Quantity Necessary to Show Quality?

For general/other topics related to tea.

Aug 8th 16 6:23 pm
Vendor Member
Posts: 1310
Joined: May 27th 12 4:47 pm
Location: Boston, MA

Quantity Necessary to Show Quality?

by ethan » Aug 8th 16 6:23 pm

For 2 weeks I was housesitting. I took tea there but not teaware. I was using glass & porcelain bowls to prepare about 6 oz. or so (150ml) infusions. For the previous 3 months I had been preparing infusions that were half that size.

The 3 oolongs that I wrote about recently (all organic: 2 from Taiwan 1 from China) showed their best qualities when I drank double the amount of them & drank quicker. A light coating of my mouth, wonderful lingering flavor, & feelings of well-being manifested themselves faster & stronger than when I was taking longer to imbibe several ounces of tea & drinking less overall. Despite the greater satisfaction from each session, I wanted to have as many tea sessions as I was having when consuming less per session.

For 9-years black tea from Taiwan, 6 oz. drunk quickly, proved to be where I should stop. I did not enjoy the second infusion nearly as much as the first, unless I had it much later in the day. (This was not true w/ 3 oz. rounds.) Like the oolongs, this was very impressively good; yet, did not prompt me to want more & more right away. (Later in the day was excellent.)

Aged charcoal roasted oolong from Taiwan in quantity showed its fault, too much roasting. The dominant taste of the roast blocked any chance of noticing any other flavor. This led me to use much less leaf & less time. The lighter brew was better & quite drinkable in quantity. Those leaves are good for 4 infusions, but w/ superior tea around, I spread the 4 rounds over 2 days.

Preparing these teas in open vessels, I saw almost no tea dust & nothing that looked dirty. To see so much leaf bringing color & aroma to hot water, I disliked rinsing. I stopped doing it.

To get back to the main subject. It seems it is easier to enjoy huigan & chaqi when one drinks more of a tea. Recent remarks on much-loved tea in another thread, reveal people are drinking many infusions because they like the taste getting much > good flavor. I think quantity is often necessary to get to some qualities.

Comments most welcome. Cheers.

User avatar
Oct 13th 16 6:31 pm
Posts: 52
Joined: Sep 21st 16 11:07 pm
Scrolling: scrolling

Re: Quantity Necessary to Show Quality?

by Emily@Adagio » Oct 13th 16 6:31 pm


I completely agree. I think there are some oolongs that need to be tasted after multiple steeps. I think it's similar to rinsing a tea before using it, but it's more of a gradual experiential process. You taste at each stage. That's the fun of oolong for me. I like figuring out which steep is my favorite, and seeing how the flavor changes over time.

User avatar
Oct 13th 16 7:42 pm
Posts: 541
Joined: Aug 19th 15 11:03 am
Location: on the road

Re: Quantity Necessary to Show Quality?

by kuánglóng » Oct 13th 16 7:42 pm

These days I mainly brew my shengs and Himalayan leaves with 5g/50-80ml (gong-fu) or the latter with 1.7-1.8g/160ml (western) in order to get the best impression possible and usually drink some water between individual steeps. That changes when I have guests and they prefer something different but most folks over here prefer their tea pretty strong anyway and I just use some larger pots or gaiwans. I have to agree that I experience e.g. huigan differently, not necessarily more differentiated if I drink larger amounts but I prefer my teas, including DJs short like espressos, including slurping, chewing and whatnot.