I’ve been thinking about this for some time now. You can call me, Joe.
I expect, and shoot for, at least three flavorful steepings out of any tea I brew up.
I typically start at the times and temps below ( ’ = minute(s), " = second(s) ), then add 5F and 30" for each successive steeping:
- 170F, 1’ ;
- 160F, 1’
add 15F, then decrease by 15";
- 160F, 2’;
- I don’t brew these up often, and so I don’t have a set method for brewing them yet, but think I prefer gongfu style.
Indian Black/Chinese Red and Herbals
- a little off the boil, 2’; why do I start with such low temps & short steep times? So as to ‘spread out’ the flavor over multiple steepings. I have found this to work with every tea I have tried so far. Also, I am not looking for intense flavor in that first cup (which brewing an herbal or black/red tea at 3 – 5 minutes at boiling usually does), I just want to be able to taste it—and savor—it over many steepings.
- Are you kidding me? Thank you, but I’ve already got plenty enough teas to challenge the ‘tea enthusiast’ within me. Some day, though, some day …
1 – 29: There is no reason to even think about drinking this stuff again.
30-49: I may drink it if someone else brewed it up, but I would not bother brewing it up myself let alone bother buying any.
50 – 59: I like something about it, and I may brew it up if I already have some, but I would not buy any more of it.
60 – 69: I like a few things about it, and I may buy it if the price is right.
70 – 79: This is a tea I enjoy and would drink fairly regularly as long as it is reasonably priced.
80 – 89: A tea I will drink as often as I can, and will likely try to buy some when I run out (as long as it’s affordable).
90 – 99: This has everything I look for in the best of teas: beauty in appearance, a delightful aroma, and most importantly, depth and yummy-ness in its flavor.
My primary interest is in artisan loose-leaf green tea, although I enjoy Chinese red (or Indian black) and white tea somewhat regularly (during the summer, iced ). Here and there I brew a few of the other true teas and an occasional herbal.
Since I choose to live on a very limited income (‘Voluntary Simplicity’), I have to be very conscience about how much I pay for tea. In reading their Tea Enthusiast’s books, Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss sold me on the wonders of artisan teas. Thankfully I have found that there is affordable, artisan tea out there; it’s just like anything else that has true value: it takes hard work, dedication and at least a little persistence to find it.
I came to tea out of a desire to find something to help calm and focus my mind as naturally as possible. My mind is very active, so to speak, and at times I find it very difficult to focus and keep myself centered. For years now I have been practicing Yoga daily along with others things to help me to stay relaxed and present, but I found I wanted a little something extra to help me start the day; the theanine in green tea seems to help me in this.
I have been enjoying loose-leaf tea since November of 2010.
I compost my tealeaves.
I love to connect with others about tea.
I drink Stevia with just about all of my tea (no sugar or artificial sweeteners).
I drink a pot of green tea every day in the AM (usually steeped three times over the course of the day), sharing it with my wife.
Each tea in my cupboard is carefully and colorfully labeled in a tin or in a jar that used to hold something else (I love to reuse things!) .
I have three teapots: two simple ceramic (mostly for white and red/black teas) and one glass Bodum with a metal infuser/press (which I use regularly to steep my greens or yellows).
I tend to be direct, straightforward and honest when I post anything to the discussion boards. I take the approach that everything I say is stated with the implied disclaimer: In My Humble Opinion (i.e. IMHO). I may occasionally emphasize this point, where appropriate. I view your comments in the same way. You are in no way obligated to read what I have posted. And I am in no way similarly obligated to you.
Sitting with my cup of tea I greet the day in anticipation of new discoveries along the way.