Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

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Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby ClarG » Feb 12th, '14, 22:58

In another section of the forum someone mentioned rinsing or flash rinsing oolong. I have never done this but is it like rinsing pu-erh how you let it rinse for 10 seconds and pour out the small amount of water to wake up the tea?

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Re: Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby Joel Byron » Feb 12th, '14, 23:47

Yes, I do a flash rinse on oolongs. Water in, water out. I think it helps to warm the brewing vessel and wake up the leaves.

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Re: Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby wyardley » Feb 13th, '14, 01:26

I think "flash rinse" is just another way of saying "rinse". It's just reminding you that you should rinse quickly.

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Re: Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby wyardley » Feb 13th, '14, 12:53

But, just to be clear, I would probably do a slightly longer rinse for certain teas than others. Wuyi teas and other wiry oolongs release very quickly, so I'd rinse them more quickly than a balled tea, which I'd rinse more quickly than a tightly compressed pu'er.

I don't think there's a hard and fast rule; just use your intuition and common sense.

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Re: Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby bambooforest » Feb 13th, '14, 13:17

I do when I use around 5 to 6 grams per 100 ml. If I use less tea, I don't rinse.

I do wonder how much of the health benefits you lose in the flash rinse. Hopefully it's small.

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Re: Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby Mureke » Feb 14th, '14, 01:20

I don't rinse premium, lightly-oxidized high mountain tea. I wake up the leaves by warming up the vessel before putting leaves in it. I quite like the first steeping with its sweet notes.

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Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby mcrdotcom » Feb 14th, '14, 03:05

I rinse all of my Oolongs, usually a quick "in and out" rinse. Then I let it sit for 1-2 minutes and allow the leaves to open a bit before the first steep :)

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Re: Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby ABx » Feb 15th, '14, 00:52

I think you have to ask why it is that you want to rinse. If a tea is aged or roasted enough to have some 'char' on the outside then sure, rinse as much as appropriate to get the amount of undesirable stuff off, but otherwise you're probably not going to achieve much.

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Re: Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby mcrdotcom » Feb 15th, '14, 08:34

ABx wrote:I think you have to ask why it is that you want to rinse. If a tea is aged or roasted enough to have some 'char' on the outside then sure, rinse as much as appropriate to get the amount of undesirable stuff off, but otherwise you're probably not going to achieve much.


Well, if its a rolled up oolong, it allows the leaves to open up, without losing much from the leaf... It gets rid of any fannings and dust so that none enters the cup during the drinking steps. It also just ensures anything that may or may not have been on the leaf is gone/killed (who knows, the tea may have been badly stored, a boiling rinse could eliminate any minute possibility of food poisoning and such).

I don't mean to sound argumentative or hostile XD I just personally have those reasons for my own rinsing :)

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Re: Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby bambooforest » Feb 15th, '14, 15:30

ABx wrote:I think you have to ask why it is that you want to rinse. If a tea is aged or roasted enough to have some 'char' on the outside then sure, rinse as much as appropriate to get the amount of undesirable stuff off, but otherwise you're probably not going to achieve much.


A side by side comparison of rinsed and non-rinsed first steep would be interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if rinsing is more of a ritualistic endeavor than a true flavor enhancer for certain oolongs. But without a side by side, I can't say for sure what my palate would say.

I understand the hygienic argument, but generally nobody rinses green's, for example.

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Re: Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby wyardley » Feb 15th, '14, 15:43

I rinse pretty much any tea, including greens. I follow the example of some tea drinkers more knowledgeable than me and generally rinse most post-fermented teas (shu pu'er, liu'an, etc.) twice.

I do think it's important not to over-state the benefits from rinsing -- for example, I'm not convinced that it will reduce the amount of pesticide you ingest that much, and to be really sure of killing bacteria, you'd probably need either a really long rinse or you'd need to be actually boiling the water while rinsing. But at least it should get some dust or other random stuff off, and it shouldn't hurt at any rate.

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Re: Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby ABx » Feb 16th, '14, 14:41

wyardley wrote:I rinse pretty much any tea, including greens. I follow the example of some tea drinkers more knowledgeable than me and generally rinse most post-fermented teas (shu pu'er, liu'an, etc.) twice.

I do think it's important not to over-state the benefits from rinsing -- for example, I'm not convinced that it will reduce the amount of pesticide you ingest that much, and to be really sure of killing bacteria, you'd probably need either a really long rinse or you'd need to be actually boiling the water while rinsing. But at least it should get some dust or other random stuff off, and it shouldn't hurt at any rate.

Probably worth keeping in mind that the studies (that I've seen) on pesticides on commercial teas showed that they don't actually make it into the infusion.

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Re: Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby ABx » Feb 16th, '14, 14:48

bambooforest wrote:
ABx wrote:I think you have to ask why it is that you want to rinse. If a tea is aged or roasted enough to have some 'char' on the outside then sure, rinse as much as appropriate to get the amount of undesirable stuff off, but otherwise you're probably not going to achieve much.


A side by side comparison of rinsed and non-rinsed first steep would be interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if rinsing is more of a ritualistic endeavor than a true flavor enhancer for certain oolongs. But without a side by side, I can't say for sure what my palate would say.

I understand the hygienic argument, but generally nobody rinses green's, for example.

I think you're right. There's a short time that I would rinse almost anything, but didn't really find a benefit unless there was something worth getting rid of. So I stopped for most things (although I'll still scrape off any foam on things like yancha). I did find that if there was something off on the tea, and you didn't rinse it off, then sometimes it would show up in every steep after.

I do generally rinse puerh multiple times, if only for the fact that there's a lot more opportunity for it to collect undesirable stuff.

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Re: Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby the_economist » Feb 16th, '14, 15:21

bambooforest wrote:A side by side comparison of rinsed and non-rinsed first steep would be interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if rinsing is more of a ritualistic endeavor than a true flavor enhancer for certain oolongs. But without a side by side, I can't say for sure what my palate would say.

I understand the hygienic argument, but generally nobody rinses green's, for example.


This is an easy and useful exercise. In this video, which I've grown rather fond of, the brewer challenges the cameraman to drink the rinse when he asks whether it can be drunk:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x8hOPj0ziA&t=1m40s

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Re: Do you rinse or flash rinse your oolong tea?

Postby debunix » Feb 16th, '14, 15:43

No.

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