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Brewing times and temperatures

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It's been a while. It looks like I need to rethink how to manage this community. In the meanwhile I have some questions for you.

How do you brew your tea?

I've seen several general guidelines like 1 minute for white tea, 2-3 for green and 3-5 for black etc. If you go more specific and actually read the instructions on specific teas, the times can be quite different. I'm yet to encounter a white tea with such a short steeping time. Usually the instructions say 3 minutes or even 6+. And when you look at the mass product teabags they always seem to say 3 minutes and boiling water, even if the tea is green.

I have a bad habit of forgetting about the tea I'm making all the time and have taken to using an egg timer. I find myself setting it to the classic 3 minutes all the time because all those contradicting instructions can get so confusing.

I use a clay pot for making tea. If I pour water into it, it absorbs quite a lot of the heat and the water isn't boiling anymore. Even if I try to make black tea as hot as possible and let the water cool down a bit before adding the leaves, usually the difference ends up not being all that different. Have you run into this problem? Does the water really have to be boiling for black tea in your opinion?
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On May 11th, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC), ditch_gospel commented:
I use a tea egg if i'm making one cup, or a strainer piece (not sure what it's actually called) in the pot if I'm making a pot. I don't usually worry too much about steeping time because honestly, even if I forget about my green tea for half an hour, it still tastes fine to me. I do use boiling water for black tea and for green or white, I usually try to pour the water before or after it's boiled.

I often forget about my tea, too. Sometimes it's just the act of making the tea that satisfies me, I think. But I love my tea strong, so if it steeps a long time, that's fine with me. I don't like weak tea.

I have a glass pot, which I dislike because it doesn't seem to retain the heat very well. I also have a ceramic one that i haven't used in a while, but it's prettier than the glass one.

Maybe we should all post pics of out teapots next.
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On May 12th, 2011 09:53 am (UTC), fujiko1601 replied:
I haven't quite figured out why sometimes if I forget my tea, it tastes terrible and other times it tastes fine even after half an hour. I'm not fond of weak tea either, but I prefer the taste soft and not very bitter.

That sounds like a good idea, I'm only afraid of posting too many of mine. Only teapots or all teaware?
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On May 12th, 2011 10:42 pm (UTC), ditch_gospel replied:
All teaware would be fun. Didn't you mention once that you have a tea chest? You could share a pic of that, too. Maybe we can have a teaware photo contest or something. Everyone submits a pic to you and then you make a poll post. Could be fun!
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On May 14th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC), fujiko1601 replied:
I thought I did post a picture of the tea chest in my journal, I'll have to check. I'm not sure we have enough members for a contest, but posting pics would be great just for the fun of it.
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On May 14th, 2011 06:19 pm (UTC), helike commented:
I have a bad habit of forgetting about the tea I'm making all the time
The same here. Only that I use no reminder.

I brew a tea in a big mug, storing tea leaves in a small tea-strainer.
As for the boiling... The hotter water is, the easier to brew tea - obvious thing is obvious, but I don't think that boiling water is actually needed.
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On May 16th, 2011 06:07 am (UTC), fujiko1601 replied:
Once I discovered the tea the next day still brewing. XD Sometimes I still manage to make tea too bitter and I wanted to exclude the possibility that it's because I forgot about the tea.

Not really, but it would be nice to be able to actually be able to follow the instructions once in a while.
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