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 Tead Off » Oct 17th, '12, 01:42

the_economist wrote: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.

It's impossible to resolve all these subjective statements made by you, me, or anyone else. Being subjective, their very nature is interpretive and should be taken that way. When I say 'bad brewing', I am speaking from my point of view of how I like to drink tea, what tastes good to me. If bitter, acrid tea tastes good to you, so be it. I often laugh when i read some of the posts in the Puerh threads talking about certain teas. To me, some of it is awful yet to others, almost heavenly. There is no way I can get into another person's head to discover what they are really talking about so please don't try to get into mine. :D
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby theredbaron » Oct 17th, '12, 01:46

the_economist wrote: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.


I don't think that i have laughed at anything here. But i don't really see much skill involved in stuffing a pot with leaves giving you a brew which strength overpowers everything. I do that on occasion myself.

Real skill is involved in getting the maximum out of what you describe "fancy" Yancha, where good water, finding the perfect ratio of leafs, steeping times, suitability of the pot, etc can bring out a world of subtleties in your brew. But that works only when you have leafs of a suitable quality.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby the_economist » Oct 17th, '12, 02:05

Tead Off wrote:It's impossible to resolve all these subjective statements made by you, me, or anyone else. Being subjective, their very nature is interpretive and should be taken that way. When I say 'bad brewing', I am speaking from my point of view of how I like to drink tea, what tastes good to me. If bitter, acrid tea tastes good to you, so be it. I often laugh when i read some of the posts in the Puerh threads talking about certain teas. To me, some of it is awful yet to others, almost heavenly. There is no way I can get into another person's head to discover what they are really talking about so please don't try to get into mine. :D


Certainly didn't sound like you were making a subjective statement. You just said it was 'bad brewing' and 'bad tea'. You ought to be a little more careful in the way you phrase things then. Glad to know that you understand it is merely your opinion.

Definitely bitter tea can taste good to me, and not just me either. Perhaps you didn't understand my quote: 一苦二甜三回味. First bitter, then sweetness, and finally aftertaste. But to each his own, we are all free to reject the wisdom of those who tread before us.

I'm not trying to get into your head, I'm trying to make sure people reading this thread don't come away with the impression that one person's opinion implies that Chaozhou gongfu brewing is 'bad brewing'.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby the_economist » Oct 17th, '12, 02:11

theredbaron wrote:I don't think that i have laughed at anything here. But i don't really see much skill involved in stuffing a pot with leaves giving you a brew which strength overpowers everything. I do that on occasion myself.

Real skill is involved in getting the maximum out of what you describe "fancy" Yancha, where good water, finding the perfect ratio of leafs, steeping times, suitability of the pot, etc can bring out a world of subtleties in your brew. But that works only when you have leafs of a suitable quality.


Real skill is involved in getting the maximum out of what you describe as 'McDonalds' tea. Perhaps you haven't seen the various articles ( http://chadao.blogspot.com/2006/04/yixing-pot-old-and-new.html ) posted by other members on this forum about

1) packing the pot/crushing leaves/sorting leaves
2) how to pour water
3) picking the right water
4) timing
5) how to pour out of the pot
6) aiming for consistent flavour across the first 3 brews

I know that I know little about gongfu brewing, even for these cheap 'McDonalds' teas. If I brewed the tea and an experienced gongfu tea practitioner brewed the tea, I guarantee mine will taste quite a bit worse.

And with that I think I have exhausted my points relevant to this topic. Enjoy your tea gentlemen, may the sweet aftertaste that follows after bitterness find you wherever you are.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby wyardley » Oct 17th, '12, 02:26

I have encountered some excellent teas that are "stronger" than other teas, and / or more particular about how they need to be brewed (more so with dancong than with even the more delicate yancha, but I've seen it with yancha too).

But, for the most part, I feel that a truly top-grade or excellent tea should, generally speaking, stand up to stress, whether it's competition style brewing (little leaf, boiling water, long infusion), brewing with a heavy hand (little water, lots of leaf), water temperature (boiling water, even with greens and more delicate oolongs), etc. In fact, testing the quality is one argument I've seen for this style of brewing. While lower grade teas can sometimes taste good this way, I would argue that it's actually usually the best teas that will really shine with a lot of leaf.

