Brewing Mandala's Milk Oolong without a gaiwan
I got my order of Mandala’s Milk Oolong in the mail today and it smells AMAZING! But the problem is, I don’t have a gaiwan and the only brewing instructions I can find for this tea use the gongfu method. I tried the first two steepings in my ingenuiTEA teapot and it tasted just okay. I don’t even know what my brewing times were because I was afraid of making it too weak or bitter. Does anyone have any advice on how to get the most out of this tea in either a teapot or a brewing basket?
Also, I don’t have a variable temperature kettle. How do you get the water to 185-195 degrees?
Much appreciated :D
English style tea cups are really gaiwans with a handle. Use the saucer as a lid – but use a bit of cloth to hold the saucer in the center when you pour.
Yeah, there’s nothing special about a gaiwan. As Teaenvy said, just use a teacup and a lid of some sort.
Don’t worry about exact temperature. If you live near sea level (within 1000 feet or so), bring the water to a crab-eye boil. This is when the water first starts to make tiny bubbles (not the big bubbling action of a full boil). That’s about the temperature for a green tea. An oolong is usually best about half way from crab-eye water to a full boil.
So, just bring it to crab-eye water, and let it go a bit longer until you think it’s about half way between crab-eye and a full boil.
Making gong fu style, make sure to use plenty of leaf and keep the steep times short … like 5-10 seconds. (I tend to make teas with slightly cooler water than most, and steep for a few more seconds. But, that is my taste.)