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Eccles
Feb 6, 2010


If your mug has a lid then there is probably little difference. Without a lid the mug will cool down faster than a teapot. That may or may not be a bad thing. Try both methods and go with what you like best.

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david_a
Apr 24, 2010


Dr. VooDoo posted:

Iím rather new to this whole arcane ďteaĒ thing but after trying some at a friends I want to have more of it so Iím gonna give it my own go. I do have a question after browsing this bread, though and Iíve heard conflicting things from people. When it comes to steeping tea is it better to steep in a teapot over a mug or does the flavor remain the same between the two? Iíve heard some people tell me thereís no difference between mug or pot steeping while others have told me that a teapot controls the heat during steeping better so itís steep will come out better compared to a mug
The size of the infuser will probably have a bigger effect. A lot of infusers are too drat small so the tea doesnít have room to unfurl (really important if you have leafy tea).

bitprophet
Jul 22, 2004



Taco Defender

I haven't done a ton of teapot steeping (doing a mug at a time is way more convenient & I can never seem to finish drinking a teapot's worth before it cools off) but the times I've used one, I did not notice any obvious taste difference from mug steeps.

Tangentially related, I've lately been using paper filterbags (large ones, so that the tea can unfurl at least somewhat, if still not as much as a decent sized metal strainer basket). They're very convenient, especially for any teas that would have smaller bits getting stuck in the strainer & making it hard to clean.

However I notice that compared to baskets or silken sachets (from eg Harney & Sons), the particulate from the tea tends to settle at the bottom of the mug during steep. Dunking the bag a few times at the end before discarding it, makes the particulate dissolve again (and stay that way) so it's not a problem Ė but it is weird.

Truck Stop Daddy
Apr 17, 2013


Muldoon

Got both my YS and bitterleaf orders. Seems Bitterleaf did a mixup and sent me their 2018 year of the dog yiwu, instead of the 2017 year of the rooster. It's probably same same. Big tea sesh coming up this evening, trying to figure out whether to take the YS Hui Run ripe or the year of the dog to work...

Also, quite curious about this gold bi luo chun that I got from YS. The leaves look and smell amazing:


Tried some Japanese black tea yesterday (Koucha Koushun) I picked up a while ago. Disappointed, reminded me of a bland earl grey. Distinct orange notes. Will take me a while to get through the 100g of this that I bought...

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005

Jeg estimerer deg ikke.


if you contact Bitterleaf about the mixup, I'm sure they'd be open to correct it in some way. they're really forthcoming and helpful

ulvir fucked around with this message at Oct 2, 2018 around 10:58

Truck Stop Daddy
Apr 17, 2013


Muldoon

Sent them an email. The only difference between the two teas is the vintage, so it probably doesn't matter much tho. Unless 2018 has been bad or something.

Also, had another japanese black tea (Koucha Zairai) blended with yomogi (japanese mugwort or something) this weekend. Didn't really really pick out any particular flavors or notes just tasted "black tea I guess?". Will have to steep it some more times and see if I can figure out what the deal is with it.

Biomute
Jun 7, 2005


I need to get some more tea. I usually drink Dian Hong, Tan Yang Gongfu, Bailin Gongfu, Golden Monkey or Imperial Gold Needle, so yeah, I'm big on the Chinese black teas, especially Yunnan. I want to branch out a little though. I find moderately roasted or highly roasted oolong to be pretty interesting, but it does not give me the same invigorating feel as black tea does. It's a little "limp" or "wet"? That probably makes no sense. I like drinking my tea at pretty much boiling temperature and a little briskness is appreciated.

Any tips?

hope and vaseline
Feb 13, 2001



.... Have you tried ripe puerh?

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005

Jeg estimerer deg ikke.


I'm kind of the opposite, I think. I find most black tea to be pretty tame (the exception is the one dianhong I have, which has a really strong tomato/umami-like scent and flavour), but roasted oolongs more invigorating. I guess the next step up would be ripe puerh or assorted heicha, as hope said above.

aged oolongs might be interesting too, but they're so damned expensive that I've never really tried that yet.

Biomute
Jun 7, 2005


I do have some pu-erh, but the cheap one tastes of tobacco and the expensive one of wet compost. It's not quite the malty brew I am after, but maybe I need to try something specific. Also, I keep stabbing myself in the hand whenever I try to break open one my cakes.

hope and vaseline
Feb 13, 2001



I haven't really had anything that matches the maltiness of a good dianhong. Pu is kind of its own, complex beast, and mid-later aged raws (10+years) have this viscous quality that I've never had in any other teas. As for ripe pu, I'm guessing the "wet composty" one you got is a ripe. Try airing it out for a few weeks, maybe break some pieces off and let it sit on a shelf somewhere. It won't ever disappear completely, since that's the nature of its processing, but good ripe pu will side more on its dark chocolate/caramel notes. It's a pretty good rule to air out any puerh you get in the first place to get the "storage" smell and taste out of the way.

