Help with Tie Luo Han

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

Help with Tie Luo Han

Postby Baci15 » Jan 25th, '13, 11:26

Hello all.
So, I recently received an order from Norbu tea, containing a 2011 spring Tie Luo Han Wuyi oolong. The problem is, I can't get much flavor out of it. I use about 8-9 grams for a 180 ml gaiwan (around half way full of dry leaves). I use water around 208-210 degrees f, and steep it for 15 seconds, (I have tried up to 25). The resulting liquor does not have much aroma or flavor. What should I do? I am quite new to Wuyi oolongs, so the problem is probably me. I do use tap water for all my teas, because it's really good water, and tastes fine.

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Re: Help with Tie Luo Han

Postby wyardley » Jan 25th, '13, 12:33

Double up on the leaf, or get a smaller gaiwan.

Or, brew the tea for a lot longer.

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Re: Help with Tie Luo Han

Postby bambooforest » Jan 25th, '13, 15:55

At that ratio I can't imagine you not getting good flavor.

Two suggestions:

Try steeping for a minute or more. When I go a 1gram/oz or a little higher, I steep for at least 1.5 minutes, up to 2.5 minutes.

Even if your water tastes fine by itself, it might be hard water. If the water is pure, but hard, it will negatively influence flavor.

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Re: Help with Tie Luo Han

Postby wyardley » Jan 25th, '13, 17:18

ps - Even if you have good tap water where you live, I would suggest comparing with spring water at some point, just to see how they compare.

You might also want to consider a filter to remove chlorine at least.

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Re: Help with Tie Luo Han

Postby TIM » Jan 25th, '13, 22:32

How long ago did you got the package? Was it a long distance shipping?

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Re: Help with Tie Luo Han

Postby Baci15 » Jan 27th, '13, 22:55

I got the package a few days ago, and it wasn't long distance.

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Re: Help with Tie Luo Han

Postby debunix » Jan 27th, '13, 23:01

I've been working my way through a package of this, and it's been difficult for me to find a sweet spot too. I've gotten a variety of Wuyi oolongs from Greg at Norbu over the last few years, and generally been very happy with them. But this is one that I've never done a formal tasting with to get the parameters down right, and it hasn't bowled me over in daily random brewings. I think it needs higher leaf to water ratios and very hot temps through the brewing to bring out the flavor.

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Re: Help with Tie Luo Han

Postby bagua7 » Jan 27th, '13, 23:09

Are you brewing the tea in a Yixing pot or gaiwan?

IMO, those teas benefit a lot more from the right Yixing but finding one isn't easy either; however, thick-walled "hong ni" will do the trick in most instances.

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Re: Help with Tie Luo Han

Postby debunix » Jan 27th, '13, 23:37

I think most of my brewings have not been in optimum vessels, and at the moment I'm too snuffly to do a proper test in my thickest-walled vessel.

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Re: Help with Tie Luo Han

Postby TIM » Jan 28th, '13, 00:41

Baci15 wrote:I got the package a few days ago, and it wasn't long distance.


Try the tea again in 3 days. Pack the tea to 3/4 of your vessel, after flash rinsing the tea, let it sit without water for 5 mins and 1 sec. first brew. Let us know how that goes. Good luck :)

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Re: Help with Tie Luo Han

Postby Teaism » Jan 28th, '13, 11:09

If you have another good TLH or another Wuyi, brew both together and see the difference. Under the same amount, temp and brewing method and still the TLH taste flat, then there are possiblity that the problem lies with the tea leaves.

Finding a good Wuyi is really really very hard nowadays.

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Re: Help with Tie Luo Han

Postby Hannah » Apr 15th, '13, 21:02

Strange, I found TLH to be one of the more forgiving wuyis I've had when it comes to brewing. I had the TLH from teaurchin, very nice!! I found though that I had to use boiling water, or at least 95C. I usually use 90 for oolongs but this TLH I had seemed to need more (very high roast though).

First 2 steeps didn't need long at all in a gaiwan, only 10s and 20s (3/4 packed with leaf), but after that it needed much longer to get anything out of it..

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Re: Help with Tie Luo Han

Postby theredbaron » Apr 15th, '13, 22:44

Baci15 wrote:Hello all.
So, I recently received an order from Norbu tea, containing a 2011 spring Tie Luo Han Wuyi oolong. The problem is, I can't get much flavor out of it. I use about 8-9 grams for a 180 ml gaiwan (around half way full of dry leaves). I use water around 208-210 degrees f, and steep it for 15 seconds, (I have tried up to 25). The resulting liquor does not have much aroma or flavor. What should I do? I am quite new to Wuyi oolongs, so the problem is probably me. I do use tap water for all my teas, because it's really good water, and tastes fine.



There are many different qualities of Wu Yi teas, ranging from absolutely aweful to heavenly. Real Ti Lo Han is generally one of the more expensive and rare Wu Yi teas. But not all that is sold as Ti Lo Han is also Ti Lo Han.
I don't know the particular tea you bought, but the ratio should be sufficient, also the temperature of the water. The age of the tea should not be a problem as Wu Yi teas also benefit from aging.
The only thing i can think of is the use of tap water. Often the better teas are extremely sensitive to water quality. Good tasting tap water does not necessarily make good tea water. Try good bottled spring or artesian water, such as Volvic or Fiji.

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