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Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

I'm doing a video tomorrow to cover the syllabus. Here's the handouts:

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aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

(immortal wizards and lizard people both doing the arm clasp meme from commando) ďaging is not for meĒ

That looks good, good luck!

AnimeIsTrash
Jun 30, 2018
Probation
Can't post for 16 days!


Guy Axlerod posted:

I have a couple of these tins from ikea


I write on them with a chalk marker so I know what's inside.

This was a while back but thanks for this suggestion! I ended up picking up a couple and they're been great.

Gunder
May 21, 2003

97.5 The Brodeo


Tied my first Ripe PuErh today. Wow, what a different experience! A lot more earthy notes than I was expecting, but still very enjoyable.

I also watched a tutorial on how to re-wrap the tea cake and took a lot of pride in perfectly replicating it. The presentation aspect of gong-fu is fun.

thotsky
Jun 7, 2005

hot to trot


I don't mind the earth/mushroom in ripe pu-erh; I just find them to be sort of insipid, even when they have lots of body. They lack edge. It might be a lack of tannins, but I'm pretty fond of low-tannin black teas, so I dunno.

Gunder
May 21, 2003

97.5 The Brodeo


Gaiwan users: what size Gaiwan do you like to use for solo tea sessions? I have a little 60ml capacity (filled all the way up to the brim) that I use currently. I am considering getting a 100ml one, but that might be a bit too much tea to get through if I'm doing something with a lot of infusions like my new PuErh or my Rock Oolong.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Gunder posted:

Gaiwan users: what size Gaiwan do you like to use for solo tea sessions? I have a little 60ml capacity (filled all the way up to the brim) that I use currently. I am considering getting a 100ml one, but that might be a bit too much tea to get through if I'm doing something with a lot of infusions like my new PuErh or my Rock Oolong.

Whatever one I have handy but I use larger ones (around 3-5oz).

Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

Gunder posted:

Gaiwan users: what size Gaiwan do you like to use for solo tea sessions? I have a little 60ml capacity (filled all the way up to the brim) that I use currently. I am considering getting a 100ml one, but that might be a bit too much tea to get through if I'm doing something with a lot of infusions like my new PuErh or my Rock Oolong.

I think 60 filled to the brim is teeny tiny and 100 is a good medium one person gaiwan. But I don't fill to the brim, only to about 90% - at the line where the lid will sit.

And as promised I made a video this morning. The sound blows rear end and I'll have a real microphone next time. Also today's video is in 2 parts. Here's a rambling intro to gongfu tea essential tools. Get on board with purchasing these essentials to continue the course.
Chapan (bamboo or plastic tray/mini table)
Porcelain Gaiwan
White tea cup
Coasters
Towel
Fairness cup (little pitcher shaped guy)
A scale with 0.1g precision
A watch
Kettle, preferably electric gooseneck
Spring water or something clean and with some mineral content
Any tea leaves


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDOoKlgxsg8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yfw9M97LdE

Death Vomit Wizard fucked around with this message at 06:15 on Feb 2, 2021

DisDisDis
Dec 21, 2013

open your mind

open your heart


i was suspicious of my 170ml gaiwan actually being 170ml after seeing some videos of what different sized ones actually look like, so i stuck it on the scale and it's more like 125 to where the lid is (maybe there's 45 more in that last 10 percent? i dunno) turns out this is pretty ideal for me though because ~7 infusions is actually a lot of tea to have in your stomach and it perfectly fills this little cappuccino cup have. I've just been putting 6g in where i see 5g recommended for 100ml.

Brewed the yunnan black up again under those parameters and it still didn't do anything for me. Just tasted like "yeah it's tea to me." Went for 15 on the first steep and it was a little astringent but the rest of the flavor came out strong, so I thought I'd leave it at 15 again for the next steep and that was pretty weak/thin tasting as were the successive cups. I had the same issue with the next tea I tried where the first steep was really the best despite what I've heard about 2/3 being where the good stuff is, and I wonder if my kettle (stovetop) is just losing heat really quickly after I bring it off the boil. Still have to wait a bit for those cups to cool down though.

