Friday, August 08, 2014
My Brew This Morning
I have a mix of folks who read this blog...first, of course, there's Mom and other family and friends. :-) Then there are people who enjoy Afternoon Tea. In addition, some readers are interested in Chinese or Japanese style tea. And then there are the "all of the above" readers. I try to write about a mix of topics, to hit on something interesting for everybody now and again.
Today's article is for those of you who are interested in dipping your teapot in the water of "small pot" or "gong fu" style brewing. I wanted to show how easy it is to get started. This is how I brewed this morning. (Here's another similar posting.) I'm brewing an Alishan tea (a high mountain oolong, very aromatic). I pre-warmed this small little porcelain pot in a bowl and poured out the liquid into the bowl so that the pot could sit in the bath and stay warm while it brewed. The towel is used to blot the bottom of the teapot before I pour. I'm not using a serving pot here (also called a "fairness pot") because I'm pouring straight into my cup. That's it!
And then again, there's always more. A few tips:
* This style of brewing uses a lot more tea and less water (in proportion) than a typical large teapot. That means the steeping happens fast and you'll want to pour off quickly. I typically pour off the first brew between 30 seconds and 1 minute, depending on the tea.
* These little pots each have their own pouring quirks. Play around until you know how to minimize drips. And keep a towel handy. Drips happen.
* For a starter pot, I suggest glass or porcelain. That way, you can use it with a variety of teas.
* In the brewing style above, I will generate a fair bit of water in my small bowl quickly and need to dump it into the sink or a larger container.
* Be sure to look at the leaf - both dry and wet. And smell the tea. These things will enhance your enjoyment.
* Try to brew in this style when you can focus on the experience.
* Just Go For It! The spirit of gong fu brewing is to practice, learn and improve.
What other questions do you have or what other tips would you give?