Washing or rinsing the tea leaves
Hmmm, I will have to try that on the Lapsang Souchong sample I got from Teavivre, I might like it better, I hope!
I think you will! I always do a quick rinse of my Lapsang Souchong and I have gotten to the point where I actually enjoy this tea now. I couldn’t even bear to bring the cup to my mouth because my nose would reject the tea before I could take a sip. Now, I can not just drink it, but actually ENJOY it.
I always rinse my Taiwanese Oolongs. After rinsing for 15-20 seconds, the tea leaves start to unfurl so I get a richer, fuller taste on my first steep.
I always rinse in my gaiwan with the same temp water that I use to brew the tea and just immediately pour off the water
Although I haven’t rinsed tea leaves before, I’m going to give it a try and see how it alters the taste. Recently I read an article that stated that rinsing tea leaves removes some of the caffeine content. I’m not sure if that’s an urban myth or not, but it’s an interesting thought.
I am fairly certain it is a myth. There are some people that swear by this decaffeination method … even some companies post on their websites the way to make caffeinated teas decaffeinated easily. But I have also read that while some caffeine is lost with a 30 – 45 second preliminary rinse, not all or even most of the caffeine is washed away using this method. I don’t know for sure, one way or the other, but, I don’t think that this method holds much merit.
Not even 10% of the caffeine is extracted with a 30 second rinse. Not to mention that with large leaf teas, most of the surface area has yet to be exposed to water with just a rinse.
Here’s a detailed article:
And here’s a more concise article:
Thank you @Mercuryhime … I knew somebody out there had the articles handy! :)
Thanks for the article links! It’s good to know fact from fiction. I figured decaffeinating teas through a quick rinse sounded too good to be true.
Definitely! I remember I drank a whole big pot of white tea in a matter of 3 hours believing in the white tea=almost no caffeine myth… Let’s just say I learned my lesson! I wish I had read these articles from the beginning. :)
I did the exact same thing with a pot of white tea. Thankfully it was late morning/early afternoon. I was zipping around for the rest of the day – hilarious!
I rinse most of my Oolong teas (unless they’re a flavored Oolong that I choose to brew in my Breville, and then I do not rinse), and I rinse my pu-erh, and Lapsang Souchong. The rinse definitely helps reduce the amount of earthy flavors that penetrate a cup of Pu-erh, and makes it drinkable for me. The same is true of the smoky essence of a Lapsang Souchong. I also find that the flavor improves overall with the Oolong teas when I reawaken the leaves.