Today, was my first foray into Chinese Gongfu brewing. Thus, it was also the first time I used a gaiwan http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39240-butiki-flower-gaiwan and TeaVivre’s Double-wall Glass Tea Cups http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39708-teavivre-double-wall-glass-tea-cups.

Recommended Brewing Instructions:

Mehtod:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter

I selected this tea as I’m very familiar with how it tastes brewing western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a Finum brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket. This is my regular breakfast tea. I wanted to see how changing the brewing method would affect the flavor.

As this was my first my Gongfu brewing, I had to make do with what we had on hand. We don’t yet have a water boiler http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39783-zojirushi-ve-r-hybrid-water-boiler-and-warmer-cv-dsc40-4-liters or a variable-temp electric kettle http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39130-bonavita-1-liter-variable-temperature-digital-electric-gooseneck-kettle. I used a classic Revere Ware SS Copper-bottom stove-top kettle to boil water, which was then poured into a tea mug with a DAVIDsTEA Thermometer/Timer http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/36677-davidstea-thermometer-and-timer in the thermometer mode. A meat cutting board served as a tea tray/desk for collecting water.

Even though all the teaware used was first rinsed with boiling water, 3oz. of boiling water when first poured into the tea mug with the thermometer immediately cooled to 190℉. (3oz. was simply not a large enough quantity of water to overcome the ambient temperature of the tea mug. Normally, 8oz of boiling water poured into a room-temperature mug will immediately cool to 197-199℉.) Thus, a 10 sec. reheat in the microwave was needed. The water was allowed to cool to 194℉, then added to the gaiwan.

A Teavana Perfect Preset Tea Timer http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39312-teavana-perfect-preset-tea-timer was used in the count-up mode to control the brewing time. In lieu of a tea pitcher & a matching tea strainer, a heavy Pyrex measuring cup and a small fine kitchen strainer were used.

Results:
Using the Gong-fu method produced a more nuanced flavor profile with enhanced aroma c/w Teavivre’s recommend Western brewing instructions. Steeps 4-6 were a little lighter than the first three. However, they still had more flavor than the 3rd steep using their Western method.

The obvious disadvantage to this method is the time necessary for 6 steeps each of which only produces 3oz. Additionally, since this was my first endeavor with Gong-fu brewing, I was focusing on the procedure and my technique, which somewhat distracted me from discerning the aroma & flavor differences between these two techniques.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
looseTman

Not having an electric water boiler or kettle with a variable temperature control or presets has definitely limited my exposure to the joys of gongfu brewing. I would welcome any recommendations. Thanks!

AnnaEA

I use an inexpensive electric water like this one http://www.target.com/p/sunbeam-hot-pot-express-32-oz/-/A-14029777#prodSlot=medium_1_10&term=Kettle

It doesn’t have very precise temperature control, but it’s easy to open the lid and look at the boiling plate and see the size and shape of the water bubbles, and if it’s at a full boil or not. It fits nicely on my little side table with my tea stuff, and is easy to refill (I bring a liter of water in a pitcher to the table, and top off my electric pot every few pours, to keep the water from getting flat with being boiled).

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looseTman

Not having an electric water boiler or kettle with a variable temperature control or presets has definitely limited my exposure to the joys of gongfu brewing. I would welcome any recommendations. Thanks!

AnnaEA

I use an inexpensive electric water like this one http://www.target.com/p/sunbeam-hot-pot-express-32-oz/-/A-14029777#prodSlot=medium_1_10&term=Kettle

It doesn’t have very precise temperature control, but it’s easy to open the lid and look at the boiling plate and see the size and shape of the water bubbles, and if it’s at a full boil or not. It fits nicely on my little side table with my tea stuff, and is easy to refill (I bring a liter of water in a pitcher to the table, and top off my electric pot every few pours, to keep the water from getting flat with being boiled).

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Bio

I am passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, & smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs) such as Pu-erh.

Currently, my focus is on un-flavored orthodox black & pu-erh teas. Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are also of interest.

I especially enjoy teas with a natural rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to natural bittersweet cocoa.

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Incomplete, non-specific, or cutesy instructions such as: “Just add water and enjoy.” significantly reduces the possibility that I will purchase that particular tea.

Having to discover the optimum brewing parameters through “trial & error” is too time-inefficient, wastes valuable tea and impairs the progress and joy of tea exploration.

The best tea suppliers evaluate each crop / batch of tea each year to determine the optimum brewing parameters. This insures the best possible first impression of their tea, greatly increases customer satisfaction, and thus increases word-of-mouth advertising – the best form of advertising that money can’t buy. You never have a 2nd chance to make an Outstanding First Impression.

My wife is an Earl Grey Fan. We enjoyed Twinings for many years – mostly Earl Grey, also English/Irish Breakfast, & Prince of Wales. Several years ago, TEG no longer tasted as good.

Rishi EG & China Breakfast then became our regular teas. However, after winning Tea Expo awards, the prices kept rising.

Our most recent orders were from TeaVivre, Verdant, Zen Tea Life, & Mandala Tea. Kudos to Angel Chen, David Duckler, Kenneth Son, Garret Sorensen who have been extremely helpful.

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/176233#comments.

Solutions:
#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO: https://www.afwfilters.com/drinking-ro-systems/6-stage-alkaline-zoi-zeta-reverse-osmosis-system-16.html
Includes:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter: http://www.puregen.com/products_detail.php?id=301&lang=en

Options:
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/dm1.html

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, an annual winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.

Location

Mid-Atlantic, USA

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