Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cool Monkey

This is the organic Golden Monkey that I purchased from The Meaning of Tea a couple months ago. Like most black teas I brew it with boiling water, about one teaspoon of dry leaf per cup, and steep it for about 3 minutes. It always turns out delicious.

But what if I were to brew it cooler?

Excuse me? Why bother?
Just keep using boiling water.
It is a black tea after all.

Who are you?

I'm one of the voices in your head.
You can call me the "voice of reason."

Uh... alright... but I just have this strange feeling that it might be really good.

You're going to waste good tea.

Yeah, but how will I know for sure if I don't at least try?

OK. Suit yourself... but when you end up with a cup of
"warm swamp tea" don't say I didn't warn you.

Alright then. I'm going to do it!
Let's start with about 155° F for 7 minutes.

Looks good. Smells good.

(sips tea) Whoa... this turned out really sweet.
The peach and honey elements have been turned up to eleven.

(sips tea) You're right. I do like this.
It's mellow, clean and fragrant.

OK. Let's go cooler!
Second infusion will be 135° F for 10 minutes.

It's ready. (sips tea) Yum.
This is even sweeter.
How is that even possible!?

It's pretty good but this level of sweetness should be balanced by something.
I miss the astringent notes in the traditional brewing.

I hear you.
Plus the aftertaste seems to be compromised.

Lets go even cooler.
This time I'll do 120° F for thirty minutes.

Are you insane?
(thirty minutes later)

It's ready! The color is much lighter.

Well this is our third infusion after all.

(sips tea) It's smooth as silk... and has tons of ripe stone-fruit and honey notes.
It almost tastes like a cold brew of silvertip oolong.

I'm surprised that I like it... but I'd still much prefer boiling the water for this tea.
Also, I prefer to drink a hotter cup of tea.

But you've got to admit this was an interesting experiment.
I think it proves my theory that:
"When it comes to tea there are no right or wrong ways to do things."

I'm not sure if I agree with that.

1 comment:

A Student Of Tea said...

Wonderfully humorous post! I had a good hearty laugh - mostly at what I recognized of myself in this. Yeah, the workings of the mind are like that ...

In terms of tea, I found similar things with yunnan black teas, although I didn't take it to such extreme long steeps.
For some reason I never wanted to brew them Grandpa Style (the voice of reason ...), but now I wonder ...? Because this might just have a similar effect as longer/ cooler steeps... Think I'll try out tomorrow!