The Triple-Threat Position with your Whole Leaf Tea
Rinsing or washing your tealeaves doesn’t have to be an exact science but I do think that it’s an important process that’s worth taking.The rinsing technique is most commonly used in gongfu tea preparation as a means to cleanse and purify the steeping vessel as well as the leaf before starting the actual infusion of the leaf itself.Here’s a great guideline that you can use thanks to our friends at Imperial Tea Court if you’re wanting to learn more about the intricacies of gongfu tea preparation. http://www.imperialtea.com/classroom/GongfuPrep.htm
For those of you that don’t use traditional Chinese tea ware to prepare your loose tea, however, you can still easily employ this method with your tea.
I find that our Steepin’ Cup is a really easy vessel that you can use to employ this method.Here are the quick steps that I take prior to infusing my leaf…
Simply portion your whole leaf tea into the infuser, drop the infuser into the cup, pour your hot water to a level where it just starts to cover the leaf, and cover with lid.I sometimes utilize a swirling method at this point but you can also just let the leaf soak for 10-15 seconds.After that time period simply invert the lid, remove the infuser with leaf and place on inverted lid.Dump the rinse water from your cup.
As my old friend John Moreau used to say when I squared up to shoot a jump shot at Camp Virginia, “Now YOU ready!”
That’s right!Exposing your leaf for 10-15 seconds prior to your infusion means that you’ll have the following benefits to work with:a preheated vessel, a clean leaf, and a leaf that’s already warmed to a temperature close to the tea that you’ll consume.
It’s almost akin to the triple-threat position in basketball…Kobe Bryant demonstrates nicely here.But instead of being in a position to pass, shoot, or dribble the basketball you’re now in a position to steep, drink, and be merry with your tea!How’s that for a stretchable (but still ballpark) analogy!
You should know that the rinsing technique is most commonly used with Oolong and Pu’er teas but I find that it works well with all of the teas that I drink.In fact, it’s become my little pre-ritual technique for almost every cup or pot that I make now.Besides…it’s all about putting yourself in a position that produces the best tasting and most enjoyable cup.Take note Kobe.
So try these simple steps before you start your infusion and put yourself in the triple-threat position with your whole leaf tea every time!