I recognize that there are lots of ways of brewing tea, and that one shouldn't necessarily blindly follow a particular method. But Tead specifically said:
Gongfu style brewing is my preferred style.

We may all have our own ways of defining that, but I do think that most people's definition would include a fairly small brewing vessel and a fairly high proportion of leaves to water.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby theredbaron » Oct 17th, '12, 04:02

the_economist wrote:
theredbaron wrote:I don't think that i have laughed at anything here. But i don't really see much skill involved in stuffing a pot with leaves giving you a brew which strength overpowers everything. I do that on occasion myself.

Real skill is involved in getting the maximum out of what you describe "fancy" Yancha, where good water, finding the perfect ratio of leafs, steeping times, suitability of the pot, etc can bring out a world of subtleties in your brew. But that works only when you have leafs of a suitable quality.


Real skill is involved in getting the maximum out of what you describe as 'McDonalds' tea. Perhaps you haven't seen the various articles ( http://chadao.blogspot.com/2006/04/yixing-pot-old-and-new.html ) posted by other members on this forum about

1) packing the pot/crushing leaves/sorting leaves
2) how to pour water
3) picking the right water
4) timing
5) how to pour out of the pot
6) aiming for consistent flavour across the first 3 brews

I know that I know little about gongfu brewing, even for these cheap 'McDonalds' teas. If I brewed the tea and an experienced gongfu tea practitioner brewed the tea, I guarantee mine will taste quite a bit worse.

And with that I think I have exhausted my points relevant to this topic. Enjoy your tea gentlemen, may the sweet aftertaste that follows after bitterness find you wherever you are.



Right now, actually inspired by this discussion, i brew a pot in this high ratio, and incidentally, in a very similar pot as seen in the article you supplied, same vintage, same strong patina (it's my traveling and all around pot for any Oolong, Liu Bao or Pu Erh tea), just a size smaller. Part of that traveling set i have two small late Qing blue & white cups (made then for the SEA market). The tea is from a box of Ti Kuan Yin i bought maybe 15 years or so ago, and forgot about until recently. It's nice, for the occasion. :wink:
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby gingkoseto » Oct 17th, '12, 13:47

chrl42 wrote:
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. :)

Yeah indeed that's a big difference between Chinese emigrants on different continents. I feel the difference is not small either between American and Canadian Chinese communities.
On the other hand, I should clarify that when I said generations of prosperity, it's not just about money and power. It takes generations to develop the lazy air for people to relax and focus their lives on enjoyments instead of "achievements". :mrgreen: And eventually some descendents of Chinese emigrants may take enjoyments from coffee or other things instead of Chinese stuff.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby Tead Off » Oct 18th, '12, 00:19

Very good points, Gingko. Here in SE Asia, the emigrant Chinese are quite different from N. America. In N. America, they face a different kind of brainwashing than what goes on here. :D
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby TIM » Oct 18th, '12, 00:25

Tead Off wrote:Very good points, Gingko. Here in SE Asia, the emigrant Chinese are quite different from N. America. In N. America, they face a different kind of brainwashing than what goes on here. :D


You sounded like a colonial plantation manager Tead... Seriously
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby theredbaron » Oct 18th, '12, 00:35

TIM wrote:
Tead Off wrote:Very good points, Gingko. Here in SE Asia, the emigrant Chinese are quite different from N. America. In N. America, they face a different kind of brainwashing than what goes on here. :D


You sounded like a colonial plantation manager Tead... Seriously


I don't know much about the US, but the brainwashing/state propaganda that has been going on here in Thailand for decades is quite overwhelming, and almost unbearable. Not all countries are free...
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby TIM » Oct 18th, '12, 00:40

theredbaron wrote:
TIM wrote:
Tead Off wrote:Very good points, Gingko. Here in SE Asia, the emigrant Chinese are quite different from N. America. In N. America, they face a different kind of brainwashing than what goes on here. :D


You sounded like a colonial plantation manager Tead... Seriously


I don't know much about the US, but the brainwashing/state propaganda that has been going on here in Thailand for decades is quite overwhelming, and almost unbearable. Not all countries are free...


