Blog 155: How Many Infusions Can You Get Out of A Good Tea?
Today is China’s mid-autumn festival. We wish you and your family a perfect life just like the roundest moon on mid-autumn day.
As we all know, a good tea product can deliver more tea soup.
For example, a cheap tea only last fewer than 3 infusions while a good one can deliver more than 10 infusions (which is more than 1 liter of tea). By comparison, the cheap tea is actually more expensive in terms of price to tea ratio.
Normally, with a standard Gaiwan, good oolong tea, black tea, and white tea products can last more than 10 infusions. (Green tea products will not be discussed in this blog because green tea is steeped, not infused.)
However, some tea lovers complain that when drinking tea at home, their teas don’t always last as many infusions as they were in tea stores. Sometimes they can get about 8 infusions, but sometimes they can only get fewer than 5.
After a thorough investigation, we’ve determined the culprit. Interestingly, the cause has nothing to do with tea. It’s more about our tea-drinking habit and choice of teaware.
Typically, there’re 3 major factors that can affect the number of infusions: the amount of tea leaves used; choice of teaware; the steeping time.
1. The amount of tea leaves used
Most premium tea products are packaged in standardized sizes (white tea and black tea: 5g, oolong tea: 7g-8g). These sizes are designed for a standard Gaiwan. When using a significantly smaller or bigger Gaiwan (<110ml or >150ml), we need to adjust the amount of tea leaves accordingly.
Putting too little leaves in Gaiwan directly affects the taste, the aroma, and the endurance of a tea. The unbalanced water to tea ratio would ultimately lead to fewer infusions.
2. Choice of teaware
Your choice of teaware can also affect the number of infusions.
There’re 2 types of teawares we need to avoid.
First, we need to avoid teawares that doesn’t separate tea leaves from water after an infusion, aka those teawares used for steeping (such as large tea pots).
Second, china is always the best material for teaware, especially for Gaiwan. Clay pots have a “double air hole” structure that absorbs smells. Using clay pots can reduce the life of your premium tea products.
3. The steeping time
Let’s make it clear: good teas shouldn’t be steeped (except green tea).
A good quality tea should be able to produce tastes and aromas instantly. Once dry leaves are infused with hot water, tea should come out straightaway.
If we force tea leaves to steep, they’d suffocate and release lots bitter nutrient substances that have a negative impact of the taste.
They correct way is to pour tea out immediately and leave no water in Gaiwan before the next infusion. Doing this can greatly extend the life of your tea and help you get the maximum number of infusions.
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