Stacking Infusions


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Stacking Infusions

Postby saxon75 » May 3rd, '13, 11:39

I recently contacted Hojo about a teapot for sheng, asking his opinion about what type of pot would be appropriate. My wife and I like to have pu erh in the evenings, but we generally like to drink larger cups of tea while we relax and watch TV, so I tend to brew fairly large infusions, about 250 ml at a time. I told this to Hojo and this was his response:

For brewing nice cup of tea, it is very important that you must minimize the brewing time. If you use less quantity of tea leaf in big teapot and brew longer, tea is loosing the freshness due to the heat damange.
Under the circumstances, I suggest smaller teapot about 130-180ml. You will need pitcher to combine the 1st - 3rd brewing. For raw pu-erh, I think Nosaka oxidation clay is ideal.


Right now what I usually do is brew about 8g of tea in a 250 ml glass cup, infuse twice in a row, mix the two infusions, and then split the mix between two cups. With Hojo's advice, this would mean I'd be mixing something like five to seven infusions before pouring them into the cups.

One thing I've been wondering about when stacking infusions like this is how to handle the subsequent infusions. Right now with my larger infusions, I do both initial steeps at 30 seconds, then with later ones (which I don't stack) I usually up the time by about 10 seconds or so per infusion.

On the other hand, Hojo's recommendation, per the instructions on his site, are to use less leaf (1g per 40 ml) and to do very short infusions--"a few seconds" for the first and "less than a few seconds" for subsequent.

Now, I get that there isn't really a completely "right" or "wrong" way to brew, but I'm curious about what you all think. Right now with my large glass cup I get, say, 6 to 8 steeps out of most of the shengs I've tried. Following Hojo's advice, I'd be using about that many steeps right off the bat, though with less time overall. So I'd imagine that since the leaf would have similar or less contact with water and heat, I'd be "damaging" the tea less with his method. And possibly I'd get a similar volume of tea over the course of an evening. I'm not sure how it would affect the taste, though.

What do you folks think?
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby lordsbm » May 3rd, '13, 12:03

saxon75 wrote:Now, I get that there isn't really a completely "right" or "wrong" way to brew, but I'm curious about what you all think.


Yes, there's no true right or wrong way to brew, just brew the the way you like the taste. Some tea you need less leafs, some tea you need hotter water.

For shu, I love to cook/boil it in stainless steel teapot (iron should be more ideal). Normally 8g in 500ml for around 2-3mins. It really depends on the shu also. The flavor just taste more refreshing and fuller to me. Most of the shu that tasted dull in gaiwan will be more alive and sweet drinking this way.

For sheng, I just use 飘逸杯. Normally 7-8g into the brew section which is about 300-350ml water. Steep timing will depends on the tea itself. If the 2nd steep timing in gaiwan is 5s, then with this I'll double the timing. Temperature normally 90-95 Celsius. Normally I'll combine 2 steeps into 1 pot full.

Taste often is different from what you get off gaiwan (at least for me). Sometime it's better, sometime is worst. :lol:

Anyway, it's your tea, your taste. Take what others say as reference, and enjoy ur tea :lol:
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby MarshalN » May 3rd, '13, 20:34

If you like a lot of tea (volume wise) I'd suggest just using a big pot and ignore what Hojo said. Or you can grandpa it and forget about steeping separately in a pot, even. Many pu do quite well in grandpa style brewing. Keep in mind that Hojo's advice for using smaller pot came from a guy who doesn't sell big teapots.
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby BioHorn » May 3rd, '13, 23:41

lordsbm wrote:
saxon75 wrote:Now, I get that there isn't really a completely "right" or "wrong" way to brew, but I'm curious about what you all think.


Yes, there's no true right or wrong way to brew, just brew the the way you like the taste. Some tea you need less leafs, some tea you need hotter water.

For shu, I love to cook/boil it in stainless steel teapot (iron should be more ideal). Normally 8g in 500ml for around 2-3mins. It really depends on the shu also. The flavor just taste more refreshing and fuller to me. Most of the shu that tasted dull in gaiwan will be more alive and sweet drinking this way.

For sheng, I just use 飘逸杯. Normally 7-8g into the brew section which is about 300-350ml water. Steep timing will depends on the tea itself. If the 2nd steep timing in gaiwan is 5s, then with this I'll double the timing. Temperature normally 90-95 Celsius. Normally I'll combine 2 steeps into 1 pot full.

Taste often is different from what you get off gaiwan (at least for me). Sometime it's better, sometime is worst. :lol:

Anyway, it's your tea, your taste. Take what others say as reference, and enjoy ur tea :lol:

Lordsbm,
Thank you very much for sharing some examples of parameters you enjoy. It is like sharing your favorite recipe! I will use these brewing methods to refresh the daily tea experience!
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby lordsbm » May 4th, '13, 03:34

BioHorn wrote:Lordsbm,
Thank you very much for sharing some examples of parameters you enjoy. It is like sharing your favorite recipe! I will use these brewing methods to refresh the daily tea experience!


Welcome, glad you find the sharing of use. Though it'll be better if u can find your preferred way of brewing :lol: What works for me might not work for you, type of water, material of pots, material of cup, size of cup all can make the taste different.

Like 1 time I try pouring the same brew into 3 different cup of similar size. 1st is glass, 2nd is porcelain, 3rd is stoneware. The astringent, bitterness and sweetness tasted differently. But this is what makes tea fun :lol:
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby gasninja » May 4th, '13, 09:01

saxon75 wrote:On the other hand, Hojo's recommendation, per the instructions on his site, are to use less leaf (1g per 40 ml) and to do very short infusions--"a few seconds" for the first and "less than a few seconds" for subsequent.

