I drink almost entirely loose leaf tea and am willing to pay a fairly high price for some of my favorites. So you could say I’m kind of into tea. But one thing many “serious” tea drinkers do is steep their loose leaf multiple times, varying steep time with each successive infusion. With a few notable exceptions I don’t really enjoy this, despite trying many times with a large variety of teas. While the claim is that the flavor “evolves” and it brings out different flavors in the tea over time, I find for the most part that it mostly just makes the flavor weaker and weaker.
Some oolongs are an exception, and if I take the time to really go through numerous short, small infusions and enjoy each one, then it is definitely worth it. But in most other cases I find it’s just not for me. I think this changes the value proposition for some of the pricier teas, too. Many gyokuros, for example, are $30+ for a mere 50g, and that can be a pricey cup for a single steep. But it is so far the way it’s most enjoyable to me…
It’s also interesting that, from what I’ve seen, black teas are seldom suggested to be handled in this way. I don’t drink a lot of black tea myself, so maybe I just haven’t paid attention to where it’s described as a practice. But I do feel like it’s more indicated in green and oolong varieties, and I wonder why.
Do you do the multi-steep? Any favorite teas to do this with?