It was past midnight, and I was reading the comments on this blog post on brewing oolong tea (http://themandarinstea.blogspot.com/2009/10/oolong-tea-brewing-now-and-then.html). For some reason the thought of having a suggested integer by which to calculate water:tea ratio really gets me excited, enough that I got out of bed to try it out. The recommendation for taiwan oolong was: “6-7 gr for yixing of 15 cl: brew 2-3 min, 3min, 3 min, 3 min 30 sec, 4 min…” So just for fun ( I KNOW, I am lame) I calculated 6 / 150 = 0.04.
Got out a 90ml clay pot and put in approx (90 × .04 =) 3.6 grams of tea. Off-boiling water. Best batches I placed as the ones at: 1st:65s, 2nd: 25s, 3rd: 35s. Ended my tasting there, but prepared one last brew just to measure and noted that I got 80mL of tea soup.
The results were tastier than what I would have gotten had I poured out earlier, which I usually do at the 30 second mark. Admittedly, I’m not familiar with this type of tea, but for me it registers as your basic taiwan oolong, with somewhat of a sour aftertaste. That was the notable thing for me, anyway. I feel I can’t really get a good feel for the nuances of the tea just yet, because for this one I used a newly opened pack of tea. It’s like when you’re traveling, I guess, and in a new country, and don’t really feel like yourself… Maybe tomorrow, after the leaves have ‘settled in’ their new atmosphere, I’ll be able to get a more true-to-character(?) batch.
One thing though. I think I’m discovering I like my teas to have just a little little bit of bite, that state juuust before they’re rendered oversteeped/too bitter. At least for the first brew. Maybe to wake my taste buds up, or warm them up. Then the second brew, I like a little lighter. When I sip I like it to feel ‘refreshing’. And for me that round is also the best tasting. Then mostly the third is just to top it all off. For thirst. To get that liquid inside ya. Yeah.
Probably not making sense not as it’s past 1 in the morning, heh. Anyway, will sleep on this, and try to recreate the setup tomorrow. Will also try with a gaiwan.
Gosh, sorry to sound like a total flake/nutTEA professor sciencey person wannabe. THIS IS WHY you do not tea log past midnight. >_