Anyway the next thing I tried was the V93 cake I bought bc it was cheap and mentioned as an idea for coffee drinkers in here. First puerh ever and I really enjoyed it, YS sent me a sample of their year of the dog blue label too and I'm excited to see what a slightly fancier one is like. I picked it with a tiny computer screw driver vertically along the sides, which broke it up really thoroughly but resulted in a lot of little broken leaves. Used 6g but I lost a decent amount in the rinse because I opened too wide. To me it tasted like thai ice tea without the milk or sugar which is great because I love that flavor but I'm not sure you can get thai tea without the sugar and it's way too much without the milk. Really good. First steep had a little bit of off taste/astringency but I didn't mind it really, and this real like thickness to the flavor that I am usually missing with tea, more like coffee has. Successive steeps still had that really good thai tea flavor without the astringency but were a lot thinner.

Today I brewed it up again but I used 8g because I figured "more leaf more flavor." I also tried to pick it more horizontally and get bigger chunks off because I got the general impression that broken leaves are bad and I always see people getting chunks in videos. This time the flavor lasted longer but it was way more dull and woody. Much less of that exciting taste I had before that was a lot different from any other tea I'd tasted and more like "oh I sure am drinking tea." I also relied on the rinse to heat the gaiwan and cup this time instead of heating then rinsing because I figured I was losing valuable boiling water time that way, dunno if that could have affected it. Either way it's still cool to see how much tweaking can change things even if this time it was negatively.

Any tips for gongfuing oolongs? Think I will try those next. I got a really roasted tieguanyin and a "traditionally" roasted rogui wuyi. Will watch the videos above as soon as I finish posting this.

Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

Every recommendation for leaves amount/ volume/ steep time you see should simply be considered a reasonable starting point for exploring a given tea. Two different young sheng puer teas could need wildly different steep times to come out at the same strength, for example. Every teapot and gaiwan is unique and our job is to fiddle with the parameters with every new tea we try until we feel comfortable with it. You clearly have the right mindset already (inquisitive). Just keep changing things one variable at a time and better yet record everything in a brew journal (or on steepster.com).

I am not a shou guy, but V93 is good stuff. The factory, DaYi is one of the big 4 puer factories. Because of the nature of production, you really don't want shou from a smaller label. Sheng puer, heck yes. Sheng's the opposite, actually. Big factory stuff is nice, but can't touch the new boutique shengs. But shou can easily be made moldy or otherwise poisonous if not made by professionals, so stick to the big 4.

So, broken leaves are very bad. They increase bitterness and astringency and make the leaves give out their tea juice too fast. That said, you want to "break up" the leaves in a pressed cake some rather than brew a fat chunk. If you try to brew a tight ball of pressed leaves, the water can't penetrate it and brew the leaves below the surface. If the chunk is truly unbreakable, you can try cooking it in a saucepan of water and just drinking that. It's a very slow, delicate process to break apart a cake without breaking the leaves, and basically impossible with really tightly pressed stuff like mushroom cap cakes and the "beeng hole" area of a regular cake. If you like puer tea or other pressed teas, it pays to practice your "finessing the leaves apart" game, and of course get a real puer knife.

Oh, do you have the ability to reheat your water between steeps? Anything < 1 minute off the boil should be plenty hot. (I use 100 degrees C for puer and oolong)

Death Vomit Wizard fucked around with this message at 04:18 on Feb 1, 2021

Gunder
May 21, 2003

97.5 The Brodeo


Yeah, I was advised to get a PuErh knife, and in combination with a tea inspection tray (a wooden tray with walls on all sides and a little cut off corner to allow you to sweep your selected leaves into your pot) can now see why they are so useful.

I assumed that broken leaves would be like fines in a coffee, and would simply over-extract too quickly. Makes sense.

Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

OK I am ready to start sorting what tea samples I'm sending out to y'all. To be clear I am just running a puer, red, white and oolong course for a few goons. I think once you get the package, we should all video chat. But until then I'll be making and posting instructional videos. So if anyone wants to join at any time please email teafriends [at] spiritwoodtea.com to let me know your email and snail mail address. Also, for money, I think $20 plus $6 for shipping will supply enough teas to sample. In total it will be 30% super fancy, 50% very fancy and 20% good but not expensive. So if you want more % super fancy, or just more of everything, you could request $40 worth instead of $20 or suggest your own bundle. Can include lots of ancient tree and big tree young sheng puer/red/white, aged 10-12 years ancient tree sheng puer, aged 18 years Xiamen sheng puer, aged 8 year fuding white, Taiwan reds, green oolongs, roasty oolongs, and wuyi rock tea.
So far we have these goons joining:
nyquil
Sarrisan
Irony.or.Death

Edit: made a video about how to break up puer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOdn3XzvqpE

Death Vomit Wizard fucked around with this message at 06:14 on Feb 2, 2021

Brutal Garcon
Nov 2, 2014



Oh hey, a tea thread.

I really want to like pu'er, but every one of the 4 or so times I've tried it over the last 20 years, it's given me a headache. Is this a known thing, or am I just weird?

Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

That's not a known thing, but the most intense teas are imo sheng puers, especially young ones. Possibly hard on an empty stomach, and maybe jittery. But something like a headache indicates a problem with the tea leaves, like pesticides, machine oil from the leaf picking machine, or bad storage of the tea. The cheap side of the tea industry is really dirty and imo dangerous to your body, though a headache is a bit extreme compared to the other kinds of discomfort bad tea is more likely to give you. Do you like espresso?

Brutal Garcon
Nov 2, 2014



Yeah, not a caffeine thing as far as I can tell.

Jhet
Jun 3, 2013


Iíve drank puíer to help me with migraines. Itís good for the caffeine and while strongly flavored, thereís just something about it over black teas that also settles my stomach when they get really bad. I canít think of anything else that might cause headaches, but Iím not a doctor so you might find sensitivity to something else in the aging does it.

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


Sounds like it might just be a bizarre reaction unfortunately (they happen - I get migraines from sweet/bell peppers but not spicy peppers even though they're technically the same plant/fruit).

DisDisDis
Dec 21, 2013

open your mind

open your heart


question about sheng, the impression i've gotten of it is that it's kind of like brutal green tea (at least until it ages) but that's a pretty dark looking cake. Is there sheng that's more oxidized before pressing but not post fermented, or is that a result of aging? I've seen cakes of black tea but I assume that's not quite the same.

Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

No, sheng is never oxidized. But it doesn't have to be like brutal green tea, either! There is sooo much variety in different shengs from different mountains/ trees. Many of the popular young shengs are bitter on the first sip, but then have a "returning sweetness" (huigan). Flavors also change a lot from steep to steep for young teas. Some shengs are made with young buds and are not bitter at all - see Moonlight White (a confusingly named sheng). Also many Reds and Whites are made with material from puer trees, so not sheng, but healthy and fun to compare. Also consider that bitterness/ astringency can always be adjusted with lower steep times.

Age tends to mellow the harsher tastes within a few years. That is to say, a tea's taste is always changing and post fermentation is only part of the equation.

Edit: I took some pictures and wrote down my tasting notes when I sat down with a 2019 sheng from jingmaishan this morning

Steep one six seconds
A little salty, a little water-tasting but with a mouth feel nothing like water. very thick, fuzzy, mellow, mild buttery squash notes

Steep two eight seconds
Already burping from the strong chaqi. Feels like oil sticking to my lips and mouth. More umami and savory veg and watery notes. Almost bitter but really not.

Steep three twenty-five seconds
Ok here comes the knockout punch. Huge bitter, grapefruit, but sneaking out of its wake is some fruity sweet stuff kinda like banana cream pie. It's strongly weird and wild in a way that feels like musk or cat. Tastes and mouth feels are better discovered if you let your tea cool properly before slurping it btw.

