Gongfu Measurement Ratio

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Aug 5th, '13, 18:25
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Gongfu Measurement Ratio

by JD » Aug 5th, '13, 18:25

I've looked at many videos of gongfu on youtube but I'm still baffled by the actual measurements used.

In half the videos they use a lot of tea in a pot or gaiwan.

In the other half of the videos the gaiwan or pot is barely full.

I've seen this done for every tea from black to pu-erh tea.

For instance, in one vid on black tea the tea master says to use 6 grams leaf to 30 ounces water (equals to 1 gram leaf to 5 ounces water). In another vid the gaiwan used, which is probably only a 3 ouncer in size, is filled to the top with black tea.

Another instance, in oolong vids they say to cover the bottom of the pot with dry leaves. In another vid they say to fill the pot 1/3rd full with dry leaves. In another vid they say to fill the pot half-way full with dry leaves. These do not make any sense. Maybe people like different strengths of oolong?

I'm sure different teas brew differently and require different measurements. Perhaps strength is a factor here. Some people like it strong, others like me like it mild. If I attempt to use a lot of leaf I end up making a very astringent tea. Even at a brew length of only as long as I pour the water in and pour the tea out (5 seconds?).

I've personally been using a 1:1 ratio. 1 gram leaf to 1 ounce water. It seems to work pretty well with every tea I brew from black, pu-erh (sheng or shou), to raw or roasted oolongs. I was using 5 grams to a 3.2 ounce gaiwan because I'm used to my larger tea pots (5+ ounce pots), but that created a stronger and more astringent tea.

Any help on this would be appreciated.

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Aug 5th, '13, 18:40
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Re: Gongfu Measurement Ratio

by debunix » Aug 5th, '13, 18:40

JD wrote:I'm sure different teas brew differently and require different measurements. Perhaps strength is a factor here. Some people like it strong, others like me like it mild. If I attempt to use a lot of leaf I end up making a very astringent tea.
If you're not brewing to impress a gongfu-master or your future mother-in-law, really, it's all about what you like. I'm a tea-wimp and use about half as much tea as many others here, because at some point, you run into limits of how short infusions can be, and decreasing the tea quantity is a better solution.

It has the additional benefit of being cheaper because you need less tea per session....

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Aug 5th, '13, 19:17
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Re: Gongfu Measurement Ratio

by JD » Aug 5th, '13, 19:17

So basically...

If I enjoy it at 1:1 because I too am a tea wimp, then I shouldn't bother changing it.

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Aug 5th, '13, 19:23
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Re: Gongfu Measurement Ratio

by debunix » Aug 5th, '13, 19:23

Yes.

It's worth trying it stronger to see if, indeed, you do like it that way, but if you don't, no need to persevere. It should be about enjoyment and pleasure, not about what everyone else thinks (unless it's really your prospective mother-in-law or new employer or whatever.....--and you know that person is not a tea wimp like us).

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Aug 5th, '13, 20:34
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Re: Gongfu Measurement Ratio

by JRS22 » Aug 5th, '13, 20:34

A real tea wimp is someone who brews their tea to impress others rather than to suit their taste :D

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Aug 5th, '13, 21:28
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Re: Gongfu Measurement Ratio

by Joel Byron » Aug 5th, '13, 21:28

If it's a tea that's new to me I might mess around with a scale and different ratios, but mostly I just eyeball the amount and toss it the the pot/gaiwan. It usually comes out tasting like tea :) One thing I have noticed is that typically, higher quality teas(not to be confused with higher priced teas necessarily) can be brewed stronger without astringency or "off" flavors.

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Aug 6th, '13, 00:24
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Re: Gongfu Measurement Ratio

by jayinhk » Aug 6th, '13, 00:24

For me it entirely depends on the tea and the size of the brewing vessel used. I usually fill to 1/3 - 1/2 volume, less if using a tightly rolled oolong that will expand significantly. The same amount of tea leaf can be too strong or too weak depending on the tea you're drinking!

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Aug 6th, '13, 00:56
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Re: Gongfu Measurement Ratio

by Poohblah » Aug 6th, '13, 00:56

JD,

The proportion of the vessel filled by leaves depends on many factors.

Most importantly, the shape and density of the dry leaves: long, wiry leaves can take up many times more space for the same weight than tightly rolled leaves. Even when the leaves are wet, tightly rolled leaves can retain their shape for the first several steepings.

A person's preferred ratio of leaves to water is of course another factor.

The shape of the vessel matters as well, since leaves pack better into some shapes than others.

And finally, different kinds of teas lend themselves better to different brewing styles. For instance, hardly anybody brews white, green, or red (black) tea at the same ratio as pu'er or oolong, both of which lend themselves really well to a high leaf/water ratio.

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Aug 7th, '13, 22:57
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Re: Gongfu Measurement Ratio

by chrl42 » Aug 7th, '13, 22:57

I usually drop a whole vaccumed small pack in a gaiwan when gongfuing TGY..doing a quick brewing, but much fewer to Taiwanese Oolong..

fill about 2/3 when doing Wuyi because I use such small pot (6~90ml)

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