Experiment – Tieguanyin in bokchoy water

The title says it all: I did an experiment with Tieguanyin (oolong tea): I boiled some bokchoy for dinner, then I used the boiled bokchoy water to steep the tea. This experiment sounds odd and frugal, which is partly true: I’m frugal with my time and effort, I’m always too lazy to even boil water, but we all know that different waters taste differently, which would affect the tea. So instead of using clean tap water every time, why not use flavored water? Bokchoy water is a safe trial because bokchoy is a leaf vegetable, and the type of Tieguanyin I have is also pretty green (not high in oxidation). The expected flavor should be vegetal and light; basically, two green leaves wouldn’t fight each other in the cup.

The water was first let cool to about at most 70 C (judging from the rapidity of the steam). The tea was steeped for about 90 s, which sounds too long for a light green oolong, but because of the sweetness from the bokchoy, the tea turned out just fine. Not bitter, not dry. Shorter steeping might have rendered the tea too weak and dominated by the bokchoy. The taste is light, nutty, with an additional umami flavor, somewhat similar to sencha without the seaweed brininess. It’s soothing and appropriate to accompany a main course.

Experiment: Success. :-)

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