Sipping the same tea all day?

So now and then in articles, or occasionally tasting notes here, I’ll see people talking about how they keep drinking off the same measure of tea leaves all day and jusy keep adding fresh hot water to top off their cup/mug/thermos/whatever. This is a strange concept for me to understand because I’d think that the tea would get bitter, constantly sitting in the cup and always brewing. But obviously it works for some people, and I’d love to give this a try with winter coming up and me considering bringing an electric kettle to work.

So I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for what teas this would be possible with? Because I’m pretty sure most, if not all, of the teas I have right now in my cupboard are of the ‘would definitely get bitter if I tried this’ sort of tea. Lol. I’d mainly be interested in blacks, and maybe oolongs that wouldn’t be that sensitive to temperature, since I’d be bringing a generic kettle to work, not one with variable temps.

5 Replies

I do this all the time. I’m having some Glenburn Silver Needle right now prepared that way. I’m on the 3rd round of adding water. I tend to use white or green teas for this method, though I have used some black teas. Whenever I taste a bitter note, I just add more water and generally don’t have to add water all that often. You can also water at a lower temp, so that it takes longer to get bitter or use less tea leaves. Here is my general set up for that: . I put the tea leaves under the strainer, so that I don’t get any tea leaves in my mouth. Also, for using the same tea leaves all day I do gongfu sessions.

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yyz said

I’ve tried that with rooibos and haven’t had a problem but I haven’t tried it with tea. I do re-steep many of my straight teas multiple times though but I don’t leave them in contact with water. I either use a gaiwan or if away I usually remove the brew basket and then replace it when I want another cup. There are some mugs and thermoses , that are designed to remove the contact of the leaves with the water. Some of them have complicated mechanisms but recently I’ve seen several of these types of models on aliexpress which seem to be an elegant solution.
I don’t know how well they hold up but they do separate the tea from the water without having to figure out what do d with the leaves. You can find several models to ones that look like sports bottles to those that look like vacuum flasks.

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I usually re-steep a couple times. For red teas, I re-steep until the flavor fades.

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Huey Tan said

Growing up and even being fed tea from a baby bottle, yes… I am weened like that. My family always have a big huge stainless steel teapot everyone drinks from. It is usually drank hot in the morning, tepid through the day and kinda cool come evening time.
That tea is usually topped off with more hot water and a bit more tealeaves as the day goes by as I remembered the tea colors remains just the same… Taste just as bitter sweet as my memories… Colors still holding true. I remembered the bits of tealeaves that still settled into my cup’s bottom. Those loose leaves never failed to escape from that teapot into all the cups.

While doing a fine cup of English tea with my mother in law, loose escapee tealeaves are always frown upon… Never that, growing up drinking tea in my mom’s own kitchen. I still love those bits of tea leaves lingering in my mouthful of good “tia guan yin” that metal goddess (Buddha)… Always a beloved tea my whole family adores.

Nothing like bitter sweet memories sipped ever so slowly… That flavor that keeps fading in and out with different notes and temperature as the day passes on…

Refreshing one moment or that heart warming tingle after… Tea like that…
Definitely more than a whole day’s or even a whole life’s worth of appreciation.

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I have done this with oolong tea a decent amount and try to do it with tisanes and herbal mixes but I need the full flavor so either find myself adding more tea each steep to the used tea or just start over as I find that some mixes get mushy and dont lend themselves to being reused.

The tisanes that do stand up to a second steeping are great because can steep them for a long time and generally don’t go bitter.

Sometimes I just make 1 really really strong cup, and put it into my huge office mug ( around 1.5L ) and will drink it then re add hot water as I have a cordless kettle on my desk. I find this lets me taper down the strength of my tea as well throughout the day.

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