Posted 26 December 2005 - 09:33 AM
I just bought some loosed leaf tea from Gong Fu Tea here in Des Moines (see my blog for a review) and the 2 teas I've purchased I've like the second brewing better than the first. This is my first real foray into gourmet teas and I was wondering if this is a common thing? I purchased a white tea called silver needle and a earl grey darjeeling. Both teas have a slightly acrid aftertaste. The white tea was grassy and gave me a slight headache (i'm allergic to grasses) the first time around but the second and third time it mellowed out into a wonderul if subtle tasting tea. The earl grey was similiar but actually seemed to devolop more of the bergamont scent each time. What causes that anyone know? I'm I just crazy? I am using the time frames giving to me by the tea store. It brewing in a pot loosely. What do you think?
Posted 26 December 2005 - 09:42 AM
So for oolongs, whites, puerh and greens not accented by aromas or oils, you shoud find the first infusion is very light, unless you are steeping it too long. Some people even discard this "first infusion", or use a lower temperature water to "wash the leaves" and discard that.
The first infusion should bring out the aroma, and the second usually brings out the flavor. Subsequent infusions will usually be less flavorful and more visual.
Blog: Pursuing My Passions
Take me to your ryokan, please
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:48 PM
be careful that the water is not too hot-never boiling
i always rinse my oolong teas-it allows leaves to open a bit
you may also want to try tea from online shops
they have small sample size packets
Posted 26 December 2005 - 11:53 PM
As for gongfu brewing.. this is quite a loose term. I've broken down a step by step process on my site here:
goldenteahouse Tea steeping
I should revise it, simply because it makes gongfu brewing sound like an extremely elaborate process. For instance, the cups used to smell the tea fragrance are rarely used day to day. Gongfu style brewing can best be described as a way of making tea with more leaves than usual, and a smaller amount of water than usual. What this does is turn the process of tea steeping into more of a skill than it would be if you just threw in a teabag, or a spoonful of tea leaves. By concentrating the process with more leaves and less water, you also have to use a lot less time! The skill ends up coming from knowing how hot the water should be, how delicately the water must be poured in, and how long to steep the leaves for. Someone experienced in this can yield great tea with each infusion until the leaves are no longer worth making new tea from.
As for suggestions... Experiment! You can let me know what tea you have exactly and I'll see what I think is my prefered way of making it.
Posted 27 December 2005 - 12:21 PM
it is from his blog
most of blog is in french
Edited by jpr54_, 27 December 2005 - 12:38 PM.
Posted 27 December 2005 - 12:42 PM
He basically designed a drip brewer that, with proper brewing temperature, reliably makes decent tea for at least three, and sometimes more, infusions. It works best for Chinese teas like oolong, puerh, and maofeng.
(Apologies for the self-serving link)
Blog: Pursuing My Passions
Take me to your ryokan, please
Posted 28 December 2005 - 09:09 PM
Joel - I have three different teas I purchased from GongFu Tea store. One is a white tea called silver needle, an Earl Grey Darjeeling, and a blend called Ancient Happiness. The last one is very floral and I think mixed with a green tea. The brew if fairly light. So far I've found that I like the second brewing better. I tried rinsing it (poured a small amount of water in and let sit for 20 second pour out) and really like all of them now. Can you OD on tea? God I hope not!
Posted 28 December 2005 - 10:26 PM
Yes, it can be complex.. but I encourage people to look past that which seems overly inundated with complexities and snobbery. You drink tea because it tastes and feels good. I look at gongfu brewing as a way to enjoy the character of many teas in their best form. When you have a truly amazing tea, it is best to taste it in a way that assures you that you are getting the best of it. As for teas like baihao silver needle, the one you mentioned, I would say you don't really have to rinse it, since it is such a light tea. Also a tea like that one is brewed to appeal to many senses. Very light flavour, and very beautiful and interesting sight to behold - so I always use a 5-6 inch glass when making it.
And OD'ing on tea... you definitely can. I find too much Tieguanyin has weird effects on me, but its worth it! Also a lot of green tea can sometimes make your head spin. I can drink unlimited amounts of wuyi oolongs and pu'ers though; so who knows how it works.
Posted 28 December 2005 - 10:44 PM
Oooo new terms.
<-- tea dummy. I know I've had good tea. I can at least recognize good tea when I taste it but don't ask me to name any of them or know what kind of leaves are used.
Could you translate?
Posted 28 December 2005 - 11:22 PM
The last one I mentioned was Pu'er tea, which is a whole class of tea, just as green is another. In China they are considered the Black teas actually. And to risk going on forever, I'll just explain that they are aged 3 years minimum, and come in a cooked and raw variety, either loose or in the form of compressed discs or bricks suitable for storage and transportation. They deserve a thread of their own. In fact all these teas do. Hope I didn't push the headache in even deeper!
Posted 28 December 2005 - 11:56 PM
Well I'm definately going to put your teas on my list and see if my store has them. To backtrack a bit what makes an oolong an oolong again? Is that the one where it is a mix of black tea and green tea? I know white tea not oxidized and black tea is fully oxidized. What green tea again? I've heard of pu'er but I've never seen it nor tasted it I believe. That isn't the one that comes in balls is it? Umm... dragon balls ? dragon pearls? It was either pu'er or dragon whatever that my friend was telling me about he used for his chinese wedding. All I know is that its incredible expensive and the highest quality he could get in LA.
Posted 29 December 2005 - 06:58 AM