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Aug 14th, '15, 19:20
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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by rdl » Aug 14th, '15, 19:20

You mention you friend seems to be using teabags which are a quick steep. Also, so much tea in India is CTC processed, which is also a quick steep.
On the occasion I want a strong cup of tea, it is convenience, not ignorance, that leads me to a minute steep of CTC, I rather enjoy it.
Last edited by rdl on Aug 14th, '15, 20:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Aug 14th, '15, 20:02
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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by entropyembrace » Aug 14th, '15, 20:02

Nu2Tea wrote:
I bought the ingenuitea and so far have been steeping as per their directions.
This is why most tea tastes weak to you. You're using a huge volume of water to not very much tea. No surprise that it's coming out weak.

Aug 14th, '15, 20:15
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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by Nu2Tea » Aug 14th, '15, 20:15

Well I'm pretty new to teas, so it's possible I haven't hit on the right tea yet.

I've been buying the sampler packs. So far I have tried the black, green, white and oolong samplers. So far I haven't come across anything I'd call strong.

The greens have a weak vegetable type taste, the whites are different but even weaker, the oolongs were weak and grainy flavored. The most flavor to me came from the black teas, but even then, I wouldn't call it strong. The pu erh was moldy old basement, so that was a no go right out the gate.

I'll keep trying the samplers to get a better handle on the different teas. If you have any suggestions as to strong teas(but not moldy old basement) I'd love to hear about it. I'll put them on my next order list.

Lol sometimes when I read these reviews, I get the teas, make them, and think to myself, is it supposed to taste like that? Lol I don't know I think my palette is ruined from drinking strong black coffee for years. But when you read these reviews, and then taste the tea, I keep thinking, wow, mine is just bland. There's a taste to it, but so delicate, to me it becomes an 'all that for this" kind of moment. Hardly worth the effort really.

I've been making them according to the directions, since I'm new. But I think I'll start doubling the dose of the teas. Especially on the teas that don't fit into a teaspoon easily. I think I might be under dosing. I'll see what that dose. But I also think, that the green and white and oolongs might just not be the flavor profile I'm after. Hard to tell though since they are so weak. I can tell you the grainy flavor of oolong might not be the direction I want. The greens I don't think are for me either. Grain and vegetable somehow to me is not what I think of when I think tea.

I've been holding off on buying the flavored teas so far, because I wanted to try the more natural teas first. But also because I don't want teas that taste artificial. The green tea sampler had a citron tea in it, and to me it was like the added that fake lemon lime liquid that you buy in those plastic lemons. Totally artificial tasting.

Aug 14th, '15, 20:17
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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by Nu2Tea » Aug 14th, '15, 20:17

I'm only adding 6-8 ounces of water and using a heaping teaspoon of tea. I thought that was the ratio. Am I doing it wrong?

Aug 14th, '15, 20:32
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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by Nu2Tea » Aug 14th, '15, 20:32

I thought of a possible example. I know it can't be to exact, but here goes.

I suppose every Chinese restaurant will have a different tea and they each make it differently. But I have never been to a Chinese restaurant and liked the tea. It's always bland and weak. To me it's like rusty water. That is not the direction I'm looking to go.

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Aug 14th, '15, 20:42
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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by entropyembrace » Aug 14th, '15, 20:42

some robust teas I've been enjoying lately with approximate brewing parameters:

A green tea:
http://www.o-cha.com/ureshino-tamaryokucha.html
80*C water
1.2 to 1.5g per 30mL of water so about 14 to 18g for my large 360mL pot (cheap one from O-cha that's no longer available).
1.5-2 min steep time for the first infusion
1 min for second infusion
3-4 min for 3rd infusion
thick mouthfeel lots of umami very satisfying to drink.

An oolong:
https://www.taiwanteacrafts.com/product ... olong-tea/
boiling water
8-9g in 80mL gaiwan (this one https://www.taiwanteacrafts.com/product/gaiwan/)
infusion times are just a few seconds initially gradually extending to several minutes as the tea fades. Lasts for many infusions.
This tea has a thick creamy mouthfeel and brews very dark infusions with strong roasted nut and dried fruit flavours.

Puerh:
http://yunnansourcing.com/en/yunnan-sou ... grams.html
boiling water
14-15g in 120mL pot (from Petr Novak)
infusion times start at just a few second and gradually extend as the tea fades. Lasts for many infusions.
This tea has strong astringency and bitterness. Also very strong unripe fruit flavours. It's something that feels very energizing and refreshing to drink. No hint of mold.

btw I'm also a coffee drinker I have an old espresso machine and drink many americanos and espresso shots and tend to brew my tea very strong also. There's plenty of other teas from any category that can be very satisfying to drink those are just a recent favourite from each non-black category that I've been drinking. The brewing parameters are important for getting a strong cup of tea. You'll notice even my big sencha pot is smaller than an ingenuiTEA.

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Aug 15th, '15, 14:00
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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by Psyck » Aug 15th, '15, 14:00

rdl wrote:You mention you friend seems to be using teabags which are a quick steep. Also, so much tea in India is CTC processed, which is also a quick steep.
On the occasion I want a strong cup of tea, it is convenience, not ignorance, that leads me to a minute steep of CTC, I rather enjoy it.
You are right, these CTC dust teabag are the ones most Indians use for convenience, though I believe the steep times for these are generally closer to two minutes rather than the 30-60 seconds that the OP mentioned.

