Monday, March 22, 2010

Brewing Wuyi Shui Xian Oolong with Yixing Teapot

5g of a 50 years old, aged Yancha. The tea master who roasted it 50 years ago brewed it up using a gaiwan, just to show me the tea foundation. But I prefer using a yixing to further enjoy the rich yet subtle moment. 

Preheating the teapot with heated water in this brewing method is very important. All vessels should be cleaned and preheated. Here is the Step-by-Step how-tos:

1. Fill the yixing pot with fully boiled water, replace the lid.
2. Pour out the water into the fairness cup (serving vessel). After any remaining moisture has evaporated off the pot surface, pour the water from the fairness cup back over the lid and the exterior of the pot.
3. Fill the teapot up to 1/3 of it's volume with the tea leaves. Softly tap the body of the pot with the palm of your hand to settle the tea leaves to create an even surface. Please remember the teapot will be hot and this step requires quick but gentle movements.
4. The heated leaves are ready to be rinsed. Slowly pour more water (fully boiled and left to cool) into one corner of the pot until it overflows.

5. Replace the lid and immediately pour the rinse into a fairness cup.
6. Fill the drinking cup with the rinse. Pour the remaining rinse back over the pot, avoiding the air hole in the lid.
7. Once the pot has dried, slowly pour more water into the pot for your first brew.
8. Fill until the water level rises above the teapot opening and use your lid to skim off any foam.

9. Replace the lid. Pour water over the pot to seal in the heat. Discard the rinse from the drinking cup at the same time.
10. Steep the first infusion for about 10 seconds. Pouring into a fairness cup from a little height to help oxygenate the liquor.
11. Serve the infusion from the fairness cup into the teacup.
12. If there is any remaining liquor, pour it over the pot to build up the patina.


Herb Master said...

Step 8 - always challenges me, sometimes the bubbles are greater than others, sometimes the leaves insist on floating right to the top.

I have to be delicate so that in removing bubbles I do not also remove leaves. All the while eating into the infusion time if I am too slow.

To partially remove bubbles, I perform the same action with the rinse (when I do a rinse).

Some yixing lids are easier to use than others, especially when replacing a lid with a deep insert. This can cause a significant overflow when the pot has been brim filled, and another opportunity to lose leaves. If not brim filled then the skimming process is much trickier.

toki said...

Herb Master - I do share the same challenge sometimes.

If you do have more time dedicated to a brewing session, perhaps building up a pot with smaller, crashed leaves at the bottom and larger leaves on top (which act as a filler). Pour the water in slower until overflow. That could easily flow out the bubbles and return the lid safely without removing the leaves.

Let me know if this works. Enjoy! ~T

Herb Master said...

The slow overflow method works quite well with lower leaf densities because steep time is longer and the couple of seconds allowing it to slowly overflow can either be subtracted from the steep time, or does not prevent a great threat to the brew extraction.

Even the a few leaves insist on floating and trying to crawl over the rim.

The greater problem occurs with high density packing and the need for a 'flash' rinse, followed by 'flash' infusion.

If only I had the dainty hands of so many chinese tea maidens, and the skilful dexterity of many wizened old tea masters,

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