18 April 2009

30 Infusions with ONE pot of Tea?!?

Yes, and possibly more!

A producer was talking about one of the teas that he made, which he said was especially hardy and could keep brewing.  When I asked him how many brews, he said at least 30.

I thought I had heard wrong.  Thirty in Chinese can sound like "three or four," and I said to him that 3 or 4 infusions wasn't that much, to which he replied, "You didn't hear wrong the first time, I said 30."

This method is primarily for oolongs that have a fair amount of oxidization and more than a light roast, so many high mountain teas, Baozhong, and light Tieguanyin may not be the most suitable candidates.

Maybe you can't get to 30 pots with your tea, but you may be able to get quite a bit more than what you've gotten in the past.

What you'll need:

-tea pot

-tea tweezers

-tea boat/bowl

-clean plate

Put in between 5-8 grams of tea into your pot, pour in boiling water, and brew the tea.  We stayed in the 30-60 second range for our infusions.  Some of you may have read that teas are brewed using only 3 grams, so doubling or tripling the amount is what causes the yield to grow.  When I do Chaozhou style gongfu tea, I use 10+ grams to give it the full body and depth.

After 6-8 infusions, you will experience flavor loss.  Take your tweezers and stick in inside the pot.  Your objective here is to move the leaves around.  Try to move them from one side of the pot to the other, and try to mix them around as you move along the entire interior of the pot.  Once you're done, begin brewing again.

After several more infusions, you may feel that finally, the tea is done and needs to be tossed.  Don't give up!  Take a clean plate and dump out all of your leaves onto it.  Then take your tweezers and fill the pot again with the leaves; really pack it in.  Then start brewing again.  At this stage, I still got many more infusions.  Naturally, they didn't have the complete body and flavor that the initial brews had, but these infusions still had the tea's essence and flavor notes.

I tried this on several types of teas and found that it works better with teas that have more oxidization and more roasting.  Wuyi cliff teas work well with this method.  This also works for a gaiwan, but for me, not as well as with the pot.


  1. Cool. This is very interesting! I certainly will give this a try. Xiexie Rich!

  2. Hey Brett, yah, try it and I hope you discover new levels of tea enjoyment!