Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Geiz ist geil!

Something I've only started doing recently (thanks to prodding by Sir Will and Asiatic Fox) is infusing white, green and Oolong tea. I knew you could, and had tried my hand at it a number of times. But every attempt was a small failure and I'd resigned myself to black tea and one time around with non-black teas.

Not anymore. I'm steeping green tea, drinking that pot, infusing it again, drinking the second pot and in some cases I'm able to even get a decent third infusion out of the same sock/bag of tea. A few things I've read or figured out: don't use boiling water if you're going to attempt this. You shouldn't be using boiling water with non-black teas anyway, but especially if you want to infuse the tea.

Every tea has an optimal water temperature. I get a ballpark figure from different tea sites (like steepster.com or ratetea.net), but ultimately you have to figure out the perfect temperature yourself. 80 degrees centigrade seems to be good for most green teas. That's my best estimate so far.

Let me know if you've tried this and what your experience has been.

Drink better tea.


  1. I am pleased to hear I have helped in some way! Re-steeping really makes teas worth their money. One can get so much out of the leaf!
    It would be wonderful to get some reviews of the teas you drink! I'd love to hear your opinions and tasting notes! =]

  2. I listen to the kettle when it heats up, and I always remove it from the heat shortly before it boils. I don't have a thermometer of any sort. I just go with what is comfortable for me. I use the same method for all my tea brewing.

  3. Thanks for the mention! I'm glad to hear RateTea.net is getting people to think about brewing temperature, or being a resource for people...really all I've done is to collect various company's recommendations into a single place--I'm hoping to spark discussion in the reviews though as people start to critically evaluate whether the company's recommendation is what they like or whether they'd do it a different way!

    I definitely think temperature is something you have to decide for yourself...it's a matter of taste--some people like certain aromas better than others, and some people like the bitterness and astringency that comes out with higher temperatures whereas others want as little as possible.

    And I also agree that it goes by the individual tea too!

    I find that green tea is probably the trickiest to brew well. Most oolongs are a bit more forgiving although occasionally I find a picky one too. White teas, brewed too warm or too cold, sometimes lose some complexity but I haven't found many to come out undrinkable the way some green teas will.

  4. I'm trying to be careful not too be so shit-eatingly positive when people comment here, but honestly Alex...whenever you leave a comment here, it's spot on.

    And while your humility regarding RateTea.net is ok, you certainly downplay what is offered there.

    One of the many reasons I've continued to write about and drink more black tea is that I find it easier to prepare. As my taste develops, I enjoy drinking green and white tea. Subtle, light teas that I'd have scoffed at a year ago, are now the ones I look forward to on a difficult afternoon.

    This is part of what happens when one's taste/palate evolves.