Floating Leaves Tea Home ---Shiuwen's Blog!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Frequest Asked Questions: Tea Quantity and Brewing Time

In my last post, I talked about the acceptable water temperature to brew Taiwanese Oolong. This Saturday, two new customers came in and asked to buy a tea thermometer. I told them that they don't need one and then invited them to have some tea with me.

They didn't know what to think of my answer, but if you experiment with good oolong, you will see that it can withstand hot water. I hope you all had a chance to brew your Taiwanese Oolong with boiling water and compared it to the way you normally brewed.

I'm also asked a lot about how long I brew my oolongs for. I would say around 30 seconds; more time is added for subsequent infusions. Every season when I receive new oolongs, I will try them out and then adjust the timing. Once again, weather is different every season, which makes tea different every season. I suggest you brew your tea the way you normally like to do it and then adjust the brewing time.

The amount of dry leaves that I use: I don't measure my tea. I will use a scale to weigh the tea when I am tasting oolongs in the tea competition style or the bowl method. But for those people who are just getting into gongfu style tea, here are the amounts of tea I usually use (I measured them today to make sure): rolled taiwanese oolongs- 8 grams; Baozhong- 6 grams; Oriental Beauty- 5 grams.

I hope so far you are getting a clear message from me. Be adventurous with your tea and don't be afraid of experimenting or making mistakes. For beginners, I hope I have offered you enough information to start. When you read things about "there is only one correct way to make Oolong tea", please ignore them. It's narrow-minded to say that. While we want to learn this and that about tea, please keep the Dong Ding farmer's question in mind: "When you drink a tea, can you tell if it's good?"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Oriental Beauty has Arrived!

The 2009 new Oriental Beauty just arrived a couple of days ago, and it arrived at the perfect time. Just this past week, we went back to the usual Seattle weather: cool. I have been craving a darker Oolong recently, and then the new Oriental Beauty arrived! It really hit the spot.

This new one is darker and deeper in flavor and it offers more infusions than the previous season's. Come try it out!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One Year Old

Floating Leaves Tea has been at its new location for one year! It has been a great move and I love to be able to drink tea and to meet with all of you. Thank you for your continuous support!

All the merchandise will be 15% off in the next two weeks, until the end of August. Also, we have tea samplers out so it will be a great way to try more teas at an affordable price. Please tell your friends.

As always, I am looking forward to having tea with you!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Frequent Asked Questions: Water Temperature

A lot of people have asked me some very good questions about tea. Many of their questions have been similar, so I thought it would be good to post my answers on the blog, since you might be curious about these questions as well.

One of the most asked questions is about water temperature. "What temperature should I use to brew my tea?"

My answer is to try out different ones and figure out what you think will make the most delicious tea. However, ANY GOOD OOLONG TEA CAN HANDLE BOILING WATER. I am not suggesting that you always have to brew tea with boiling water, or that you have to use a boiling temperature at all. I notice I often use non-boiling water to make my Taiwanese Oolongs because boiling water burns my tongue.

I heard that there is some debate over water temperature for Taiwanese Oolongs. Some people strongly believe that Taiwanese Green Oolong can't take boiling water. That's not what I see in Taiwan. Most Taiwanese people I've met use boiling water. Some people use a very specific temperature for Oolongs and insist that theirs is the only correct temperature. I respect their decisions for their own tea, but they shouldn't say other people are wrong. Each person should brew the way that makes the tea taste best for themselves.

I often hear this statement when I visit farmers and tea people in Taiwan, " Tea is alive. We have to be flexible with it". Weather changes all the time, so how can we use the same method to make our teas?

Try out different temperatures! You will be surprised to see what the same tea can offer you.

Feel free to comment on this. And if you have more questions about Taiwanese Oolongs, send them to me.