I would like to say welcome.
In this blog post I’ll cover the basic brew parameters used here at Chaceremony and will also include a couple other methods that can be used for oolong enjoyment.
Our main style used for brewing oolong is refereed to as gongfucha, another common brew style is often dubbed western brewing, and the last we will cover is called grandpa style.
All of the differing brew styles will influence the outcome of the tea and how it tastes. I would like to mention there is no right or wrong way to brew tea; all that I aim to do is offer a deeper insight on what can be done with the oolong highlighting qualities, and explaining how to unlock the vast flavor profiles found in this Semi-Oxidized tea.
Firstly, GongFuCha can be translated to “Preparing tea with effort” this style of tea is highlighted by the more ceremonial aspects that one goes through to make the tea. This method was found to originate in the same province that our tea is sourced from Fujian province China. The Gongfucha style of brewing tea allows for one to taste the subtle changes over each infusion while being able to enjoy a meditative like state tea drinking can bring.
A larger amount of tea leaf (6-8 grams) is used in a smaller vessel (generally less than 6oz for one person) to provide intense flavors and aromas, while the very quick steeps are preformed (3-5 seconds), as one progresses through the steeps slowly increase each infusion time by just a couple seconds.
With this method of brewing one can easily enjoy 8-10 infusions gaining the most out of the leaf but also needing to devote an ample amount of time.
Here is an example video:
In the video above, you can first see hot water being used to sanitize and clean the teaware before use; this step is essential for the taste preservation and the cleanliness of your teaware.
Next, you can see that the first steep is actually used as a rinse. This liquid is mainly discarded but what remains on the outside of the teaware and cups helps add to the aromatics of the further brews.
Western style brewing is the style that generally most are familiar with. It involves a larger tea pot(8-12oz) and a medium amount of loose leaf(4-8 grams).
With this method generally only two to three flavorful steeps are achievable with rock grown oolong.
I recommend trying the first infusion at 1 minute 45 seconds,
the second infusion can be enjoyed at 2 minutes, and the last I find is best at 4 Minutes. Play around with infusion times yourself and see what it may alter for your tastes.
Lastly, Grandpa style is the most laid back of all brewing styles it is where one uses a wide mouth shallow bowl and a small to medium amount of leaf (3-5 grams).
Add the loose leaf directly to the bowl and add hot water on top of that, once the leaf sinks to the bottom sip and enjoy the tea.
As you run low on water just add fresh boiling water and repeat until the flavor has dissipated. This simple way to brew tea can be delightful and is often enjoyed by many who don’t have the time to go through the Gongfucha method of brewing.
I hope to have provided a small insight on different ways one can brew tea.