Time between brewing/steeping

White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.


Oct 24th, '10, 10:22
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Time between brewing/steeping

by lewiswharf » Oct 24th, '10, 10:22

I like to steep my white teas multiple times. I'm actually new to tea and have really fallen in love with white teas and some herbal ones like Rooibos.

How does the time between steeps affect the tea? Should I constantly increase the time I steep for each subsequent brew or does the 15 to 30 min. between steeping them count for something? During this time the leaves are just sitting in the steeper, obviously wet and cooling to room temperature.

Thanks in advance!

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Oct 24th, '10, 11:35
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Re: Time between brewing/steeping

by debunix » Oct 24th, '10, 11:35

I find that the 2nd steep can often be shorter, because the tea seems to have fully hydrated at that point, and bitterness can be more concentrated if I let that steep be as long as the first one was. This seems to be most important with senchas and many other green teas, but I have had a couple of white teas that could get bitter, and did the same thing wth them (shorter 2nd brewing). After the 2nd infusion, I again go longer, regardless of the time between infusions.

So for a green tea, I might do 30", 10", 30", 45", 1 min, 90", 2 min.

For a white tea, depending on how I pack the gaiwan or pot, it might be the same, or longer, 60", 20", 2 min, 3 min, etc, but still I shorten that 2nd infusion, same as green tea.

When in doubt, pour out a sip of the 2nd infusion, taste quickly, and decide whether or not to make the infusion longer. That's hard to do with a 10 second infusion window, but easier if your infusion times are 20 seconds or more.

Oct 25th, '10, 16:41
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Re: Time between brewing/steeping

by lewiswharf » Oct 25th, '10, 16:41

Thank you debunix! I guess I needed to see my thoughts translated out and affirmed. Knowing I'm not the only one is tea empowering and now I can quit worrying if I'm doing it "right!"

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Nov 4th, '10, 23:15
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Re: Time between brewing/steeping

by legend » Nov 4th, '10, 23:15

Yes Debunix has presented the proper method of sequntial brewing very cleary, great post.

Also the time between the brews should not be too long as the tea is degrading during this time. This is relative not too a few minutes but more than ten minutes or so between brewings. The tea leaves idealy should still be warm for the next brew, if they go cold which can happen very quickly depending on the weather, the next brew will kind of "shock" the leaves and can make for a more bitter brew.
On a small scale, yes the hot leaves are still cooking and and an adjustment with a slightly shorter brew time is made to compensate for this. Here in the teashops and tea houses, where many people are drinking there is no time inbetween so the brew times become very short - from ten seconds to no more than a minute for the final brews even with aged or compressed black tea and puer.

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Nov 5th, '10, 15:14
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Re: Time between brewing/steeping

by teaisme » Nov 5th, '10, 15:14

legend wrote:The tea leaves idealy should still be warm for the next brew, if they go cold which can happen very quickly depending on the weather, the next brew will kind of "shock" the leaves and can make for a more bitter brew.
If it does cool...I have found that pouring on the inner wall until 1/3-1/2 full, short pause/swirl then proceeding to pour over leaves as usual helps ease the bitterness from temperature shock.

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Jan 24th, '11, 18:22
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Re: Time between brewing/steeping

by AlexZorach » Jan 24th, '11, 18:22

I've found as a general rule that if you leave the tea sitting, wet, it does "count" to some degree for steeping time. If I return to a tea after letting it sit, I tend to make a shorter infusion than if I were to brew that infusion shortly after the previous one.

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Jan 24th, '11, 18:27
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Re: Time between brewing/steeping

by woozl » Jan 24th, '11, 18:27

I've some oolong, 24 hrs and 5 steeps, still great the next day.

Jan 25th, '11, 14:11
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Re: Time between brewing/steeping

by l8nytsimmer » Jan 25th, '11, 14:11

:?: Do I read you guys the right way? Is it best to rebrew white teas two or three times before drinking it? I use an electric coffee maker and brew my tea as just as a person might prepare coffee, by adding the loose leaves to a filter lined basket, and allowing the pot to add the water to the leaves. I usually get a great cup of tea this way! I also like to use the Ingenuity Tea Pot, and let my teas steep at least five minutes before I pour. But, either way, white tea always taste weak to me. Should I allow my white tea to run through the coffee maker, then return the tea in the carafe to the resevour and allow it to run through a second or even a THIRD time? When I use the Ingenuity, should I allow the steeped tea to pour into my mug, and then pour it BACK over the leaves in the Ingenuity, and allow it to steep a second or third time? That's a LOT of work for a cup of tea! I positively hate fussing over anything. I might go to all this trouble to prepare a tea for a special occasion, but just for myself? I just don't think so.

Are you all also saying that you REUSE your tea leaves? You get two or even three pots of tea from the same leaves?
woozl wrote:I've some oolong, 24 hrs and 5 steeps, still great the next day.
woozl, are you saying you've let your already used tea leaves sit in the pot for 24 hours, then reuse those same leaves? I'm confused?

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Jan 25th, '11, 15:20
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Re: Time between brewing/steeping

by AlexZorach » Jan 25th, '11, 15:20

Personally, I rarely make multiple infusions of white tea, but I frequently do with green tea and almost always with oolong. The few times I've had yellow tea I've always made multiple infusions of it.

White tea, I usually like to make a single very long (10+ minute) infusion of. But it really depends on the type.

Mar 16th, '11, 17:24
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Re: Time between brewing/steeping

by Ti » Mar 16th, '11, 17:24

I make multiple infusions of white peony all the time. Lately I have been using about 160 degree water and a two minute +/- steep in a coffee press that I recently recieved as a gift at work with wonderful results. With a three-finger pinch of WP I can get 3 to 4 infusions. But after two infusions I increase the water temp to about 180 degrees F and increase steep time to 5 or so minutes..

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Apr 1st, '11, 09:28
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Re: Time between brewing/steeping

by lkj23 » Apr 1st, '11, 09:28

AlexZorach wrote:Personally, I rarely make multiple infusions of white tea, but I frequently do with green tea and almost always with oolong. The few times I've had yellow tea I've always made multiple infusions of it.

White tea, I usually like to make a single very long (10+ minute) infusion of. But it really depends on the type.
I neither make multiple infusions, but neither green tea. And with white tea I make a long infusion too, 10 minutes or more

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