Here's the situation - I've been drinking mainly green or white chinese teas lately - excellent teas that can handle many infusions. I've just come into possession of a beautiful thermos that I'd like to use to prepare tea on the 1st floor to take up to my workroom on the 2nd floor. This means teas that can handle being in the thermos for a while as I drink them slowly, but which aren't wasted on one infusion. I'm going to test the thermos with genmaicha and houjica, which I have at home, but I'm looking for suggestions about other teas that taste good but only deserve one steeping.
JRS22 wrote:I've just come into possession of a beautiful thermos that I'd like to use to prepare tea on the 1st floor to take up to my workroom on the 2nd floor. This means teas that can handle being in the thermos for a while as I drink them slowly, but which aren't wasted on one infusion.
I do a lot of teas in the thermos, and use teas that I would normally do anything from 1 to 20 infusions in it. The key is not the number of infusions, but whether the tea can stand being held between infusion and drinking, and using a quantity of leaf to provide a full thermos worth of tea when infused as you normally would prepare it--e.g., a lot of leaf for a black tea infused one time (4 times the amount I'd use for one 8 oz cup infused one time), and a tiny amount of leaf for a puerh you'd infuse 20 times in a gongfu session (the same quantity I'd use for a single gongfu session in my 75mL gaiwans will make 1 quart of tea for the thermos).
I have enjoyed lovely sessions with white, green, oolong, black, and puerh teas in the thermos, but avoid white and green teas when they will be held for a long time (e.g., when brewing early AM for tea that might not be finished until 5 or 6 pm, in the office where no one shares my tea).
I do not use my fancy Dan Congs from Tea Habitat or the best Wuyi teas (the variety of spicy flavors demonstrated in gongfu brewing seem to be dulled and merged into blandness), and the high notes of fancy Anji white teas and the best silver needle are also compromised; but almost anything else is fair game. The stunning sweetness of the first infusions of really fine green oolongs also fade rather quickly, but they still are delicious and I do use them often despite it.
Many good but not absolutely top-tier teas will do just fine and you won't notice the difference in this application: the SeaDyke brand Ti Kuan Yin I often mention here is just fine, and I use an inexpensive Da Hong Pao and a lesser grade of Phoenix oolong from Wing Hop Fung with very good results.
Favorites? Most shu puerhs and black teas hold excellently; many sheng puerhs do remarkably well, including the type of young shengs we're enjoying in the current OTTI #5; ; I've had a number of excellent sessions with the Yunnan Mao Feng green tea from Norbu; all of the green oolongs I've tried have been good, and most have been very good. Houjicha is wonderful, but I haven't tried any other japanese teas; sencha seems to diminish if it just sits in the cup more than 5 minutes before I drink it, so it has always seemed like a waste to try it for the thermos.