88

Oh dear…maybe the water for the first steeping was too hot? The result is that the fifth steeping is the same lovely color, with a lot less flavor. I don’t mean less floral flavor—I mean less flavor, period. Still tasty, but much more watery, to the point where I don’t know if it’s still worth drinking. The predominant taste is now: hot water.

Or is that supposed to happen? Would steeping it longer (longer than the directions, which say to add three extra seconds to each steep after the first three steeps) bring back some of the flavor, or would I risk bitterness? Oh, woe…at least I have three more servings of this to get it right, but I’m still sad that I seem to have messed it up. Sigh…

David Duckler

Hi Gillyflower,
The fifth steeping in a Gaiwan should just be peaking towards the strongest flavor. This one fades around steeping 12 towards lighter sweet notes. The directions with the tea do assume a pretty small Gaiwan, and water draws different amounts of flavor out of a tea depending on the water chemistry. Kind of mysterious though since this is pretty durable as far as teas go. Here are a few tips for your next tries: 1. This one won’t go bitter, so don’t be afraid to steep up to even 45 seconds in later steepings. You might try increasing the time to 30 sec after four steepings to see what happens. 2. Try pouring hot water on the saucer of the gaiwan to insulate it and keep constant temperature. 3. If you suspect too hot of water, boil it and let it cool for about 20 seconds, or pour into a pitcher and then a gaiwan. 4. If it is still light in flavor, try to flip the leaves, so that the ones that were on the bottom are on the top. You can do this with a spoon, or by turning the gaiwan over, balancing the leaves on the lid and putting them back.

I am glad that you had some great first steepings, and hope that playing around a bit yields you something wonderful through 15 or more steepings. This oneshold linger in your mouth even after you are finishes drinking it.

Have fun!

Gillyflower

Thanks Davis—I’m definitely having fun! I will try your tips next time. My gaiwan is small-sized, at least, so it’s good to know that I got that right…!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Comments

David Duckler

Hi Gillyflower,
The fifth steeping in a Gaiwan should just be peaking towards the strongest flavor. This one fades around steeping 12 towards lighter sweet notes. The directions with the tea do assume a pretty small Gaiwan, and water draws different amounts of flavor out of a tea depending on the water chemistry. Kind of mysterious though since this is pretty durable as far as teas go. Here are a few tips for your next tries: 1. This one won’t go bitter, so don’t be afraid to steep up to even 45 seconds in later steepings. You might try increasing the time to 30 sec after four steepings to see what happens. 2. Try pouring hot water on the saucer of the gaiwan to insulate it and keep constant temperature. 3. If you suspect too hot of water, boil it and let it cool for about 20 seconds, or pour into a pitcher and then a gaiwan. 4. If it is still light in flavor, try to flip the leaves, so that the ones that were on the bottom are on the top. You can do this with a spoon, or by turning the gaiwan over, balancing the leaves on the lid and putting them back.

I am glad that you had some great first steepings, and hope that playing around a bit yields you something wonderful through 15 or more steepings. This oneshold linger in your mouth even after you are finishes drinking it.

Have fun!

Gillyflower

Thanks Davis—I’m definitely having fun! I will try your tips next time. My gaiwan is small-sized, at least, so it’s good to know that I got that right…!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Hi, I’m a librarian, SCA member, and tea lover from Madison, WI. I’ve been drinking tea all my life, but have recently become more of a fanatic about it. Single, straight, and looking. Would love to take a date to one of the great tea places here in Madison!

Location

Madison, WI

Following These People