Steep four 50 seconds
Going deeper into woody bitter tastes, which will turn medicinal in later steeps. Still with a pleasant creaminess. The aftertaste is very sticky, too. My mouth tasted like peach candy over an hour after drinking.

After this I had to go to work so I threw the leaves into my Thermos and did a big long steep for later.



Death Vomit Wizard fucked around with this message at 08:39 on Feb 3, 2021

DisDisDis
Dec 21, 2013

open your mind

open your heart


ah yeah, i'm not against bitterness as long as it's "good" bitterness and not me loving up the brew. it being a ridiculously diverse field makes sense, i'm kinda reorienting from my initial goal of 'replace coffee' where i dismissed green tea/adjacent stuff out of hand and becoming a lot more open minded as i actually try all these teas.

A few days ago I tried the charcoal roasted tieguanyin and tonight I tried the rogui so uhhh, gonna babble about them now.

Most of the session with the tieguanyin was roast city and I think I've decided I wouldn't spend too much on roast city but also I need to spend some more time on this one anyway. Lid on the first steep had strong roast smell that faded into like, I thought of those cheap milk chocolate bars with popped rice in them first (love those babies) but I settled on "toasted coconut." Bumped second steep from 25 to 30s and got a stouter version of the very roasty, restaurant tea first steep. Lid smelled kinda grassy on this steep and only this steep. I got this slight edge of the toasted coconut before the roast kicks in on both of these that I've never gotten with restaurant teas but I've also never sat there and paid tons of attention to them. This flavor is 100% what oolong I've had tastes like, basically. It did make me think back to that black tea that "just tasted like tea" to me n I kinda thought about how many "generic" tea flavors there are. I tried stepping back to 25s on the third steep and so far I think that always gives me a thin brew, and I'm also realizing I want to increase steeping times faster after the first couple instead of the generic +5 every time kind of approach.

Anyway I did like 5-7 that were all pretty much the same and I left off thinking "if i want toast tea I'll get genmaicha or barley tea or something" but I kept the leaves to brew harder later in the day in case I got something different out of them. I did this session pretty soon after I got up and I had a much milder case of what would happen when I'd forget about and overbrew teabags in the morning and still try to drink them and get really nauseous. Some combo of the roastiness/huge amount of tea that early/possibly oversteeping wasn't great on my stomach.
Before making dinner I decided to do those later steeps, starting with a minute 10. This was advertised as 'naturally very sweet' or something and so far I'd call it one of the most savory ones I've tasted, but this steeping was pretty much all that toasted coconut flavor which after the rogui which is dry as hell I'd definitely call sweet. I had some little broken bits in the cup and after I left it to cool some more they'd brewed off some astringency, but the kicker here is before I would have just described that astringency as the roast flavor. Both the sweet flavor and astringent flavor were very soft at this point and I would have called the cup weak earlier on but I think I'm adjusting to the delicacy of flavors going on in tea. Next steeping I did a minute 40 and that was too long, more toast/astringency than sweet but really confirmed what I was thinking from the previous cup, very soft flavor I would have just called 'tea flavor' beforehand.
Overall this was too much work to get to the good flavors for me but I'm interested in what happens if I brew it lighter early.

The rogui was way different from anything I would have called oolong before. Early steeps have this rooibos like flavor that ends in a sorta bitterness, except its closer to a sensation than a flavor in a way, really subtle. Nothing sweet about this tea. First 3 steeps (8, 15, 20) were about the same with the lid getting this varnishy smell (in a good way) from the second onward. Third steep I start paying attention to the mouthfeel, tongue feels really big in my mouth after swallowing (I wonder if this is what's described as 'drying sensation,' not really dry) and it's kinda like that bitterness is just sticking to it. Then I get this kinda cool tingling over it if I keep sitting there. Adding the whole experience together I get where the rogue-cinnamon connection comes from even though I don't get that flavor.

