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Oct 15th, '10, 15:35
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Leaving the leaves in the cup, ignoring steeping time

by ipergorilla » Oct 15th, '10, 15:35

I once had a chinese flatmate who drank her green tea without taking the leaves off at any time. When she finished her tea, the leaves were still on the bottom of the cup.
I was still at my very first steps in the tea world so I started doing the same with my tea. She had been drinking tea all her life after all.
Now, after trying this method with a couple of dozen different teas it is pretty clear to me that it is unacceptable for most teas because it makes the tea disgustingly bitter.
Nevertheless, there are some kind of teas (whites, oolongs, puerhs and some kinds of green) for wich this method doesn't seem to affect the taste too badly. Of course in this way the leaves cannot be steeped multiple times as they could be otherwise (i'm talking about oolongs and pu-erhs), but still it's a more practical method because you don't have to use any kind of filter, it's just the water and the leaves without external agents.

This is what i figured out, i couldn't really find any info on any website about this.
Do you brew any of your teas this way? Or am i doing a horrible thing to my leaves?

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Oct 15th, '10, 15:56
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Re: Leaving the leaves in the cup, ignoring steeping time

by tortoise » Oct 15th, '10, 15:56

I do this with white tea in a gaiwan all the time. I think it's pretty much up to you. It will be obvious, as you've already noted, which teas this works for and which ones it doesn't. I never found white tea to steep well more than once anyway, so I prefer to use a light hand when I load a gaiwan with silver needle and I don't think it's ever become undrinkable.

I do think it's more common in asia, but I am no expert.

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Oct 15th, '10, 17:12
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Re: Leaving the leaves in the cup, ignoring steeping time

by Victoria » Oct 15th, '10, 17:12

It's called Grandpa Style.
If you do a search you'll find it that way.

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Oct 15th, '10, 17:20
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Re: Leaving the leaves in the cup, ignoring steeping time

by the_economist » Oct 15th, '10, 17:20

generally its only done for greens and whites, and there are certain things you should avoid to stop your tea from tasting crappy. mainly, don't drink past the 1/2 or 2/3 way of the cup (so u never reach the severely oversteeped portion of your tea). also, as you refill your cup, pour the hot water from a height so that it stirs up the bottom of the cup lightly (you don't want to do this with a spoon cos that's toooo much stirring).

its actually a variation of a theme. Many tea cultures involve steeping tea leaves very very strongly over an extended period of time in a pot, and then drinking it by mixing some of the concentrated liquor with hot water (the Russians, Turks, South East Asians etc etc all do it).

Grandpa style is just the convenient Chinese way of doing it in a single large cup. the concentrate is at the bottom where the leaves are, and the mixing happens everytime you refill.

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Oct 15th, '10, 21:51
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Re: Leaving the leaves in the cup, ignoring steeping time

by ipergorilla » Oct 15th, '10, 21:51

Wow, you guys are awesome! I would have nevere hoped for such response.

I think this brewing style should be more considered in tea sites... well, maybe it is but i couldn't notice because i didn't know it's called Grandpa Style, now that i google it, i get results pointing to this very site :mrgreen:

The trick of not using a spoon makes a lot of sense, but i stll think i'm gonna use one for the first steep, otherwise the first half cup will be pure hot water! :D

The key trick of refilling when i'm half(or less)way through the cup is very interesting. Don't you think it would allow to use this style for stronger teas, like Ceylon or Lapsang Souchong? What difference would it make in taste, compared to the "traditional" brewing style? Sure as hell I will experiment, but i'm very interested in the opinions of cool guys like you :mrgreen:

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Oct 15th, '10, 21:55
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Re: Leaving the leaves in the cup, ignoring steeping time

by entropyembrace » Oct 15th, '10, 21:55

it works best with mild, whole leaf teas (the more broken the leaf the more bitter it will get)

Lapsang Souchong and Ceylon will bite back if you try brewing them grandpa style :lol:

Try with Chinese green tea and green ball style oolong...seems to work best with them :)

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Oct 16th, '10, 00:19
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Re: Leaving the leaves in the cup, ignoring steeping time

by gargoylekitty » Oct 16th, '10, 00:19

Those in my family who drink loose leaf teas tend to drink it like that. Personally, I stick to it for Chinese greens, sencha, and some herbals. Though I only refill it halfway if it's been sitting for awhile or if I used too much since it gets bitter, otherwise I drink it down until there's just enough left to cover the leaves or until it's impossible not to accidentally eat some.

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Oct 16th, '10, 03:56
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Re: Leaving the leaves in the cup, ignoring steeping time

by Nenugal » Oct 16th, '10, 03:56

I do this most of the time with green tea, sometimes with white tea, and even occasionally with TGY. I'm using a large glass (400 ml) and usually much less leaf (relative to water) than I would if doing it in a gaiwan, to compensate for the long/variable steeping time. It only works well with teas that still taste good if under- and over-steeped, obviously.

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