Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lung ching gongfu cha

When I say gongfu, I'm not referring to the actual Chinese tea ceremony, but I'm referring to the specific brewing style that they employ in their ritual, which is using a lot of tea leaves with short steeping times. If I used an actual gong fu tea ceremony for brewing my tea, I would have to get up at 6AM in order to leave the house at 8. An English type of brewing would be to use 1 teaspoon of tea per 6-8 ounce cup and to steep for about 3 minutes if it's a black/red tea. Gongfu brewing style is to use about 3-5 grams of tea per 100 ml and to steep for about 5 seconds, and then add an additional 5 seconds steeping time for each infusion after the first.
So, I filled my little mug infuser up halfway with lung ching, covered the leaves with water, and then steeped for 5 seconds. While I wasn't expecting the increased complexity of the tea, it was a nice benefit. I also wasn't expecting the tea to take on an extremely vegetal taste. I just think I got bad tea; it smells fairly green while dry, but it also has a sweet, honey type smell that reminds me of hay. I think all of this translates into a grassy taste in the cup. Which translates into me not buying anymore of this swill. I'll be trying keemun with the gongfu brewing next.
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