Aug 25th, '05, 02:14
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Gong Fu Cha + nutrients in tea

by guest » Aug 25th, '05, 02:14

The Chinese have been growing and brewing tea for hundreds of years. One would think, therefore, they know a little something about tea.

Chris said:
"Very few studies have been done about this, but from the little I've found, it seems that a proportional amount of health-inducing agents are released in the first 30 seconds. "
and
"From the few scientific studies found on the subject, it seems that most of the elements with nutritive value arrive in the first cup (as well as much of the flavor)."

In Gong Fu Cha, the first water into the pot is a wash of the tea leaves and immediately discarded. The second water into the pot is the first brew. Knowing much about the nutritive value and flavor, possibly even intuitively hundreds of years ago, why would they do this?

I am learning about tea. This is the way I am now making Chinese tea.

Please comment.

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Aug 25th, '05, 11:01
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by PeteVu » Aug 25th, '05, 11:01

personally, I would take scientific proof over any ritual, no matter how old. although considering the question at hand... durring the one tea cerimony i witnessed, hot water was placed into the pot to (like you said) wash the leaves, but was then promptly poured out as quickly as it went in, and then was used to "cleanse" the cups. The key is that only the first second or so of steeping is discarded. The release of nutrients in the tea follows the rules of chemistry, which designate a sine (0 - pi) shaped curve over time rather than the cosine (0 - 1/2 pi) curve you are imagining. in other words, a small amount of flavor and nutrients are lost.

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Aug 25th, '05, 12:45
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by bambooforest » Aug 25th, '05, 12:45

I often enjoy oolong gong fu style myself. However one of the reasons the Chinese wash the tea breifly (as far as I've read up on) before they steep it is simple. It opens up the leaves and prepares the leaves for the subsequent short steeps. Taste seems to be the objective here.

If you are preparing oolong tea via a teaspoon or two per 5 ounces than washing it seems unecessary. But with Gongfu preperation and such short steeps it is favorable to do a quick wash before the initial steep. I wouldn't think the initial wash extracts that much nutrients from the tea leaevs since it is done so quickly.

I certainly believe there is a possibility that most of the nutrients come out in the first steep. After all, most of the caffeine also comes out in the first steep. Perhaps some of the medicinal propteries do not. But since gongfu preperation uses so much leaf perhaps it takes more than one steep for this to occur. However, since I drink tea for its wonderful flavor I steep most of my green teas two or three times.

The disadvantage I see with gongfu preperation is the large amounts of caffeine that is consumed as well as the amount of leaeves needed. With my 3 ounce gaiwan I use about 6 or 7 grams of leaves when I prepare oolong gongfu style. Thats a lot of leaf. The advantage is the wonderful flavor gongfu preperation imparts. I've heard of methods tha are somewhat in between gongfu and western style that I will try soon enough.
Last edited by bambooforest on Aug 25th, '05, 17:58, edited 2 times in total.

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Aug 25th, '05, 12:48
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Re: Gong Fu Cha + nutrients in tea

by Mike B » Aug 25th, '05, 12:48

guest wrote:The Chinese have been growing and brewing tea for hundreds of years. One would think, therefore, they know a little something about tea.

They also bound feet for hundreds of years. That doesn't mean I think they might no a little something about Manolos.

Aug 26th, '05, 01:17

Gong Fu Cha + nutrients in tea

by guest,too » Aug 26th, '05, 01:17

Thank you for the useful information, Pete and Bambooforest.

Gong Fu Cha is more about the tea and more of a procedure rather than a ceremony/ritual.

Bambooforest: When you try some other methods, please post. I am interested in learning.

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