Am I brewing this Dragonwell tea right?
I opened a package of Dragonwell tea and would like to know if I have the right brewing method.
I am using a small Gaiwan. I measured 4 grams of Dragonwell tea and placed it in the Gaiwan.
I brewed my water to 80C. Then I rinsed the tea for 5 seconds. Then I infused the tea for 20 seconds.
Is this the right method? Then I want to re-infused the tea. How many more times can I do it and for how many seconds?
Thanks for the advice in advance.
That is pretty basic green tea preparation. Is it right, you will have to tell us, because after this point its personal taste and experimentation. 3-5grams to 100ml is just about perfect in my opinion. I dont wash green teas, they really dont need it. 10-30 seconds in a gaiwan brew is about right, do you like it more intense but bitter brew longer, want a subtler tea, brew shorter.
Oh as for reinfusions, 3-5, a bit more or less depending on how much leaf you use and how short you brew your tea. I drink it till it gets too watery.
The great and rather annoying thing about tea is its about 80% experimentation.
Thanks Ken. I did not know that I did not need to wash the tea. I am learning. I did 3 infusions today, 20-30-40 seconds. Will try a 50 seconds infusion after supper. So far the taste is very good. Better than steeping the same tea for 4 minutes.
while there are guides for everything, Gongfu brewing is really a process of experimenting and learning, your tastes are so personal and ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ don’t necessarily really apply as long as it tastes good to you :)
I brew green teas pretty much how you outlined above. Another traditional way to brew Dragonwell is to use a tall glass, drinking only the top 1/3 of the liquid, pour more water in, etc. See demonstration here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kff7OxaWhM
I have had some green teas that frankly tasted better using this method.
I am glad you sent the yt link, I will watch it tonight. I will try this method. Never heard of it before. Have a great evening!
is that the same as “grandpa” style brewing?
Also, if you do it just right in a glass or small clear teapot, you can watch the leaves “dance” (moving up and down as they sink). You would need leaves that are pressed into very straight leaves for that to work though
It certainly doesn’t sound wrong. You may be able to push the temperature a bit higher, if you want more bite. The second infusion could be quicker, maybe 10 seconds. Then extend to taste. You may get 3 “good” brews with that roasted nutty profile, then it will change.
Often dragon well is brewed “bowl” tea style. Eg leaves in a cup and just left, with hot water top ups. I would certainly try that too, but start with less leaf, maybe 2 grams in a cup.
just keep experimenting and find the taste/feel you like. i also would suggest not rinsing a green tea. some of the best flavor is in that first brew (for me). I also dont brew green tea more than 3 times usually.
Puerh and Oolong. Puerh has lots of dust, and Oolongs are tightly compressed and need to open up the tea leaves. The only green teas you need to wash/rinse are jasmine dragon balls and gunpowder green because of the high compression. But big open leaves like dragonwell, not at ll.
what ken said. i wont rinse a young white tea or young puerh either. ill rinse aged puerh, any ripe puerh, rolled oolongs, and usually black teas too.
Pu’ers are a lot of the time recommended to rinse. It helps wake up the dense/compressed tea and you really don’t lose any flavor.
I drank a lot of dragonwell when I was in China last summer. Most of the time I did the grandpa method (tea leaves directly in cup, hot water added to it (I add some room temp water at bottom), drink + leave some tea liquid in bottom of cup and add more hot water, repeat. )
I felt like I got a lot of the nice flavors out that way so you always have that option too!
Sounds about right. Average Dragonwell could probably yield around 3-4 cups. One thing you might want to experiment with is the amount of leaves you use too.
The height at which you pour the water is another factor. Usually it’s a bit higher for green teas because the water hits the leaves softer, which is the way it should be for more delicate teas with greens usually being more delicate than oolongs and black teas as a general rule of thumb.
You already have some solid advice! Personally I like to push the amount of leaf a little higher. I use about 5 grams. In terms of steeping, it really is a process of experimentation and will be highly dependent on the quality of the leaf. With lower quality leaves, the bitter taste will come on much quicker. With better leaves you can steep it for a little bit longer.
One piece of advice you haven’t received- I like to add about 10 seconds for each additional brew (for dragonwell). This allows me to get more out of the tea (usually more than the recommended 3 steepings). This will vary with the tea that you have, so experiment with it.
I only stop once it gets too watery :) I love the later notes!
My brother is posting daily tea lessons on our Instagram, so if you are relatively new to the tea scene they may be useful. He is covering very elementary stuff at the moment, but we will be moving onto something more interesting soon :)
Hope this helped,
I drink green tea a lot and do not like it brewed gongfu. I prefer the mug and filter basket. I add the water so it comes just above the leaves in the basket. I wait a few seconds and smell. Smells delicious at this point. Sometimes I move the cup around (like they do in the Grandpa method). Then I add the rest of the water and brew anywhere from 30 sec to 2 min based on the tea. Usually 1 min is perfect. This works pretty good for most greens.
With Dragonwell, the full grandpa method which someone else mentioned above might be best. I have found Dragonwell in particular needs a bit of adjusting in the brewing. My problem with the grandpa method is a bit of bitterness creeps in because of the leaves constantly in the water.
Also, NEVER rinse your greens. The first brew with greens is the best and you are washing all that away when you rinse.
Last night I switched to the mug and filter basket. It’s quick and easy.
I found that in the gongfu 20 seconds for the first brew was very good. Good advice of not rinsing your greens. I was at a local tea store and he said to rinse tea.
Why don’t you like the gongfu method?
I DO like gongfu for oolongs and puerh especially. I just find with greens , anything after the first infusion is a shadow of first. Yes, the first infusion with gongfu is very good but it’s a tiny cup and then the rest of it is so so. I like one full good cup.
Maybe the guy at the store was referring to puerh. That tea always requires a rinse or two. Some rinse oolong but again it’s like the greens to me. The best part is being rinsed away.
You can drink the rinse, general rule is the more tightly wound up or rolled it is the more it needs a rinse, the dustier it is the more it needs a rinse.
If in doubt, taste the rinse, if its clean and taste good, drink it.
I don’t rinse green and black teas. They don’t need it and you lose precious flavor in the rinse. Puerh and oolongs though have to be rinsed to help the leaves “wake up”.
You can gongfu dragon well, but really I feel this is a tea designed for grandpa steeping. A tip about dragon well, leave the lid off when steeping. They are sensitive to temperature and covering the brewing vessel raises water temperature which can lead to bitterness.