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 135F2 » Oct 16th, '12, 06:23

MarshalN wrote:Totally off topic, but did Aaron Fisher give you that cup?


Yes, he did. A set of 6. You received the same cups, or...?
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby yanom » Oct 16th, '12, 07:52

it's just some style of drinking by southern Chinese people paved over times...nothing to get our nerves up about :roll:

Definitely... the idea that Chaozou method = gongfu = skill, therefore serious skilled brewing is Chaozou brewing is surely a bit misguided.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby theredbaron » Oct 16th, '12, 10:29

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.



I am with Tead Off in this discussion.
Good quality tea was always difficult and expensive to get, and a bit of an elitist thing. Common people did drink usually quite low quality tea as they just could not afford the high quality teas. Here in Bangkok, for example, you still see (but much less nowadays) old first or second generation Chinese immigrants drink Gong Fu style - but the tea is usually quite cheap, low quality, but incredibly strong. But that is what they want, and what they are used to.
I remember when i was in Xiamen in '93, people drank tea all day in front of their shophouses. When i asked them they said that they usually go through half a kilo of tea a week. They were not wealthy, which you would have to be in order to afford that amount of high quality tea.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby gingkoseto » Oct 16th, '12, 11:41

I believe Tead Off is mainly talking about SE Asian Chaozhou emigrants.
There is a Chinese saying that it takes 3 generations (of prosperity) to know good clothing style, and it takes 4 generations (of prosperity) to know good food style (beverage included I assume). So I think what Tead Off says about Chaohzou people in SE Asia mostly drinks low grade tea, is just a description of reality. It's just like that we know in North America, you don't shop in Chinatown for good tea... most of the time...

On the other hand, Chaozhou is one of the most developed regions in China throughout history, and there is good accumulation of generations of prosperity for people there to know good tea (in spite of decades of wars and poverty in between). That's partially why it has been a historically important town in Chinese tea culture. Most Chaozhou people I've talked to have difficulty accepting high price dancong. But on the other hand, many of the plain-priced dancongs they are used to are of no less quality, or of higher quality, than more expensive dancongs sold in northern China, let alone out of China.

So logically, I would say, less expensive tea isn't equivalent to low grade tea - that's an objective observation. Whether or not low grade tea is equivalent to bad tea, that's a subjective view and different people would think differently. I personally have enjoyed some cheap tea and low grade tea very well.

Here is an example of a cheapest tea I've had:
http://steepster.com/teas/unknown/15983-cheapest-pheonix-oolong-huang-zhi-xiang

There are obsessions of bitterness, astringency, fragrance, flavors, high grade, high price... I guess my obsession is about the the scope of weird experience :mrgreen:
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby the_economist » Oct 16th, '12, 12:26

Tead Off, I don't know what you think you said, but what you did say is that Chaozhou people 'get used to bad tea and bad brewing'. Essentially, I read that to mean that you think the way Chaozhou gongfu is brewed is 'bad brewing', and the tea they usually use is 'bad tea'.

Now I want to know what you mean by 'bad tea' and what you understand Chaozhou gongfu to mean. Hence the reference to Weng Huidong. Kindly could you let me know whether you would consider the description by Weng Huidong to be Chaozhou gongfu brewing? Kindly could you let me know if I use Seadyke Laocong Shuixian would that be bad tea? Would this combination be what you describe as overly bitter? Thanks for your insights.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby theredbaron » Oct 16th, '12, 12:33

the_economist wrote:Kindly could you let me know if I use Seadyke Laocong Shuixian would that be bad tea?



I hope i don't offend anyone here - but yes, this is quite awful tea indeed.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby the_economist » Oct 16th, '12, 12:39

Tead Off wrote:They get used to bad tea and bad brewing methods.

You are making this into something that it is not about.


TO, what you said about Chaozhou gongfu brewing is akin to someone saying: "Korean potters have gotten used to substandard and ugly teapots. Hence their Korean pottery is bad and ugly as sin. Too grotesque. The way I make my Korean pottery is better. I use better clay and I have better technique." [To be clear, I do *NOT* think that Korean potters suck at pottery, this statement above is just for illustrative purposes]

You only just added the 'disclaimer' that it was 'completely subjective'. Your original post was a 'from on high' declaration that Chaozhou gongfu brewing is bad brewing. Even if it is your own subjective opinion, to say this sort of thing, you'd better be a pretty darn good potter, or at least you must think of yourself as a pretty darn good potter.

Maybe you think you're an expert gongfu tea practitioner, and perhaps you are. Who knows.
Last edited by the_economist on Oct 16th, '12, 12:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby the_economist » Oct 16th, '12, 12:43

theredbaron wrote:
the_economist wrote:Kindly could you let me know if I use Seadyke Laocong Shuixian would that be bad tea?



I hope i don't offend anyone here - but yes, this is quite awful tea indeed.


Thank you, I understand your position now. And the 70~80% full brewing method? Is that generally 'too much' for you? Too bitter?
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby chrl42 » Oct 16th, '12, 13:21

My short experiences with Chaozhou people(perhaps not as frequent as TO or gingko here in Beijing), are at least they know how to make the smartest economic choice when it comes to tea, because tea is connected to their daily lives. A good consumer doesn't mean they have to spend $$.

But they were not the kind who'd buy supermarket teas, and be satisfied with them.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby theredbaron » Oct 16th, '12, 13:22

the_economist wrote:
theredbaron wrote:
the_economist wrote:Kindly could you let me know if I use Seadyke Laocong Shuixian would that be bad tea?



I hope i don't offend anyone here - but yes, this is quite awful tea indeed.


