It is a simple fact that “Better Coffee Depends on Good Grinding” which almost every coffee lover will agree with. The main purpose to grind coffee is to expose the interior of the bean which allows the right amount of oils and flavors to be extracted. As grounded coffee has more surface area to be conatcted with air which leads to quicker oxidization, it is always recommended to grind when ready to brew.
But, HOW ABOUT TEA? Why is this not widely accepted in tea world as what has been done in coffee industry? Put aside that full leafs are in higher grade/ expsensive and dust and fanning are lower graded/ inferior and thus cheapper, will it make a better cup of tea if grinding full leaf tea into powder just before brewing? Ian Bersten, a knowledgable tea expert I knew in LinkedIn, asserts to find a better way of brewing tea.
“Take some large leaf tea – preferably Darjeeling. Put some in a spinnning blade grinder and reduce to dust/fannings in a few seconds. Now brew for NO MORE than 30 seconds and serve with milk and sugar. Now put the same amount of large leaf Darjeeling tea in the pot for 5 minutes and taste . Compare. Now tell teh truth.” by Ian Bersten
While almost everyone in the discussion does not agree with Ian, I must admit Ian’s idea seems quite appealling to me, especailly when I recall that ancient Chinese already started to grind tea about 2,000 years ago. The tecnique was brought to Japan and became Mocha powder widely known by the world. In Taiwan, we also have Lei Cha, a Haka tranditional tea drink. So I decided to give it a go.
Let’s start the experiment!!!
3 gram whole leaf Ruby Black#18
I took 3 gram Ruby from the sam pouch and grinded into dust and fanning by a blaze grinder
The upper one is brewed with dust and fanning (150ml water for 30 sec as suggested by Ian )
The lower cup is brewed with whole leaf ruby (150ml water for 3 mins as what I usually do)
- Color: Light Amber for dust and fanning/ Deep Amber for whole leaf
- Aroma: I would say dust and fanning has slightly stronger aroma
- Flavor: Whole leaf has more flavor in palate as more tannin is released/ No bitterness/ astrigency in dust and fanny
- Body: Lighter body for dust and fanning
- Overall: As I prefer more body/ more tannin in mouth (as what I like for wines), I would say the whole leaf is still my choice in this competition. However, I am quite impressed that how much aroma could be released in dust and fanning for that short of brewing time. If increasing the brewing time from 30 sec to 45 sec, maybe I will make another choice.