Also, when using a tea pick, a good one will be flat-sided on the end. The trick is to not use excessive force, but to twist from side to side to loosen the layers of the brick/cake you're working with. Once you loosen at one point, work on multiple points throughout the cake and it'll be easier to remove larger pieces that way. I learned that lesson from a particularly dense brick that I repeatedly stabbed myself with trying to loosen it up..

hope and vaseline fucked around with this message at Oct 2, 2018 around 14:47

david_a
Apr 24, 2010


Biomute posted:

I need to get some more tea. I usually drink Dian Hong, Tan Yang Gongfu, Bailin Gongfu, Golden Monkey or Imperial Gold Needle, so yeah, I'm big on the Chinese black teas, especially Yunnan. I want to branch out a little though. I find moderately roasted or highly roasted oolong to be pretty interesting, but it does not give me the same invigorating feel as black tea does. It's a little "limp" or "wet"? That probably makes no sense. I like drinking my tea at pretty much boiling temperature and a little briskness is appreciated.

Any tips?
Have you tried any Assam teas?

Truck Stop Daddy
Apr 17, 2013


Muldoon

Drinking the 2018 year of the dog yiwu now. Herbal vibe, nettle notes? Some bitterness in the back of the mouth/throat. Surprised by the color of the wash, not dark at all. itís almost clear. Is that how young raw puers are?

Biomute
Jun 7, 2005


david_a posted:

Have you tried any Assam teas?

No high quality ones. Recommendations?

Thoht
Aug 3, 2006



Check out Teabox, maybe. Maltiness and briskness is something Assams are generally known for. I remember liking this one from Halmari.

Biomute
Jun 7, 2005


I brought the mushroom shaped pu from 2008 out of the closet and brewed a cup, washing it three times. It's very much cigar or tobacco, freshly cut mushrooms, faint smoke, bark or pencil-shavings. There's more sweetness to it then I remember, probably due to the washing and limiting myself to a 25 second steep. It's not bad, but it is not immediately comforting either.

effika
Jun 19, 2005
Birds do not want you to know any more than you already do.

Truck Stop Daddy posted:

Got both my YS and bitterleaf orders. Seems Bitterleaf did a mixup and sent me their 2018 year of the dog yiwu, instead of the 2017 year of the rooster. It's probably same same. Big tea sesh coming up this evening, trying to figure out whether to take the YS Hui Run ripe or the year of the dog to work...

Also, quite curious about this gold bi luo chun that I got from YS. The leaves look and smell amazing:


Tried some Japanese black tea yesterday (Koucha Koushun) I picked up a while ago. Disappointed, reminded me of a bland earl grey. Distinct orange notes. Will take me a while to get through the 100g of this that I bought...

Bi luo chun is my jam; please come back with a trip report. That looks amazing.

hope and vaseline
Feb 13, 2001



Truck Stop Daddy posted:

Drinking the 2018 year of the dog yiwu now. Herbal vibe, nettle notes? Some bitterness in the back of the mouth/throat. Surprised by the color of the wash, not dark at all. itís almost clear. Is that how young raw puers are?

yep, young raws are pretty similar to green tea. The astringency can vary from tea to tea, that sounds like a pleasant one to drink without aging.

david_a
Apr 24, 2010


Biomute posted:

No high quality ones. Recommendations?
I'm not great at keeping track of the ones I've had, but I think I've had the Daily and the Exotic from Vahdam. I may have had more in a sampler pack; none of them were bad, just different. Vahdam now has a US store so you won't have to risk your teas getting stuck in customs for 2 weeks like my last order.

EDIT: Well, I'm not wild about the CTC one, but it's probably the most different from the rest. I figured out the hard way that CTC teas need a much shorter steeping time.

Eccles
Feb 6, 2010


The Halmari and Mangalam Assams that Upton is currently selling are both very nice.

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005

Jeg estimerer deg ikke.


Truck Stop Daddy posted:

Drinking the 2018 year of the dog yiwu now. Herbal vibe, nettle notes? Some bitterness in the back of the mouth/throat. Surprised by the color of the wash, not dark at all. itís almost clear. Is that how young raw puers are?

yes, theyíre always light and green in colour, and usual taste profiles are floral, sweet, astringent and bitter. how floral or how bitter depends on region and blend; yiwu teas tends to be stronger in floral and sweeter notes with some slight bitterness.

Archenteron
Nov 3, 2006



Biomute posted:

I do have some pu-erh, but the cheap one tastes of tobacco and the expensive one of wet compost. It's not quite the malty brew I am after, but maybe I need to try something specific. Also, I keep stabbing myself in the hand whenever I try to break open one my cakes.

See if you can find a sample of Kenyan Tinderet tea?

