Grandpa style brewing actually is not as mysterious and fancy as it sounds.
And I’m sure we’ve all drank tea grandpa style before without even knowing it.
When we are introduced to a quality loose leaf we are introduced to gong fu cha as the undoubtedly best way to get the most out of the tea leaves that have gone through the long journey of getting to us.
Yes, over many many years there has been constant tea tasting conducted where the leaf ratio was balanced with the cup size ratio and the heat ratio, all to bring us what is thought to be the best way of extracting all of the best qualities of a loose leaf. The perfect formula that will leave you aghast.
When you travel to China you might see the majority of people putting the same loose leaf that you traveled overseas to acquire just to drink in the best way possible... into big cups and pouring it over with boiling water, and on top of that letting it sit for preposterous amounts of time. And you might just think "How could they!?".
Yet many might be surprised that a big majority of people in China actually don’t drink their tea in the gong fu style. Instead, they will enjoy it in the more casual grandpa style.
So what are the key points of grandpa style?
Instead of using a gaiwan or teapot for the tea, it is brewed in a big cup. This is where many of the big mug tea lovers can rejoice!No strainers or teabags are used either. Instead, the tea leaf is dropped directly into the cup and poured over with hot water. Without much attention being given to the perfect leaf ratio or water temperature.
After 5 or 10 or 15 minutes — yes, this part doesn’t matter either — you drink the tea without discarding the tea leaf. In general, you stop drinking the tea when about 1/3 of the cup is left and then you add more water. This keeps going until you feel the taste is becoming too weak or until you don't wish to drink any more tea. And even when the taste becomes weaker, a small amount of new tea leaf can be added to the mug.
Oh, and not all tea leaves will sink to the bottom, some might float to the top. So we just try to adjust ourselves to drinking it.
Grandpa style is a good choice for when you don’t have the time for a full traditional tea ceremony or perhaps you’re on the go or at work.
Usually, only white, yellow and green teas are brewed grandpa style because they don’t require as high loose leaf ratio as do oolongs, pu-erh and red teas to get the best taste. Although there is still a big community of tea drinkers that actually prefer to drink these teas grandpa style.
So if you’ve ever brewed some tea gong fu style and found you couldn’t get the taste out of it that you were hoping for, just try grandpa style! It might just open new flavor profiles that you weren’t expecting.
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