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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Neo Gong Fu Cha

As many of you are surely familiar with gong fu cha ceremony and its way of maximizing both health and taste of tea. However, there is no RIGHT way of choosing the right amounts and times without a bit of experimentation.
For example: tea guardian show very useful chart (but for my taste and my lower grades of tea it is unusable, teas become too bitter).
Another good ruleset is the one offered by Daniel Lui. This is the style I prefer. Much more decent teas, but for some a bit too tame and without the "noble bitterness."
So what is my take on it? I devised this method.

A) Take any tea you like (seriously, don't worship the idea that only pu-erhs and oolongs are suitable for gong fu, even the low grade greens can be interesting experiment).

B) Practice gong fu cha. Make a note of times and amounts in gram. Experiment, be wild and random.

C) When the taste of tea is too bland, make a note after how many total seconds it happened. For example let's say you made this pattern: 10 s - 20 s - 20 s - 30 s - 40 s. That is total of 120 seconds or 2 minutes. That means that this is the borderline amount of time you can "invest" in tea.

D) So now you know that (if you used for example 5 grams of tea) for one gram of the selected tea, there is 24 seconds of potential, you can "invest" in tea (120 seconds / 5 grams).

E) This potential divide by amount of preparations (for example 5 preparations) can be then again divided. 120 s / 5 servings = 24 seconds each per 5 grams.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Right Amount

Something what always bothered me... what is the right amount of tea? What is the ideal tea to water ratio? Well lately, to prevent wasting tea and also maximize the potential, I developed the three step method, how to average the right amount. It is using three sources form following authors: Karel Valter, Lou and Heiss and Pettigrew.

The process is as follows:

1. Use this data according to your tea (please know that the my standard amount of water is 500 ml, so use it in according to that).

a) Chinese red teas, Chinese oolongs, white teas (white peony type), every post-fermented teas, every teas manufactured in India, every formosa oolongs, gyokuro and African black teas: 8.5 grams/500 ml

b) Most of the Chinese green teas: 5 grams/500 ml

c) Bai Hao Yin Zhen: 12 grams/500 ml

d) Yellow teas: 8 grams/500 ml

e) Chun Mee: 6.5 grams/500 ml

f) Bancha and Sencha: 7.5 grams/500 ml

g) other tea not listed here: 8 grams/500 ml

2. Now use this data

a) African black teas, second flush Darjeeling, Chinese oolongs, red teas from China and pu-erhs and teas manufactured in Indonesia: 3 tsp/500 ml

b) Most of the black teas: 4 g/500 ml

c) Green teas from India and white teas: 7 tsp/500 ml

d) First flush Darjeeling and Gunpowder: 5 tsp/500 ml

e) Most of the Chinese green teas: 7 g/500 ml

3. And finally, the third source, used for all teas and as a general guideline:
7.5 g/500 ml

You can sum all these up and make an average out of them, or you can have them as a reference. I will be adding more and more. I am fascinated by the different sources on tea preparation.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Perfect Tea Brewing: Assam

The information here is based on several sources. The following amounts of tea and times are for 0.5 liters of water, but can be used as a reference to any amounts of water.


Type: Red Tea
Country of origin: India

Instructions based on 0.5 liters of water:

How many grams of tea should I use?
Minimum: 3 grams of tea 
Maximum: 13 grams of tea
Average according to the sources: 7 grams

What is the ideal temperature?
Minimum: 88°C
Maximum: 100°C
Average according to the sources: 95°C

What are the ideal times for brewing tea?
Minimum: 60 seconds (1 minute)
Maximum: 600 seconds (10 minutes)
Average according to the sources: 274 seconds (4:34)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Assam 2

Mass: 7 grams
Volume: 0.5 liters

I. Infusion

Temperature: 100°C
Time: 224 s
Taste: adstringent
Aroma: assertive, fields
Rating: 5/10


Mass: 9 grams
Volume: 0.5 liters

I. Infusion

Temperature: 100°C
Time: 202 s
Taste: wooden, adstringent, bitter chocolate
Aroma: honey
Rating: 6/10
Tea scale: 18

Loose Leaf Pu-erh 3

Mass: 8 grams
Volume: 0.5 liters

I. Infusion

Temperature: 100°C
Time: 175 s
Taste: caressing, gentle, wooden
Aroma: strong, ozone, mushrooms
Rating: 6/10
Tea scale: 14

II. Infusion

Temperature: 100°C
Time: 273 s
Taste: gentle, metallic
Aroma: ashes
Rating: 3/10
Tea scale: (22)

III. Infusion

Temperature: 100°C
Time: 273 s
Taste: watery, slightly adstringent
Aroma: insignificant
Rating: 1/10
Tea scale: ((22))

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Loose leaf Pu-erh 2

Mass: 7 grams
Volume: 0.5 liters

I. Infusion

Temperature: 98°C
Time: 217 s
Taste: slightly acidic, plastering
Aroma: leather
Rating: 5/10
Tea scale: 15.5

II. Infusion

Temperature: 98°C
Time: 230 s
Taste: bread, watery
Aroma: insignificant
Rating: 4/10
Tea scale: (16.4)

III. Infusion

Temperature: 99°C
Time: 264 s
Taste: watery, blunt
Aroma: carpet
Rating: 3/10
Tea scale: ((18.6))