Steaming Teapot

I was intrigued recently when I heard a tea expert say that she brewed all oolong teas using boiling water. I wrote to her partner and asked if that was true for the rather green winter oolong varieties too. His answer was interesting:

That’s absolutely correct. We do all our oolongs with boiling water.

Actually, if anything, I try to keep the green ones hotter than the roasted ones. What that means to me is, with roasted ones I’ll let them rest a bit longer between infusions to offgas some of the firey/char smells. But green oolongs seem to prefer quicker re-infusion, to the point where a session of 6 infusions will only last 15 minutes. They don’t need the time to offgas, and the most beautiful high notes need super hot temperatures to extract fully.

I’ve been trying this and I’m glad I have. It not only simplifies brewing, generally, but it does seem to bring the best out of the tea (in my admittedly limited testing so far). I’m slowly working my way toward being better at brewing by feel, which this obviously helps with, though I’m still a weights and measure person most of the time.