@Nu2Tea
If you want strong bodied non-puerh alternatives to black tea, roasted oolong is likely your best bet. You may also want to learn brewing gongfu style instead of the western style you are currently using. The above suggestions by entropyembrace in this regard appear to be a good starting point.

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Aug 15th, '15, 23:08
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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by Frisbeehead » Aug 15th, '15, 23:08

Nu2Tea wrote:I'm only adding 6-8 ounces of water and using a heaping teaspoon of tea. I thought that was the ratio. Am I doing it wrong?
If you want the tea to taste stronger, add more tea. One 'heaping' teaspoon is not a lot of tea. For example I use 6-8 grams of leaf in my 80ml teapot if that gives you an idea. Try using more tea.

I guarantee you, green teas and other 'light' teas are absolutely not 'light' in the sense you mean when brewed properly. I brewed up a baozhong (green oolong) today in my kyusu (6.5g to 160ml) and the flavor was very apparent and I could pick out different tastes in the tea.

Aug 16th, '15, 00:35
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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by Nu2Tea » Aug 16th, '15, 00:35

Thanks everyone for the great replies. I've basically been following the directions on the tea packs. They all say 1 tsp. Is there a reason they don't say to use more tea?

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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by Frisbeehead » Aug 16th, '15, 01:22

Nu2Tea wrote:Thanks everyone for the great replies. I've basically been following the directions on the tea packs. They all say 1 tsp. Is there a reason they don't say to use more tea?
Most of the time the directions on the packs are for western style brewing. They usually cause the tea to come out weak. I never use the directions on the pack. If anything, I just feel everything out. I have some guidelines mentally stored for different teas, then I usually change parameters based off how the first steep went. Once you have tried many different teas, it becomes easier to steep it just the way you like it without instructions.

I started by looking up other peoples' steeping parameters for different teas on this board and reedit's r/tea board. Some reputable websites have good steeping instructions as well, to get you started.

Try out all kinds of tea! See what flavor profiles you like, and which you don't. There are so many types and sub-types of tea. Order sample packs, try things side by side. Experiment with brewing parameters. It's not so much a 'science', it's an art. Think about it: when tea first started getting popular in China, they didn't have the Internet (Tang Dynasty is when tea first started really getting popular). They either had someone teach them in person, or just experimented themselves. You might get a few cups of oversteeped or understeeped tea, but in the end you'll have a much better idea of how things work.

Now go and get some good teas and have fun brewing them.

Aug 24th, '15, 16:46
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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by ClarG » Aug 24th, '15, 16:46

Nu2Tea wrote:I suppose it all depends on what the drinker feels tastes right.

I'm pretty new to tea, and have been a black coffee drinker for many decades. So to me, a lot of teas when made by what the directions say, results in hot water, with no flavor. To me, you could almost save yourself a lot of effort and money, by just putting some hot water in a cup, and adding 1/4 of a drop of yellow food coloring, and basically have the same effect.

My palette is not refined enough to decipher all the delicate nuances. It's rusty water!. I'm looking for strong flavor, something substantial, especially first thing in the morning. Not delicate little suggestions, that you have to concentrate on, and then in the end it tastes like...... Water!

Again, I'm new to teas so maybe my tastes will change in time, but I've been trying a lot of the sampler packs, and the non black teas for me so far are not worth the trouble. I'll probably go through all the samplers to get an idea of what's what. But so far, I kind of think I need to double the amount of tea I need, and steep for at least 5 mins and stick with the black teas. The other teas have been far too weak and flavorless for me. Time will tell in the end.

So yea, I agree with you, the quick steeps give you plain water. But if people like rusty water, and think there's flavor in it, more power to you. Enjoy!
Since you like coffee try various black teas but steep them for 4-5 minutes.

I also found this site: http://lifehacker.com/5812578/the-coffe ... ide-to-tea

Sep 4th, '15, 01:53
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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by ClarG » Sep 4th, '15, 01:53

[quote=Nu2Tea]I bought the ingenuitea and so far have been steeping as per their directions.[/quote]

I have something like that Tevana makes that my friend gave me for Christmas two years ago.

I usually put in a large teaspoon or more of leaves and make 2 cups with it. With some black teas I add more leaves. With tightly rolled green tea or oolong tea I just add in a standard teaspoon of leaves.

Sep 4th, '15, 03:02
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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by Nefarious » Sep 4th, '15, 03:02

When it comes to 'tea-bag tea', I am with your Indian friend - a few quick dunks of the teabag is sufficient, but really that only gets drunk as a last resort, or with fish and chips - great at cutting through the grease!

I do prefer most teas on the weaker side,but never insipid. The one exception to this is cooked Peurh. I have a 2007 Lincang Loose Puerh from Canton Teas which, strangely, gets better the stronger it is - it really does resemble black coffee - it doesn't have the subtleties of a good aged raw Peurh but is still a very satisfying and economical brew

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Re: Why do some cultures steep black tea for only 1-2 minutes?

by kiwi303 » Sep 4th, '15, 07:07

we have teabags at work. I did a quick time of making a cuppa during smoko break.

22 seconds, dunk and swish and out.

Then again they are CHEAP teabags made with dust and fannings, more dust than fannings. Generic free employee canteen factory teabags.

Like finely split kindling burns faster than thick logs, the smaller the tea particles, the faster the tea releases.

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