Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Final Infusion





How many infusions of tea do you brew when you have a tea session?

For me, the average would be about 5-6 for oolongs and 6-8 for pu erh tea.  This does not include the initial flash rinse I perform on the tea before I start my session.  If the tea still brews strong, I may set the teapot aside and return to brewing more tea later in the day.  

Then you have the last or final infusion before you discard the tea leaves.  I suppose for many tea drinkers, myself included, the final infusion would be considered the weakest in taste and aroma. 

Let me recommend a fun and interesting brew for your final infusion :
- empty the tea leaves in a small metal pot
- add 2-3 teapots of water
- boil the tea for 5-10 minutes

Surprise! Your final infusion will taste and smell slightly different.  It will be strong as well.  I have tried it on pu erh, oolongs, Liu Bao and white tea and have pleasant results so far.  I think you will like the results as well.  If you already had too much tea to drink, I suggest you keep that last infusion in a small thermos and drink it when you are ready for tea again.  

Time to relook at your final infusion.  Have fun and let me know what you think.



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

1993 Dayi Menghai Tea Factory Ripe Pu erh













I gave myself a treat opening an old Taetea (aka Dayi) ripe pu erh tea over the Chinese New Year weekend.  This is a 100g loose ripe pu erh packed in a paper box.  Produced in 1993 (you can see the stamp pressed impression in the 3rd pix), the tea leaves appeared to be  small leaf grade.  

This is one of my oldest pu erh tea in my collection and when I started brewing this tea, I had or was expecting, I don't know, maybe fireworks coming out of my ears or getting seriously tea drunk after the tea session.  None of these dramatic effects were present, but instead I was treated to a very comforting pu erh tea session.  The tea was very smooth with aromatic old antique wood and herbal scents and the tea glided down the throat easily.  8 very good infusions. 

But I digress.  When you are having a tea session with friends or you are at a teashop sampling tea with 3-4 drinkers present, you can tell whether a tea drinker likes that particular tea - that is - the tea cup empties very fast.  You will also observe that the tea drinker will (myself included) be 'looking forward' to each cup of tea.  One more thing, when you are at a teashop sampling tea and when you had enough of  tea, stop drinking or your teacup will continue to be refilled.  Alternatively, you can drink up the tea and tell politely,  while returning the empty cup to the host, that you do not want any more refills.

I noticed my tea sessions with this Dayi ripe pu erh normally finished in a very short time.  I drink this tea fast.