Thank you, I understand your position now. And the 70~80% full brewing method? Is that generally 'too much' for you? Too bitter?


This really depends on the tea as well. Generally speaking - with better grade Wu Yi Teas you will need much less leaves, but then it is a very different taste experience. Using a too high leaf vs. water ratio will suppress the exquisite subtitles of high grade Wu Yi teas.
With low grade teas, such as the brand you mentioned, you will only get a brew that, in such a ratio, knocks you off your socks, but no subtleties whatsoever and a lower ratio will give you a rather rough and bland taste.

High Grade Wu Yi teas though are very very rare, have always been, and can be extraordinary expensive. They are hand harvested and -processed all the way, from the choicest plots.

At times i do indulge in such lower grade teas, with such a ratio. Usually when i am writing for hours till late night, and don't want to concentrate on high quality tea, but want and need to be in a space of my own.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby chrl42 » Oct 16th, '12, 14:25

gingkoseto wrote:I believe Tead Off is mainly talking about SE Asian Chaozhou emigrants.
There is a Chinese saying that it takes 3 generations (of prosperity) to know good clothing style, and it takes 4 generations (of prosperity) to know good food style (beverage included I assume).

I thought it applies to America, not SE asia..overseas Chinese of SE asia take responsibility of financial and political duties here and there..heck even Yixings exported to there during Qing were better than the ones to Japan.

Those Cantonese/Fukienese plus HK/hakka descent are a backbone of mainland China financially, even Beijing real-states are moved by them. But then, I am not Chinese, you are. :)
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby TIM » Oct 16th, '12, 15:16

Shanghai real-states do also moved by the Korean. So does the puerh market... not sure about Chaozhou Gongfu yet, perhaps you should start the trend Chri :lol:
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby the_economist » Oct 16th, '12, 15:19

theredbaron wrote:With low grade teas, such as the brand you mentioned, you will only get a brew that, in such a ratio, knocks you off your socks, but no subtleties whatsoever and a lower ratio will give you a rather rough and bland taste.

At times i do indulge in such lower grade teas, with such a ratio. Usually when i am writing for hours till late night, and don't want to concentrate on high quality tea, but want and need to be in a space of my own.


Now I'm confused. So when using 'low grade tea', a high ratio brew is precisely a very suitable thing to do? Therefore it is good brewing although with 'cheap tea'?

Gongfu brewing is not just about using 'the best tea'. "雅俗共赏" --> enjoyed by gentleman and commoner alike. Many Chaozhou tea drinkers might be poor, but I'd bet a good number of them understand how to brew Chaozhou-style gongfu tea better than I ever will.

Some of my favourite teas for Chaozhou gongfu brewing are less than say 10 cents/gram, in the same ballpark price as Seadykes Lao Cong Shui Xian. The depth of the tea comes not from the quality of the tea base, but the gongfu of the roasting. This is something non-gongfu tea practitioners often miss.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby theredbaron » Oct 17th, '12, 00:33

the_economist wrote:
theredbaron wrote:With low grade teas, such as the brand you mentioned, you will only get a brew that, in such a ratio, knocks you off your socks, but no subtleties whatsoever and a lower ratio will give you a rather rough and bland taste.

At times i do indulge in such lower grade teas, with such a ratio. Usually when i am writing for hours till late night, and don't want to concentrate on high quality tea, but want and need to be in a space of my own.


Now I'm confused. So when using 'low grade tea', a high ratio brew is precisely a very suitable thing to do? Therefore it is good brewing although with 'cheap tea'?

Gongfu brewing is not just about using 'the best tea'. "雅俗共赏" --> enjoyed by gentleman and commoner alike. Many Chaozhou tea drinkers might be poor, but I'd bet a good number of them understand how to brew Chaozhou-style gongfu tea better than I ever will.

Some of my favourite teas for Chaozhou gongfu brewing are less than say 10 cents/gram, in the same ballpark price as Seadykes Lao Cong Shui Xian. The depth of the tea comes not from the quality of the tea base, but the gongfu of the roasting. This is something non-gongfu tea practitioners often miss.



What is so confusing?
There is a reason why low grade teas are much cheaper than high grade teas. Much more care in planting and processing goes into high grade teas, they come from choice spots and plants, while lower grade teas are mass produced teas. Nowadays often the very high levels of roasting are mistaken for the "rock taste", but this famous rock taste you do only get with the very rare high grade Yan Cha.
While teas such as Seadyke, etc, are produced by the ton, the very high grade teas have harvests that are often just a few kilos a year, from tiny plantations in the cliffs of the scenic area in the Wu Yi mountains.

I have to confess that i do know very little about Dancongs as i have never really fancied them.

At times i do drink lower grade teas with a very high ratio. But then i do not drink it for the quality of the tea. A suitable comparison could be, that while i love a specialty restaurant, on occasion i also eat a burger at McDonalds when i feel the need to just fill myself up.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby the_economist » Oct 17th, '12, 01:28

Let me posit here that in this case, 'eating McDonalds' requires quite a bit of skill, on the same order of magnitude, as 'eating at a specialty restaurant'. The difference is that the specialty restaurant is much more expensive, and yields a different experience.

That is, brewing 'low grade' high roast teas requires true gongfu to brew well. It can certainly be much cheaper than fancy yancha, I can think of a few high roast tie guan yins that are ~10cts a gram but highly regarded for gongfu brewing.

But to me it would be an act of great arrogance to laugh at the art of brewing high roast teas with high ratios. Maybe you don't like it, maybe you think it is not worth pursuing such skill, and that's perfectly alright. But that doesn't mean its bad brewing.
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