Gongfu infusion parameters, general
Approach 1: taking it easy
Most people making tea using small teawares never really measure the amount of tealeaves, the infusion duration or the water temperature they use. Most do not even know the capacity of the infusion ware. This is a great way to enjoy tea — taking it easy. We do that too.
However, most have not optimized the taste potential of the teas they are using. In another word, a casual approach does not necessarily, actually most certainly not, helps one to experience the best of a selection.
For example, too high a temperature most certainly kill a delicate green tea. Too low, on the other hand, would never give you the full aroma of most oolongs, or the sweetness of post-fermented and black teas. But how low? or how high? Too short the infusion duration would not be able to extract enough dissolvable substances and the liquid tastes watery. Add a lot more leaves, and you are further away from the true taste profile of a selection.
approach 2: the adventurous
Variables in using the gongfu approach varies greatly. Because of the much shortened infusion time, the influence of other factors plays a much larger role in the infusion effect. The material and size of the infusion ware, the manner water comes into contact with the tealeaves, the ambient temperature, and, most importantly, the quality of the tealeaves, etc — all affect the decision as to what is the optimum temperature and duration of the infusion and what is the best possible water to tealeaves ratio.
We shall discuss these variables in detail as we progress with the advancement of the gongfu infusion talks. Meanwhile, please use this following table as a general reference:
Infusion ware full capacity: 200 ml(1)
Again, please remember that this is a starting point for your experiments. Each selection is different and may require fine tuning. This is part of the fun of making fine tea with the gongfu approach.
For references on the tea varieties, you may go to the corresponding category orientation pages or the tea directories for a quick visual check:
1. When filled to the rim. This capacity is given as a reference. It is recommended one starts with a 180~160ml infusion ware for ease of handling and mastery of the effects. Pls adjust the amount of tealeaves accordingly.
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