cold brewing oolong


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

cold brewing oolong

Postby gingkoseto » Feb 6th, '09, 15:08

I found myself very conservative in certain aspects. In the past I didn't want to even try cold brewing, because I always thought, what a waste of tea! :P

But then I got this si ji chun oolong that I really dislike :x It has large, older leaves and becomes bitter after 1-2 infusions. I could smell some fragrance from the gaiwan lid, but in mouth, everything is shaded by bitterness.

I didn't know what to do with it until I realized this would be the good subject for trying out cold brewing :D So I finally stepped out of my frame and cold brewed it, and it turned out great! The bitter flavor wouldn't be dissolved in cold water at all! Now this tea becomes a good office tea :D

I still wouldn't cold brew any of my favorite oolongs that turn out good in hot water (still think cold brew is somewhat wasteful). But the take home message is, if you don't like a oolong, try cold brewing before throwing it away :lol:
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Postby bi lew chun » Feb 6th, '09, 15:50

I agree, bad oolong tastes better infused cold.

I don't normally cold-brew good oolong, but when I'm finished brewing I like to cover the leaves with water (3-6g to 8-12oz) and put them in the fridge for the next day. The result is always a surprise--sometimes the most floral, refreshing liquid is waiting for me, other times it's weak, boring, or bitter.
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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Feb 6th, '09, 16:25

I've been considering trying a variety of "cold brew" techniques lately with the DHP from YSLLC...

I know theres:

1) Put X amount of tea in pot, fill with ice, and drink when fully melted.
2) Put X amount of tea in pot, fill with ice, then top with water and place in fridge for a few hours.

Any other ways I might try it? Has anyone tried cold brewing DHP before?
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Postby Beidao » Feb 6th, '09, 17:31

Just fill with room temperatured water and put in fridge?
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Postby tenuki » Feb 6th, '09, 18:08

room temp brewing works too, I've been known to just leave tea brewing on the counter overnight. I cold/room temp brew chinese greens more frequently than I do with oolongs, and usually do it to leaves that have already been infused a number of times to get that last goodness out before I toss em. generally I don't drink lower quality tea though so it's because I want cold tea not because the tea is better cold.
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Postby bi lew chun » Feb 6th, '09, 20:06

PolyhymnianMuse wrote:I know theres:

1) Put X amount of tea in pot, fill with ice, and drink when fully melted.
2) Put X amount of tea in pot, fill with ice, then top with water and place in fridge for a few hours.

I believe those methods are more common for sencha and the like, since you want to ensure it stays or gets cold during a shorter infusion. I think oolong takes about twice the time to steep in cold water, especially the rolled type, so if you begin with water at room temperature it will be cold when you decant it.

tenuki wrote:...and usually do it to leaves that have already been infused a number of times to get that last goodness out before I toss em.

We're on the same team then. It's a great way to get more out of your tea.
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Postby gingkoseto » Feb 6th, '09, 20:52

Hey, I like bi lew chun and tenuki's idea of over night cold brewing after the real brewing! I would always love to make fuller use of my tea leaves :D
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Postby Oni » Feb 7th, '09, 03:53

I read on dragon teahouse`s description of Da Yu Ling high mountain oolong, their most expencieve one, that it is recomended for cold brew,
"Cold Brew. This top grade Formosa oolong is ideal for cold brew. Different from using regular boilling water to make a cup of tea, cold brew is a mwthod adopting cold water to brew the tea. It is suggested to use mineral water or purified water, one portion of dry leaves with 50 portions of water, then stored in refridgerator for 4-12 hours. Normally, keep the tea in cold water for 4 hours will get the same result as brewing it with boilling water for 5 minutes. Cold brew is a good way to make the liquor sweeter while prevent tannin and caffeine from the tea."

I wouldn`t try with such high grade tea.
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Postby gingkoseto » Feb 7th, '09, 10:12

After reading bi lew chun and tenuki's post, I cold brewed my left over ba xian dan cong. It's great! The cold tea bears very light fragrance and a hint of astringency. I brewed it in my daily water bottle, so the water used is quite large volume (~250ml). It is a very nice morning drink and now I feel I can throw my leaves away and responsibly say, I made full use of it :D Well actually not throwing it away, I am also collecting the dried leaves for a pillow. So not a bit wasted! :lol:
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Postby raveme » Feb 7th, '09, 10:49

gingko wrote:Well actually not throwing it away, I am also collecting the dried leaves for a pillow.


sounds really cool, but won't the leaves get crushed to powder if you use it?
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Postby gingkoseto » Feb 7th, '09, 13:47

raveme wrote:
gingko wrote:Well actually not throwing it away, I am also collecting the dried leaves for a pillow.


sounds really cool, but won't the leaves get crushed to powder if you use it?


I don't know. So far I haven't achieved any pillow yet :P and I never bought one. I started this kind of collecting for a few times years ago, and gave up every time. But back then I drank green tea more and oolong less. Then I started it again recently, because I realized oolong drinking "produced" used leaves more rapidly :P

But my friend using chrysanthemum pillow told me as long as 1-2 more layers of stitched sealed pillow case is used, it should be ok. :D
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Postby gingkoseto » Feb 7th, '09, 13:53

I just tried brewing another green oolong that I didn't like and didn't know what to do with. The problem of this oolong is being tasteless. After cold brewing, it's still tasteless :P Well the water tastes pretty good, in a water way, not tea way. So I guess cold brewing works well by holding back unpleasant flavors, but not calling out new flavors.
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Postby wyardley » Feb 7th, '09, 14:45

gingko wrote:
raveme wrote:
gingko wrote:I am also collecting the dried leaves for a pillow.


sounds really cool, but won't the leaves get crushed to powder if you use it?


I don't know. So far I haven't achieved any pillow yet :P and I never bought one. I started this kind of collecting for a few times years ago, and gave up every time.


I'm collecting leaves for a pillow too. I believe you're supposed to crush the leaves *before* you fill the pillow. I don't know if I have quite enough yet, but I do have a lot of dried leaves.
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Postby bi lew chun » Feb 7th, '09, 21:14

gingko wrote:After reading bi lew chun and tenuki's post, I cold brewed my left over ba xian dan cong. It's great! The cold tea bears very light fragrance and a hint of astringency. I brewed it in my daily water bottle, so the water used is quite large volume (~250ml). It is a very nice morning drink and now I feel I can throw my leaves away and responsibly say, I made full use of it :D Well actually not throwing it away, I am also collecting the dried leaves for a pillow. So not a bit wasted! :lol:

I'm glad it worked!

I haven't heard of making a tea pillow. I might have to redirect some of the tea I was composting to a new project. :)
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Cold brew oolongs...

Postby Susana » Feb 11th, '09, 12:47

Hey gingko, I want to try that cold brew ba xian dan cong of yours! That is what I am drinking and LOVING these days.

When I cold brew oolongs I like to do a hot water rinse then pour cold water over it. I find that it really helps release all those yummy flavors!

I have been doing jade oolong and wuyi that way. I also refill with water throughout the day.
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