Why do some teas have a flat taste the second steeping?
I had some very good dragon well tea today and wanted to steep it for a second time. When I did so, the taste was fairly flat and did not have the typical dragon well taste that I’m used to, but more a typical regular green tea taste (this was especially disappointing, because I had a guest over who probably never had high quality tea and really loved the first steeping). This has happened multiple times with different teas that I have tried.
I don’t really know why this happens or how or whether it’s the tea’s fault, but I feel like it might have something to do with being exposed to air. I often brew tea using a steeping basket and just put the basket on a tray for 15-30 minutes until I steep a second time. Could this be the reason for a flat tasting second steeping? And if so, why and how? Any stories, articles or anything relevant tom my question that you could share?
How long do you steep, and at what temp? I brew Dragonwell on the cool side and 30 sec steeps or so.
I brewed 2,5g for 1 minute, then usually I do 1:30, 2:00, 3:00.
But I didn’t brew out all the flavor the first time. I mean, it has happened to me before with other teas, but not with all green teas. But it seems that the longer I let my tea basket sit and wait till I steep a second time, the flatter it gets.
Do you boil fresh water for the second go? Some people’s tastes are sensitive to whether it’s fresh water or re-heated water. It could also be the air exposure, I suppose… I haven’t heard of it affecting the tea that quickly, but I suppose anything is possible. Especially if you’re the sort of person who can tell if the water was fresh or re-boiled. Try draining the pot instead of removing the leaves and keep the lid on. See if that makes a difference.
It’s also possible that you simply don’t care for the second steep in general. Not everybody does.
I always use fresh water.
The difference between the first and second steeping was far from subtle. The first steeping had a lot of aroma and typical dragon well flavor, but the second steeping had a typical basic green tea flavor with hardly any aroma at all. The tea tasted as if it was nearly used up.
I’ll try brewing this tea again and leave the tea leaves inside of my gaiwan, so that they are not exposed to air like they were when I brewed them with a tea basket.
Try 160 deg for first steep, go 30 secs and then increase temp and time for subsequent steeps.
2.5 grams sounds light too. Maybe more leaves, quicker first steep as Cwyn suggested. That should leave enough flavor in the leaves to get a good quality second steep.
This always happens to me with doing a second steep. The second time is always more disappointing and I wonder if I’m doing it wrong because I hear a lot that the second round tastes better than the first or on par with the first steep. So I usually avoid boiling water a second time and make a big pot and then just use new tea if I want another pot.
Dragonwell is just gonna be one of those lighter teas anyway. As far as green tea goes in spectrum, for me it is more of a light refreshing spring tonic sort of tea, it doesn’t have the intense body experience that puerh requires of me. Honestly I need a break sometimes from puerh, that Hong Jing Tian I drank burned me out on the insides and the next day I did reach for the 2014 Dragonwell I’ve got in a jar right now. I wanted that lighter brew on purpose :/