Tenacious Tea

At the moment I have Menghai Factory's 2005 "Ba Ji Pu Bing" (Grade 8 Pu'er Cake) in my cup. I'm on my second day of drinking this good, mild shu pu'er.

Yesterday marked 48 hours spent brewing many infusions from the same pot of gao shan leaves before I tossed them out. They probably could have continued juicing, but two days was enough.

8 days ago, I ended a 3 day brewing session of a pot of a Taiwanese oolong, an inexpensive Alishan from a local store.

In attempting to place the reason why one pot of leaves could go so long, the idea that these teas were better than those I encountered previously crossed my mind. These teas, though, were relatively inexpensive, except for the Ba Ji Pu Bing (which is no longer available from online vendors). The oolongs taste good, but have textures and aftertastes that are only acceptable. Better leaf appeared an incomplete answer.

Next I suspected that perhaps my brewing improved. Also not the answer.

Today I realize I am using more leaf and initially brewing faster, in a kind of reverse Grandpa-style, or a hyper gongfu. Later infusions I brew longer, and what I discover is that, with the additional leaf, the teas brew some flavor for at least 2 work days full of drinking, often longer. For about a third more leaves, I get another day of brewing, saving me that other 2/3 that would have been in the next day's pot.

This frugality is truly ridiculous for someone with as much tea on hand as I am grateful to have. I may go back to my old style, simply to make the leaf cycle of jar-teapot-compost move faster. But when I'm lazy and wanting to pay little attention to my tea at the office, this method works great.

Thought I'd pass it on, and I'm curious if anyone else does something similar or to the same end.