Just look at our fellow American.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby theredbaron » Oct 18th, '12, 00:50

TIM wrote:
theredbaron wrote:
TIM wrote:
Tead Off wrote:Very good points, Gingko. Here in SE Asia, the emigrant Chinese are quite different from N. America. In N. America, they face a different kind of brainwashing than what goes on here. :D


You sounded like a colonial plantation manager Tead... Seriously


I don't know much about the US, but the brainwashing/state propaganda that has been going on here in Thailand for decades is quite overwhelming, and almost unbearable. Not all countries are free...


Just look at our fellow American.



At least in the US one won't disappear in prison for years for just speaking his mind over certain issues (and those laws are universal - wherever you say it can lead to prosecution here). Here it is the duty of every Thai to follow a certain state ideology, which is force fed to all children already at a very early age.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby TIM » Oct 18th, '12, 01:10

theredbaron wrote:
TIM wrote:
theredbaron wrote:
TIM wrote:
Tead Off wrote:Very good points, Gingko. Here in SE Asia, the emigrant Chinese are quite different from N. America. In N. America, they face a different kind of brainwashing than what goes on here. :D


You sounded like a colonial plantation manager Tead... Seriously


I don't know much about the US, but the brainwashing/state propaganda that has been going on here in Thailand for decades is quite overwhelming, and almost unbearable. Not all countries are free...


Just look at our fellow American.



At least in the US one won't disappear in prison for years for just speaking his mind over certain issues (and those laws are universal - wherever you say it can lead to prosecution here). Here it is the duty of every Thai to follow a certain state ideology, which is force fed to all children already at a very early age.


Have you heard of water boarding? Can't be too naive or in the Bubble all the time...
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby Tead Off » Oct 18th, '12, 01:53

theredbaron wrote:
TIM wrote:
Tead Off wrote:Very good points, Gingko. Here in SE Asia, the emigrant Chinese are quite different from N. America. In N. America, they face a different kind of brainwashing than what goes on here. :D


You sounded like a colonial plantation manager Tead... Seriously


I don't know much about the US, but the brainwashing/state propaganda that has been going on here in Thailand for decades is quite overwhelming, and almost unbearable. Not all countries are free...

Wasn't saying one was better than the other, just different. In the U.S., there is more of a disconnect from the country of origin. I am eastern European by descent. I knew nothing of my origin growing up. My wife is Cantonese, ABC. She didn't even learn Cantonese growing up yet her parents are both Mandarin and Cantonese speakers. This was within one generation.
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Re: How much tea ratio is too much, or not enough?

Postby theredbaron » Oct 18th, '12, 02:09

TIM wrote:
theredbaron wrote:
TIM wrote:
theredbaron wrote:
TIM wrote:
Tead Off wrote:Very good points, Gingko. Here in SE Asia, the emigrant Chinese are quite different from N. America. In N. America, they face a different kind of brainwashing than what goes on here. :D


You sounded like a colonial plantation manager Tead... Seriously


I don't know much about the US, but the brainwashing/state propaganda that has been going on here in Thailand for decades is quite overwhelming, and almost unbearable. Not all countries are free...


Just look at our fellow American.



At least in the US one won't disappear in prison for years for just speaking his mind over certain issues (and those laws are universal - wherever you say it can lead to prosecution here). Here it is the duty of every Thai to follow a certain state ideology, which is force fed to all children already at a very early age.


Have you heard of water boarding? Can't be too naive or in the Bubble all the time...


Don't mistake me, i am not American.
Some of the water boarding (and possibly worse) was also outsourced here to Thailand, precisely because this is one of these places in which things like this won't raise too much of an eyebrow.
At least in the US you can openly criticize what you want, while here (when it comes to certain subjects) you better think carefully what you say or write if you don't plan on spending the next decade behind bars.
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