Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Dark roast Rougui

I already have tasting note for this tea, but this time, I'm brewing it in my yancha pot. I'm curious what kind of an effect yixing will have on the tea. Brewing tea in this pot has always made weak tea, and I thought that the pot would take, but not give back. I eventually figured out that this pot is 150ml, not the advertised 120ml, so, chances are that I didn't use enough leaves. I recently boiled the pot to remove the noticeable clay flavor, and I've been seasoning it with rinse rounds of yancha brewed in a gaiwan. I'm hoping that it will start acting normal so I can start using it whenever I brew yancha.

I used 1g of leaf for every 10ml. 15g of leaves. 14.5g in 150ml would be proportional to my normal 9g in a 100ml gaiwan, so it shouldnt't be much different from gaiwan brewing. Somehow, it seems like 15g crammed the pot with dry leaves. There is about 80-90% leaves in the pot. After a rinse, I brewed it for 5s, 5s, 5s, 10s, 30s, 120s. This pot takes a bit longer than 10 seconds to pour, so the tea had a little extra time to brew while it was being poured out.

1: I can actually taste the cinnamon this time! The charcoal is still present, but at least it's not dominating this time. It also has a fruity, creamy lingering aftertaste. So far, yixing has made an impressive difference.

2: Very strong. It actually tastes just like a strong coffee. I'm just sitting here waiting to see if the flavor changes. Tick tock tick tock, and now it's starting to show up. Some creaminess developed, and is slightly fruity.

3: Charcoal and coffee. Not much else.

4: A little underbrewed. Coffee and charcoal lessened up, and a touch of creamy came out. It leaves a light, fruity aftertaste.

5: Oddly sweet flavor, that is balanced out by a slight bitterness that shows up a few seconds later. Light coffee taste persists.

6: Not much flavor.

This tea is much better the second go around with it. I'm not sure if it was the pot that made the difference, or the greater leaf to water ratio, but at least I know that it's an enjoyable tea, and that the pot will make excellent tea.

Another thing I noticed about the pot was it's ability to keep the leaves warm in between infusions. I try to not let the tea sit long enough between infusions to get cold, and since gaiwan cools fairly fast, it only lasts about an hour. I brewed this tea at a much more leisurely pace, and it took nearly three hours to finish. The leaves did not get cold at all in that three hours.


Salsero said...

This sounds like a much better experience -- if you like coffee! I was sure that I had tasted a cinammon flavor, more so in the Royal Rou Gui than this, but still ...

I used much less tea: 4 grams to 100 ml water in a pot, cool temps (190-200 F), and longer times (starting at 1 min and going up to 3 min in a 7th infusion).

From my 01/25 notes, "Cinnamon decreases over time, sweet remains, more floral, woody, smoky. Smoke declines over time @ 7th infu good, could go more."

Entire reverse of what you did!

Enjoyed your post. Thanks!

Warden said...

Well, I found out why 15g filled up the pot so much. The measuring cup I used to find out how much the pot holds is off by about 25ml. The pot is actually 125ml, like it was advertised as. So, using 15g of leaves in that pot would be like using 12g in a 100ml gaiwan.

I need to try it again using 12g of leaves in the pot.