Brewing Times


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Brewing Times

Postby Pouvla » Jan 19th, '08, 02:19

Theres a big difference in what I read on peoples brewing times on oolong teas, some are 30-60 secs, other let it brew for 3-4 mins.
I've bought a Ti kuan yin and the vendor recommends a brew of 7-8 mins..I brewed it for 2-3 mins and it was real bitter tasting (so much infact I took 2 sips of the tea and then I was done).
I've brewed other oolongs that had a brewtime of only 60secs so I tried that on the Ti kuan yin, and the result was better but not as strong tasting as I'd hoped for.
Should prolly mention that I use a gaiwan for this and I rinse it first, and water just done boiling.
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Postby Salsero » Jan 19th, '08, 03:18

One of the few constants in the tea industry is that most vendors give horrible advice about brewing tea. 7-8 minutes is crazy, no matter what method you use. Your description sounds like you are using too little leaf and too much time.

There are many very different TGYs so it's a little hard to generalize, but I start with enough leaves that they will fill the gaiwan or yixing pot when they are completely wet (after several infusions). That's probably going to mean a quarter to a third of your gaiwan when dry. Preheat the gaiwan with some hot water. Rinse if you like (I don't, but there's no reason to tell anyone else!) Start with 30 seconds of boiling water. Some teas will require more time for the first infusion, probably as much as a minute, and some might even require less. Increase the time for subsequent infusions. After a trial run with these parameters, you should have a pretty good idea how to coax the most out of this tea in the next session.

Even a mediocre TGY should give you at least 2 to 3 infusions, and if you can appreciate a subtle cup, 6 infusions is not unusual from a good TGY.

I also enjoy light to medium oolongs brewed western style in which case I use 3 to 4 grams in an infuser basket in a 6 oz mug, boiling water and start at about 3 minutes. The resulting brew is less intense, but still a pleasure to drink.


Although I blithely subscribe to the proposition that good technique can make any tea tasty, realistically there is a possibility that the problem really is the tea and not your technique!
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Postby Photiou » Jan 19th, '08, 12:52

My lazy method for brewing oolong is just to put few pinches of leaves to a mug and pour boiling water over it. No fuss about brewing time - its ready when it tastes ok and I just add more water when it gets too strong.
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Postby Pouvla » Jan 19th, '08, 19:48

ok I tried a brewing time of 30 secs and lots of tea in the gaiwan, all full when the tea was done brewing...Result?
Still didnt taste good, infact it tasted worse compared to when I brewed 60secs with less leaves.
Its a very bitter taste that hits the front of the tongue and ruins the whole taste, its not like an over-brewed black tea is bitter, the taste is way more off, where u can usually save an over-brewed black tea with some milk, I'd need alot of milk for this to taste good (ie taste of milk then).
Starting to think
1) I dont like TGY
2) This TGY I got, is crap.
luckily I got a sample of a TGY from funalliance which should be very good if u can trust Kam (which I do :P) and will give it a try later
link: http://funalliance.com/tea/htm/tea/870101072.htm
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Postby Salsero » Jan 19th, '08, 20:00

Kam's tea is generally good and TGY should not taste as you've described. It might just be the example you have is lacking.
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jan 19th, '08, 20:32

I agree with Salsero, it's probably the tea. What vendor is this from, by the way?
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Postby Pouvla » Jan 19th, '08, 22:54

a danish tea shop, A.C Perch, should be a fancy teashop as its over 100 years old...

the link is for the english translated site

http://www.perchs.dk/engelsk/index.asp

I also have their Top Sikkim Himalaya, which is a very good tea, no doubt about that.
http://www.perchs.dk/engelsk/specifik.asp?IDprodukt=311


oh yeah, the oolong im talking about here is this one:
http://www.perchs.dk/engelsk/specifik.asp?IDprodukt=51
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Postby tenuki » Jan 23rd, '08, 17:11

maybe the 8 minute recommendation is for room temperature water....

(joking, although generally brew times increase as temperature decreases)
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