4th goes for 40 seconds and that rooibos flavor has really dulled out, and it's a little weak overall. When I slurp it though I get this taste like how weed smells when it first hits your nostrils. Takes all kinds I guess. I decide to bump to a minute 10 for the 5th steep. Here's where I have to confess I'm very unscientifically counting "1 mississipi 2 mississipi" this whole time instead of using a timer. Anyway counting in my head like that gets really meditative all of a sudden, very drowsy and I'm really feeling my own breathing. The psychoactive effects of some of these teas have been presented in a very clickbaity way to me in places which has made me kinda shy about jumping to that but this was definitely a stronger feeling than I'd put down to just how relaxing it is to brew tea. At minimum I'd expect to be more awake drinking caffeine in the evening not less haha. Anyway I get hit with this cannibis/varnish smell right outta opening the gaiwan, and that flavor has definitely replaced the rooibos flavor now. Dinner's ready now so I decide to brew a cup while I eat. Result is predictably astringent but the astringency sits next to that cannabis flavor the same way it sits next to the roast flavor in the tieguanyin which is interesting.

poo poo this got long, gonna start keeping notes from now on cuz that rogui was really exciting and I definitely didn't remember everything by the end. I am kinda curious how interesting it really would be if I wasn't sitting here putting it under a microscope, since the flavor's not super strong or super complex. Feels nice that scrutinizing it is getting rewarded though.

DisDisDis
Dec 21, 2013

open your mind

open your heart


Tried this 'wild tree purple black tea' from YS. I like that their taste notes are mostly really simple and stick to 'tea terms' because I think a lot of outside flavors are very subjective reference points. That said I 100% bought this because it mentioned 'notes of rum' and I love rum. Didn't get that at all though. To me it has a strong apricot taste that turns sour toward the end in a good way. Brewed 3 cups and then another 2 after lunch and a walk, that sour fruit flavor toward the end sticks around but the apricot dulls out. I got this plant flavor at the beginning of 3 and 5 that's hard to describe (its not grassy or vegetabley at all) but I lost it pretty quick to the general tea flavor. I want to find something more like malty/chocolatey or whatever that english breakfast kinda taste is for black tea but I also definitely want to get more of this, really liked it. With that I've pretty much sampled my whole order, just have some lapsang suchong I expect to taste like campfire and the free ripe sample. Very glad I found this thread, I'm totally hooked now.

Heath
Apr 29, 2008



DisDisDis posted:

I want to find something more like malty/chocolatey or whatever that english breakfast kinda taste is for black tea but I also definitely want to get more of this, really liked it. With that I've pretty much sampled my whole order, just have some lapsang suchong I expect to taste like campfire and the free ripe sample. Very glad I found this thread, I'm totally hooked now.

If you want malty and chocolatey, look into getting a V93 Tuocha Pu'erh.

Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

Sorry Disdisdis I missed you asking about oolong tips before. It sounds like you're doing a fine job of trying to ID tastes and measure everything as you go. Get a watch and a journal IMO. Below are some notes I just took while enjoying a Taiwanese Tieguanyin from spring 2020.



Notice I use phrases like Rain and That Tieguanyin Taste. The most important thing is to name all the tastes you recognize, even if you are the only person who understands the name. You can worry about translating it into language other foodies understand later.

Also Tieguanyin cultivar should have leaves that point to one side at the tip:

Death Vomit Wizard fucked around with this message at 08:56 on Feb 8, 2021

DisDisDis
Dec 21, 2013

open your mind

open your heart


Definitely agree with what you say about naming flavors. I'll have to toss a ball into my next rinse and see how the leaf looks, thanks. Reading about the green trend in TGY vs traditional I instinctually sided with the "heavy oxidation and roast" people but now that I've tried a super roasted tea I see why people let them sit for so long, ha. Taiwan Sourcing has a higher oxidized but less roasted ball (not TGY) i might try. I tried grandpaing the rou gui which brews past any of the fruity flavor straight into the weed/roast taste and I find that roast taste really yummy/comforting oddly enough.

