Steeping blacks twice

Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

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Dec 7th 08 1:40 pm
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Steeping blacks twice

by Katmandu » Dec 7th 08 1:40 pm

Today was the first time that I steeped a black tea twice and was pleasantly surprised by the flavor. I had fujian baroque tea from Adagio. I was wondering if other black tea drinkers out there have the same experience with all black teas. I was under the impression that one steep was all that was good for blacks...Im happily mistaken. Do some of you actually like the 2nd steeps better? Please share your experiences, I'd love to know!

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Dec 7th 08 2:04 pm
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by omegapd » Dec 7th 08 2:04 pm

All depends on the tea. I've had some that turned out well and others (a Kenyan comes to mind) that barely colored the water. :?

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by Vulture » Dec 7th 08 2:04 pm

Kat,

I think I was the one that had you go in this direction but here is my say:

A good quality tea, no matter the type can steep more than once and retain flavor. That flavor might change for better or worse but it will still steep more than once. Blacks usually are not steeped too many times though. In my pursuit of tea I have steeped a lot of things more than 4 times. The thing is, breakfast teas are usually a blend that contain some spice. Usually it is best to brew them once in a large dose, down it and move on. While simple blacks like a good assam, darjeeling, or nilgiri can easily be steeped more than once.

If anything, do what I did and give all your teas a nice 4 steep session to see how they come out.

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by shogun89 » Dec 7th 08 3:30 pm

I always get a second out of black. Instead of steeping for 5 minutes I use 3 minutes.

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by Janine » Dec 7th 08 3:31 pm

I don't care what the tea is - I steep and steep and steep until there is no point.

Depending on the black tea, there are many that bear repeated steeping and still have good full results with lots of flavor.

The best thing to do is just try it - the number of steeps will vary with each tea. But I'd never throw out leaves of black tea after one steeping. If you need to do this - if the second steeping is not flavorful, then you really need to find better quality tea. At least to try. (My opinion.)

Just as with any other tea, you might want to change your brewing time or temperatures... usually I'd brew a bit longer on the later steeps. But just try it and see what you find you like and enjoy. Experiment.

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by Victoria » Dec 7th 08 4:58 pm

I always get two. But that's all I push it. We are talking English style here not gong fu.

But the first is usually the best. Especially with Darjeeling and Nilgiri.
With an Assam or Ceylon the second will be milder, smoother.

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by geeber1 » Dec 7th 08 5:35 pm

I always do at least two steeps. I've been able to get more than two from some of the fuller leaf teas, like Nilgiri Glendale Handmade. I don't usually make more than 16 oz. of tea at a time, so that may contribute to the number of steeps also.

I had Fujian Baroque yesterday morning and got three good steeps out of it. (2 tsp. to 16 oz. of water) I tried a 4th, but it had lost most of its oomph by then. :)

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by Cinnamon Kitty » Dec 7th 08 5:54 pm

I resteep some blacks, but not others. Some Nilgiris I can get three or four steeps out of. Other teas just don't taste good after one steep. With the teas that I know I can get a bunch of steeps out of, I tend to use about two teaspoons of leaf in a 10oz tea pot with slightly shorter steep times, like 2.5 to 3 minutes for the first steep. For each subsequent steep, I add about a minute to the steep time. It takes experimenting to figure out if the black tea that you have can be resteeped or not.

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by Chip » Dec 7th 08 7:27 pm

Oddly, I rarely do blacks twice opting more for English style, but I am sure the Fujian Baroque would make a tasty 2nd.

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by CDS » Dec 7th 08 10:07 pm

I always try and most often do get two. This morning I got 4 really nice steeps of some Dian Hong "Pure Bud", that Scott gave me awhile back. I may could have squeezed another out, but did not have the patience.
My steep times were something in the manner of 45s, 90s, 3.0m, 6.0m. I used 3.5grams in a 100ml gaiwan.
Good tea!

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by stanthegoomba » Dec 8th 08 2:16 am

I brew dian hong in a 10 oz yixing zisha. Bought it for oolongs, but it's the perfect size for black tea! I cover the bottom of the pot with leaves (err... buds?) and get two steeps, one at 3 minutes and one at 5. Decant straight into a yunomi. Simple and delicious.

Interesting how most of us still love the idea of a Big Mug of Tea enough not to bother with gong fu hong cha. Is it worth it?

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by Riene » Dec 8th 08 2:39 am

I can often get two good steeps out of my Yunnan Gold, but rarely bother to steep anything other black teas more than once. It seems that the "good" has gone out of it.

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by Cinnamon Kitty » Dec 8th 08 2:52 am

stanthegoomba wrote:Interesting how most of us still love the idea of a Big Mug of Tea enough not to bother with gong fu hong cha. Is it worth it?
Sometimes a big mug of black tea just hits the spot more than many little cups. Green teas and oolongs are great gong-fu-ed, but black tea just tastes best to me in my favorite mug.

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by geeber1 » Dec 8th 08 4:21 am

Cinnamon Kitty wrote:
stanthegoomba wrote:Interesting how most of us still love the idea of a Big Mug of Tea enough not to bother with gong fu hong cha. Is it worth it?
Sometimes a big mug of black tea just hits the spot more than many little cups. Green teas and oolongs are great gong-fu-ed, but black tea just tastes best to me in my favorite mug.
+1

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by Riene » Dec 8th 08 5:13 am

geeber1 wrote:
Cinnamon Kitty wrote:
stanthegoomba wrote:Interesting how most of us still love the idea of a Big Mug of Tea enough not to bother with gong fu hong cha. Is it worth it?
Sometimes a big mug of black tea just hits the spot more than many little cups. Green teas and oolongs are great gong-fu-ed, but black tea just tastes best to me in my favorite mug.
+1
+1 also.

There are times I'm freezing and just want a big ol' mug of tea to wrap my hands around, to sip from, to greedily inhale the aroma. Nothing else will do. I also love that first mug of the morning, that caffeine rush, the flavors on my tongue, my morning tradition.