cha hai problem


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cha hai problem

Postby yalokinh » Feb 23rd, '13, 02:41

Hy guys,
I have a problem with making tea gong fu style in regards to the cha hai.
I bought a 120ml cha hai for my 90ml gaiwan and it works for one brew, however in the time it takes to drink the tea the next infusion is too bitter and strong. ive checked the temp and it seems appropriate for the type of tea. Ive gotten used to just making a big pot all at once. Am i doing something wrong?
I leave the lid off in between and i have a medium thin gaiwan.
It seems like the steam keeps brewing the leaves after the water is poured out.
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Re: cha hai problem

Postby Poohblah » Feb 23rd, '13, 03:44

welcome to teachat!

Usually I don't mix brews in the chahai. This is for two reasons:
  • I don't have to concentrate on two things at once (serving & brewing)
  • I don't mix the flavors of two different brews
However I will use the chahai to mix brews if I am using a small vessel to serve a large number of people, which I have done on a couple occasions.

You will get a better experience out of gongfu style if you focus on only one thing at a time and if you focus on the flavors of each individual brew.

But if you are serving many people or have another reason to mix a large number of small brews into a large volume (maybe you want to fill a thermos to take to work), then a large chahai is a good purchase.

edit: are you steeping the leaves while you drinking from the first chahai? This is what I assumed you were doing when I wrote the preceding post. However if you are not steeping the leaves and your second brew still turns out bitter, shorten the second steep. Often I find that the first one or two brews need to be longer than the next ones because the leaves need time to open up and awaken (This is especially true with Japanese sencha for whatever reason, although I'm aware we're discussing Chinese style tea). So for instance I might brew 30sec, then 10s, 15, 20, 30, ... until I'm done. However the likelihood that I need to shorten the second or third steep is much lower if I rinse the tea with hot water before the first brew, as this can open and awaken the tea as well. Different teas need different amounts of time to awaken. Balled-up oolongs take especially long, and so does highly-compressed pu'er, whereas with wiry yancha or dancong I usually don't need to do a shorter steep than the first.
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Re: cha hai problem

Postby yalokinh » Feb 23rd, '13, 04:03

Thanks for the info.
Ive seen videos of people brewin the first infusion, then pour it out and leave the teapot or gaiwan uncovered to keep from further steeping due to high temps, then brew the second infusion when they are done with the first. . But that deosnt work for me.
I brew it, empty the pot and leave lid off. Then i drink the first infusion, and when im done i then pour the water in, but even if the water is in for just a couple of seconds, the tea is too strong. What can i do differently.
Im not brewing while drinking the current infusion. It seems to me that the steam is still brewing the tea.
Greens are especially bad when i do this. im not doing something right
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Re: cha hai problem

Postby Poohblah » Feb 23rd, '13, 20:24

Sounds like your tea is not very high quality, or else your water is too hot.
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Re: cha hai problem

Postby yalokinh » Feb 24th, '13, 00:32

I tried it again with much better success, the water temp was the same, and i used less tea as well. Tea quality is good. I brewed shorter infusions and that must have been the key. Thanks for helping out
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