Heath posted:

If you want malty and chocolatey, look into getting a V93 Tuocha Pu'erh.

I actually got one based on your posting in this thread! It was very interesting to try but I don't get those from it really, just this "wet forest" taste. I have the 2017 one so I don't think this is wet pile flavor, the free year of the dog blue label sample they sent me has the same taste. I have mangled either the cake or the brewing every time I've had it though, curious how much leaf you use/how long you brew if you keep track.

That sample was interesting because it tasted much less 'bright' than the V93 and had this kind of nutty flavor, but reviews I've seen talk about "cherry sweetness" "creaminess" etc. which I'm not getting at all. (Did make the V93 seem "sweeter" in comparison though) I know tastes are very subjective and also samples can be in pretty bad shape sometimes but the way people talk about ripes as a category vs. what I'm getting kinda makes me wonder if I can adjust to get less of that "wood" flavor vs. other stuff. That brew had a lot of the broken loose leaf from the bag and I still have a nice clean chunk to break up by hand so I'll have to report again after brewing that.

Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

OK Tea Study Goons, I finally got moving on these samples. Sarrisan and Irony.or.Death: I shipped your packages on Tuesday. Nyquil and CopperHound: yours are going out as soon as Chinese New Year (no post office) is over next Wednesday. I would ask all participants to save your samples until everyone has received theirs so that we can drink them together. Also, tea leaves need a week+ of rest after air travel to completely acclimate to your home. Thank you for your patience.

graybook
Oct 10, 2011

pinya~


Part of my most recent order was of a big honkin' bag of kyobancha, and it didn't have instructions so I went with 200F for 1 minute as a first attempt. I meant to do 195F but forgot to properly set the temperature on my electric kettle.
Turns out that, according to the folks who sell the tea, the recommended first steep time is 2 minutes, so I'll see what that tastes like another time. Right now, this understeeped instance gives me some interesting... notes of mint, actually? It's a little subtle but it's something that I'm able to pick up on. I don't know if I exactly like that, so I'll probably stick closer to that recommended time and maybe even kick it down a couple degrees in the future.

Planet X
Dec 10, 2003

GOOD MORNING

I've been switching over to tea on the weekdays. I've got a local purveyor who has a great selection, which is great.

I've been using tea balls but also clamp spoons, as we have a few of these lying around:

https://www.amazon.com/RSVP-Stainle...551621978&psc=1

However, it seems to me that if you put a standard teaspoon of tea in the clamp spoon, it's not going to be able to expand when it moistens. Should I stick with the mesh ball, or look at using a spare french press that I have? I was thinking about digging it out and using it as much tea as I'm going through these days, and figure it lets the leaves 'breathe' a bit more?

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Planet X posted:

I've been switching over to tea on the weekdays. I've got a local purveyor who has a great selection, which is great.

I've been using tea balls but also clamp spoons, as we have a few of these lying around:

https://www.amazon.com/RSVP-Stainle...551621978&psc=1

However, it seems to me that if you put a standard teaspoon of tea in the clamp spoon, it's not going to be able to expand when it moistens. Should I stick with the mesh ball, or look at using a spare french press that I have? I was thinking about digging it out and using it as much tea as I'm going through these days, and figure it lets the leaves 'breathe' a bit more?

Using something to constrain the leaves can impact the flavor (I find that leaves that expand a lot will offer a slightly sweeter profile when in a tea ball). The preference for most is to let full leaves open up and save the tea ball etc. for 'messier' types of teas, like ones with a lot of additives or where the leaves and such is rather fine. Experiment with what works best for you and see which flavor and ease you like more. It's probably easiest to rinse out a tea ball or clamp spoon, but french presses are pretty easy to clean out as well and you can brew a larger batch.

Planet X
Dec 10, 2003

GOOD MORNING

Right on, thanks. Sometimes I make a chamomile tea in the evening. Perhaps I'll use it for that, as it can be pretty fine and powdery, I care less about the flavor, and (as I understand it) you can steep longer without the risk of making it too astringent.

