Insani-TEA Round 2: Brewing an ENTIRE 200g Tea Cake
Last year, I brewed an entire 50g tea cake while trying to follow Cwyn’s 'Death By Tea' Blog as a guide. However, in her initial experiment, she brewed a 100g gourd from the White2Tea Tea Club. While always being unsettled at the fact that I didn’t quite reach the same heights she did, I decided to do it right this time by brewing an entire 200g tea cake of White2Tea’s 2021 Green HYPE.
On October 2nd, on the 2nd season of my Instagram LIVE talk show ‘Blissfully Tea Drunk With…’, I broke out the tea cake and began the mega-brew!
However, on the next installment of my LIVE talk show, I continued the experiment by having Nicole Wilson of ‘Tea For Me Please’ join me to try and wrap up the session. However, what took place during that period of time? How did it all turn out?
Let’s dig in!
Dimensions: 200g beeng for a 1500 ml coffee craft (roughly 1g per 7.5ml)
Water Temperature: 200ºf
Amount of Water: 12.5 gallons
Storage: When not brewing, I placed a lid on the coffee craft, before storing it in a gallon zip-lock baggie in the fridge.
On day 1, while LIVE on my talk show, I broke out the cake and broke it into several chunks. While breaking apart the beeng, my tea-pic Handke broke when reaching the beeng-hole. After brewing several infusions LIVE, I later took a break and continued to brew this tea throughout the day.
After six infusions of flash-steeps, the tea kept quickly expanding and kept becoming stronger and stronger. With a sixth flash-steep, and due to the incredibly high leaf-to-water ration, the tea was still so strong that it was almost undrinkable.
Note: You can watch the beginning of this brew HERE on my IG-LIVE talk show!
On day 2, the tea kept expanding to the point that the coffee craft was now jam-packed. I tried to even wedge my pinky finger in it, and it wouldn’t even budge. Even with several more flash infusions, the tea was still insanely strong.
Day three looked like day 4, except, my stomach was still having issues processing the concentrated tea. Given this was such a fresh sheng, it was still very acidic.
When looking at the coffee craft, my anxiety instantly spiked.
I only did one flash steep. The taste was becoming less bitter, however, was still so strong that it was still hard to drink. By this point, I had to buy an antacid.
Now with a lot of anxiety, I also only did one flash steep. I didn’t want to touch it. I was sick of it and yet, it was barely evening out.
After having anxiety and forcing myself to brew this again, I was still too overwhelmed to keep going...
By day 7, the next episode of my Instagram-LIVE talk show aired where I tried to wrap up the session with tea-blogger Nicole Wilson, aka Tea For Me Please. While on my LIVE, I did several infusions with Nicole. However, I also began to notice that the flash-steeps were beginning to settle down after a bit.
While on the show, I even tried to dump the tea upside-down to show how jam-packed the tea was in the coffee craft.
However, after ending the episode, I was determined to not give up and let this session win. I then boiled my kettle, poured it over the tea leaves, and let it sit in the craft for thirty minutes. With hopes of diluting the tea, and with frustration that the fucker was never going to completely brew, I finally managed to kill enough of this tea’s strength to bring it back down to a normal level. After the 30 minute infusion, I infused it one more time.
To my surprise, it was smooth, pleasant, and enjoyable. I was prepared to toss it at that point, but instead decided to keep it for one more day….
Note: You can watch day 7 HERE on my IG-LIVE talk show!y
On day eight, I woke up refreshed and was ready to brew this tea to the end. With determination, and with fear that keeping the leaves any longer would induce an ugly episode of food poisoning, I kept chugging along. Especially with day 7’s 30-minute infusion, this tea quickly declined in strength.
By the end of the night, I infused it for one more time and the leaves were finally spent. With a sigh of relief and tears of joy, the nightmare brew was finally over.
When digging this tea out of the coffee craft, I had to use an ice pic to pry out the leaves. They had expanded so much in the tight space that it took over four minutes to finally pry it out. And when prying it out, I managed to isolate the beeng-hole. To my surprise, it was still mostly intact and was dry in the very center.
When Cwyn did this on her blog, she used a much larger vessel to brew her 100g gourd. Despite using the largest possible vessel I owned, the leaf-to-water ratio was still insanely high. Because of this high leaf-to-water ratio, the majority of my infusions were flash-steeps to help fight this tea’s strength. If it wasn’t for doing a 30-min brew at the end of day-7, this very well could have kept going for several more days.
Overall, this is an experiment I’ll never be repeating again. For starters, 2021 Hype was an amazing tea under normal circumstances. When doing the mega-brew, I really felt like this tea didn’t have a real chance to shine and be as enjoyable as I know it to be. To add, there was so much tea and water, especially for how acidic fresh sheng was, my acid reflux started to negatively impact my health.
If I were to do this again, I’d make sure I’d have a large group of people to share with. I’d also make sure I’d have a 3,000ml giawan so that the infusions would be more normal (or, close to what normal is?).
I will now chalk this up to one of the crazy-as-hell stunts I did on my talk show ‘Blissfully Tea Drunk With…’, and will make for a fun memory for the future to come.
Except, I’m burned out on sheng, so I’ll need a good while before this memory can start becoming fun again….
You can watch my talk show ‘Blissfully Tea Drunk With…’ LIVE Saturdays on my Instagram @theoolongdrunk.
~ The Oolong Drunk
“Blissfully Tea Drunk"