Truck Stop Daddy
Apr 17, 2013


Muldoon

ulvir posted:

yes, theyíre always light and green in colour, and usual taste profiles are floral, sweet, astringent and bitter. how floral or how bitter depends on region and blend; yiwu teas tends to be stronger in floral and sweeter notes with some slight bitterness.

It sure looked like green tea, but didn't really taste like it. Almost no sweetness at all. Zero umami. It definitely more astringent than bitter (just read up on what "astringent" means haha). Quite nice tea, didn't really taste a whole lot like the other teas I've been drinking.

Didn't have the time to check out the Ripe puer or the bi luo chun last night, but will give it an attempt today.

Truck Stop Daddy
Apr 17, 2013


Muldoon

The bi luo chun is pretty nice. Just realized that it's a black tea... Currently gong fu brewing it. Dry leaves smell like a candy store, steeped leaves smell of honey. Nice golden color on the wash. First couple of steeps was surprisingly weak (10-15s each ish). Longer brew times fixed it. Watery mouth feel, slightly sweet. Notes of some sort of spice. Taste lingers in the mouth long after drinking it. Mouth watering. Very drinkable stuff!




E: Bitterleaf refunded me half the cost of the cake :0 Will have to order some more stuff from them, possibly some teaware...

Truck Stop Daddy fucked around with this message at Oct 5, 2018 around 08:34

effika
Jun 19, 2005
Birds do not want you to know any more than you already do.

Truck Stop Daddy posted:

The bi luo chun is pretty nice. Just realized that it's a black tea... Currently gong fu brewing it. Dry leaves smell like a candy store, steeped leaves smell of honey. Nice golden color on the wash. First couple of steeps was surprisingly weak (10-15s each ish). Longer brew times fixed it. Watery mouth feel, slightly sweet. Notes of some sort of spice. Taste lingers in the mouth long after drinking it. Mouth watering. Very drinkable stuff!




E: Bitterleaf refunded me half the cost of the cake :0 Will have to order some more stuff from them, possibly some teaware...

Sounds pretty delicious! Thanks for reporting back.

Keret
Aug 26, 2012


Hey gaiwan users, how much tea do you use each time you brew? I got a 100ml gaiwan the other day and decided to try it out last night with a sample pack of Lu Shan Yun Wu green tea that I got from TeaVivre, and I thought I had remembered a video in this thread saying to fill the gaiwan 1/4 of the way with tea, so I just dumped the entire sample in there and tried it out because that seemed accurate. It was...a mistake. I only steeped it for like 5-10 seconds but it had a really intensely harsh taste. It wasn't until I took out most of the leaves by the 3rd or 4th steep that it was reasonable and not totally overwhelming. Any advice going forward so I don't waste the other samples like I did this one, or should I just try it a bit at a time and see what works?

hope and vaseline
Feb 13, 2001



The general rule is 1g of tea per 15-20 ml. I'd use a measure how much volume is actually usable in your gaiwan as well, my 100ml measures it filled to the brim, but only 80ml up to where i usually pour.

Agrinja
Nov 30, 2013

Animus Fulgur


Do silver cups change the taste of tea? I can't seem to find a definitive answer on this, and I found a small teacup that really takes my fancy, but has a silver lining.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Has anyone else here tried Kenyan purple tea? I bought a sample from Murchies and I'm trying this suggestion on brewing: http://www.gongfugirl.com/experiments-with-purple-tea/

160 F seems a really low temperature, but I let it cool to that with a thermometer anyway, since my first time with a tea I might as well follow the instructions. My first steeping is kinda weak, but then I didn't rinse leaves with boiling water first. I'm using one teaspoon per cup, as suggested. It has very much a white tea taste, and I'm not quite catching the grape notes it's supposed to have.

Edit: it does have kind of a grape aftertaste, and it's highly astringent like a dry wine.

Maybe the second steeping will be better. I'll report back later.

Stuporstar fucked around with this message at Oct 17, 2018 around 21:30

skul-gun
Dec 24, 2001
I got this account for Xmas.

Agrinja posted:

Do silver cups change the taste of tea? I can't seem to find a definitive answer on this, and I found a small teacup that really takes my fancy, but has a silver lining.

I have no personal experience but there are two posts about silver teaware on oolongowl.com:
Silver Tea Pot Review and Testing
Dark Texture Silver Tea Cup from Crimson Lotus Tea

Agrinja
Nov 30, 2013

Animus Fulgur


Thank you, that's terribly convenient because it's a Crimson Lotus cup that I was admiring.

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Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


An update on that Kenyan purple tea:

- Doing the second steeping at exactly the same time and temperature as the first, as suggested in that link I posted, brewed an even weaker cup.
- Doing a third steeping for seven minutes using boiling water, also as suggested, brewed such an astringent cup, drinking it was like being punched in the mouth with a sweatsock-covered fist.

So I need to even things out a bit somehow. Maybe I'll try giving them a proper hot rinse before the first steeping and make the second steeping a little longer.

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