That or I'll use them for when I'm running low and the tea is drier and finer in the bottom of the tin.

I have a large tea ball that I've been using for larger batches, but perhaps I'll try that too, but yeah, definitely going to use this french press that I rarely use anymore and put it on tea duty.

Trabant
Nov 26, 2011

All systems nominal.


For what it's worth, tea which is either naturally superfine (e.g. rooibos) or gets dusty towards the bottom of the tin (all of them) tends to escape any ball/spoon contraption I've used.

The absolute best solution* I've found has been the Finum brewing basket. You can get them from a bunch of places, and they're absolutely worth more than the $10-12 you'll pay for them.

* for single cup brewing, although I imagine they'd work in pots too.

Jarvisi
Apr 17, 2001

Green is still best.


I just got a 700 ml teapot and in a little unsure of the proportions of tea to water? So far when in making a full lot of tea I've been doing two teaspoons of tea, but I think I probably should do more

Heath
Apr 29, 2008



It depends on the tea you're using. I like to use a lot of leaf for greens, less so for things like rolled oolongs that will expand. You can search type of tea to water ratio and find some suggestions.

I do suggest getting a small food scale (I use this one) and a lightweight tray of some kind to tare that won't overload the scale. Most tea measurements are given in grams:mL online so that's what I use. For a 700 mL pot I would probably use 6.5-7.5 grams of leaf for most teas. That's going to be roughly two heaping table spoons of most kinds.

Jhet
Jun 3, 2013


Trabant posted:

For what it's worth, tea which is either naturally superfine (e.g. rooibos) or gets dusty towards the bottom of the tin (all of them) tends to escape any ball/spoon contraption I've used.

The absolute best solution* I've found has been the Finum brewing basket. You can get them from a bunch of places, and they're absolutely worth more than the $10-12 you'll pay for them.

* for single cup brewing, although I imagine they'd work in pots too.

They make larger sizes that can also work in pots and work best for things that are smaller or broken leaf. Nice whole leaf teas can still get cramped inside a Finum basket, but you should think about at least grandpa-style brewing those. It took me about 7-8 years to wear out one of the Finum, so you can really get a lot of use either way.

Eccles
Feb 6, 2010


I just dump the tea into the teapot, brew, then pour through a small fine mesh strainer into the cup.

thotsky
Jun 7, 2005

hot to trot


I have been drinking the kilo of High Mountain Red Ai Lao Mountain Black Tea that I bought from Yunnan Sourcing and it is really lovely. It's also the most finicky Chinese Black Tea I have ever had. I have not tracked down whether it is temperature, the wash, steep time or the amount of tea that matters most, but it can easily go from full and sweet to tasting sort of weird. It's not tannins or anything like that... Like I said, I don't quite know yet what the ideal brew is like, but other teas of this sort have been far more forgiving.

Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

Ailaoshan is where my favorite tea comes from 🔥
High mountain indeed. And remote. 2000+ yo tea trees. Red, white, puer... don't matter. That is some good medicine.

Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder



Warm and sunny = feed me green things

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



Iím never as close to losing a finger or a pint of blood as whenever Iím trying to pry off a piece from a tuo or that mushroom-shaped deal

why do those gimmicky shapes even exist?

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




How do I rank?

Black tea: Orange Peckoe
Pu-erh
Green tea with Jasmine
Milk Oo-Long
Kukicha

Herbs:
Rooibos
Green Rooibos
Tulsi blend (India Basil)
Verbena Aluisa
Lemon grass
Kafir lime leaves
Berry flavoured mix

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Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

ulvir posted:

Iím never as close to losing a finger or a pint of blood as whenever Iím trying to pry off a piece from a tuo or that mushroom-shaped deal

why do those gimmicky shapes even exist?

Haha I know what you mean! But the tight press is great for when you want that slow, slow aging process. Such pressings pack more flavor than their looser counterparts, generally.

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