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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Old and Not so Great Tea

While I have said quite a few bad things about the heat and the lack of rain we have had here in southwest Michigan all summer long.  There is one good thing that is coming from it, the 300 gram tin of Dong Ding tea I got at a Chinese grocery store about 3 years ago is finally starting to get worked through on a consistent basis.

I never thought the tea was that great any time I tried brewing it how  I would brew any other dong ding tea. not to mention just about all my teaware for brewing items warm would only use a few grams of the tea at a time.  I don't have to tell any of you how hard it is to get through 300 grams of a tea you do not like only 4-6 grams of tea at a time.

The solution, hot summer days, a french press that has never been used for coffee, water, the tea and a refrigerator. Simply layer the bottom of the french press a few layers deep with the old and not so great oolong, add water, then stick it into the fridge, wait over night or 7 or so hours, then stick the plunger in, push down and its actually a surprisingly nice iced tea.  Better yet, while I haven't tried my hand at doing 3 infusions with a given set of leaves ( worried a bit to much about the threat of bad bacteria), but after drinking the tea down to the plunger level, pulling out the plunger and waiting another 7 hours or so, produces a second great brew from the same leaves.

Not to mention, at the grocery store I also picked up a box of loose leaf Lipton black tea, which is another not so great tea that makes a tasty iced tea.  In fact my believe is a tea that comes across as overly bitter or astringent would make a nice cold brewed iced tea.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The staining of the Yixing

Use Comparison

These are 3 nearly identical little yixing, 2 of which are used extensively, (one for High Fire Tie Guan yin, the other for Yancha), while the other has been let practically unused.  Can you tell from the above photo which one is which? 

What if I post close ups of them in pairs:

Highfire TGY and Unused
Yancha and Unused
Highfire TGY and Yancha

The first two pictures have the unused pot, and it would have been a bit more of a challenge if I rubbed out the very apparent tea stains on the ones that I use often.  But looking at those first two pictures again, its amazing how with use in with roasted teas, the yixings not only get a nice shine to them, they also turn a bit more red with use.  In the last photo the pot on the right I have had the longest, and its almost developing a slightly rusty character to it with all the use of tea.  The real question will be is that just due to being used longer, or is there something special in the Highfire TGY that causes that that the Yancha does not have?

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