What do you folks think?

I think Hojo is crazy. But maybe he is looking for something different from puerh than I am. That would be Three grams for 120ml pot. With only a couple of second infusion time. That to me does not seems like you will get a good cup. I regulary use 7-12 grams for my 115 ml pot depending on the tea.
But I do stack infusions when I am taking a cup for the road. But That is because my largest sheng pot is 150 ml. If I had a larger pot I would do a side by side comparison with the same tea of one brew from a larger pot and stacked infusions and see which I prefered. But my preference might not be the same for every tea.
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby Tead Off » May 4th, '13, 13:29

I would think that all the comments and suggestions made here should be taken as proof that there is no one way to brew Puerh. There are teas where only a small amount of leaf can give a very good cup and teas where that same amount yield very little. Too many variables. One drinker will not get the same thing as another drinker. The best thing is to try various ways out for oneself and then decide what you like. Most of the Chinese drinkers I've seen don't use so much leaf as gasninja recommends. I can't imagine using 12g in a 115ml pot with some teas that I've had. I couldn't pour it in and out fast enough without it turning my mouth into a battlefield! :D
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby lordsbm » May 4th, '13, 14:03

Tead Off wrote:Most of the Chinese drinkers I've seen don't use so much leaf as gasninja recommends. I can't imagine using 12g in a 115ml pot with some teas that I've had. I couldn't pour it in and out fast enough without it turning my mouth into a battlefield! :D


I can confirm this. Even 11g in 150ml gaiwan is considered extreme in China. :lol:

But then that's just how gasninja likes it. Those who wanna try, do reconsider. Make sure you can actually taste the different notes having such strong brew, else you are just wasting the tea :lol:
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby gasninja » May 4th, '13, 22:38

Tead Off wrote:Most of the Chinese drinkers I've seen don't use so much leaf as gasninja recommends. I can't imagine using 12g in a 115ml pot with some teas that I've had. I couldn't pour it in and out fast enough without it turning my mouth into a battlefield! :D


That the high end of what i would use. I only use that much with certain teas. Certain teas I have found just seem to just get better the more leaf you put in. I would not try that with a young plantation tea or bulang. Most of the time I am closer to seven grams.
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby Tead Off » May 4th, '13, 22:52

gasninja wrote:
Tead Off wrote:Most of the Chinese drinkers I've seen don't use so much leaf as gasninja recommends. I can't imagine using 12g in a 115ml pot with some teas that I've had. I couldn't pour it in and out fast enough without it turning my mouth into a battlefield! :D


That the high end of what i would use. I only use that much with certain teas. Certain teas I have found just seem to just get better the more leaf you put in. I would not try that with a young plantation tea or bulang. Most of the time I am closer to seven grams.

I first started to drink puerh as you do, using about 7g per 90/100ml pot. Then I started experimenting with lower amounts of leaf using gaiwan and yixing pots. I found with high leaf ratios, I tasted less nuance and flavors and found a more extreme attack on my taste buds. Do we need a lot of salt on our food to taste it? Now, with certain teas, maybe I will put 5g into a pot. With some other teas, even less will do. I don't need anymore to taste and enjoy the teas. Maybe it is what you get used to. Habit. Plus, there is the physiological effects of drinking heavy amounts of tea. There can be negative effects over time.
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby gingkoseto » May 4th, '13, 23:53

The right amount will depend on each individual's taste (though I do think large tea/water ratio requires a strong stomach and probably strong nerves). But sometimes it seems some people would consciously or unconsciously think "the more, the better", or "the ___, the better", or relate one extreme to the quality of the tea (or the quality of the tea drinker). This, I believe, is more or less biased.

I usually use 5-6g per 110-120ml. But today I accidentally add more tea and . But I didn't want to waste tea, and after all, it's Saturday. So I drank and enjoyed it anyway, and had to eat a lot more all the day to fortify my stomach. Probably that's why I'm still up blabbing at this hour. :mrgreen: I do promise myself that I would be more careful about tea amount next time.
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby yanom » May 5th, '13, 03:27

I've always found 5-6g per 100ml hits the spot for me. This is for puerh with at least 10 years on it. If I'm drinking very young puerh then sometimes I'll use a lot more leaf. I think young puerh can be quite bland and boring unless it's strong and the tastes are amped-up. What I'm after in older puerh doesn't really need to be amped-up that way.
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby MarshalN » May 5th, '13, 06:49

I do agree that 11g is a bit high, but then, 3g in 120ml is a bit low - that tends to be floral and fragrant, but lacking in the body.
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby jayinhk » May 5th, '13, 07:14

I occasionally stack infusions with shu, but prefer less tea and longer infusions. I use around 5g for a 120ml pot. If I stacked infusions of sheng, I'd need an extra meal. :lol:
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Re: Stacking Infusions

Postby yanom » May 5th, '13, 07:30

After the first two or three infusions:
You'd expect that A & B give different results:

A 5g * 100ml * 15 secs .... done twice (giving 200ml)
B 5g * 200ml * 30 secs .... done once (giving 200ml)

If they are different, how, and also any idea why? is it just because the water cools during the 15-30 second period in B?

This is pretty abstract and I certainly never use a stopwatch in real life but just, theoretically....
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