Response of the Week – August 5

Is it important to cover the brewing leaves with a lid while infusing?

Covering non-herbal, true tea is a matter of choice. Keeping the tea covered maintains a higher brewing temperature. So, if you are using relatively cool water to brew green tea you may want to keep the vessel covered. I sometimes make the mistake of adding water that is a bit too hot for green or yellow tea buds. I then end up leaving the lid off my gaiwan.

For how long may I leave out previously brewed tea leaves before next infusion?

We recommend against leaving green or yellow tea leaves moist at room temperature for more than five hours. Wulong (oolong) tea is a bit more forgiving – you might have a cup for breakfast, then dinner, then breakfast again – but that’s pushing a limit. Black (red) teas and puer are the most forgiving (and the most oxidized with the highest concentration of released and evolved micronutrients). Puer tea can actually be simmered on and off for days! We do this at our teahouse and our guests rave about the flavor.

Our selection of puer is about to explode. Be sure to keep an eye on the website.

Do you have any data supporting health benefits of teas that have been infused several times? Or is it just a tradition?

No. We primarily drink tea because it pleasures us. Not only does it not interfere with our liveliness, it tonifies our being as well. For some tea drinkers, that’s enough.

Every month’s tea newsletter has been chocked full of links to health info published on the internet. We now share this information on our news blog. We do not, however, specifically act as a clearinghouse for health research information. A database search at your local university library should provide you with this info. When you find useful information, feel free to post it on our news blog!

When it says on your site:”Place the required amount of tea into the pot and then half fill it with hot water. Replace the lid and gently rock the pot in a circular motion to warm the sides and rinse the tea. Now, discard the liquid. Place the required amount of tea into the pot and then half fill it with hot water. Replace the lid and gently rock the pot in a circular motion to warm the sides and rinse the tea. Now, discard the liquid.” Do you mean I should first rinse the tea leaves before infusing them? If yes, why?

Thank you for your attentive eye. This particular page is on the slate for editing. It was written by a former webmaster of ours. While the information is correct there are places where it is vague and redundant. Thank you for your sincere inquisitiveness.

Many people wash their tea with hot water if they are sensitive to or object to caffeine. All of the members of the xylene family of chemicals are highly water soluble and can be rinsed out in a brief preliminary hot infusion. However, most true tea – processed from Camellia sinensis – is extremely low in caffeine. This is especially true for whole-leaf teas and less true for CTC, tea findings and tea dust (i.e. anything in a paper tea bag. The latter sorts of tea Seven Cups does not sell, we deal in whole-leaf loose tea only.

Most puer drinkers will also briefly wash their tea leaves, primarily to rinse out dust accumulated in the aging process.

I hope this helps!

– John Douglas Archer (jda)