read a little more carefully. You are making this into something that it is not about.


"The 2 major reasons for this are low quality tea or too much time infusing in the pot. In and out is almost never practiced and the Chinese drinkers, for some reason, have gotten used to this kind of taste and tea rush to the head. Not much subtlety in their drinking. Of course, there are exceptions but not so easy to find commercially.

They get used to bad tea and bad brewing methods."

You don't 'get used' to something unless the frequency is high but yes you did not outright say they don't have access to it, just merely they get used to not having it.

You're right, it's not the same thing.

By the same token, not every Dim Sum restaurant in HKG makes good Dim Sum does not mean the best Dim Sum do not come from HKG.
Offhand I can easily name 20 Chaozhou people within a minute who can't brew any tea other than Lipton and its brethren, does that mean Chaozhou people have bad brewing methods?

And honestly most people everywhere don't know how to optimally brew tea, any tea. Every once in a while I will discover something that make me go "woah, this really improves the quality of my brew" and I'm thankful I have not reached the pinnacle.
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