Brewing Cream of Assam and tea brewing in general


I recently bought some Cream of Assam 2006 harvest (Satrupa Estate) and I find that when brewed according to instructions (boiling water for ~3 to 5 minutes) I would get bitterness almost overpowering the sweet tabaco like taste. I tried decreasing the water temp by allowing kettle to cool 2 minutes before brewing and brewing 3 to 3 1/2 minutes too weak.
I found so far that a full boil and a 1 1/2 minute brew produced an acceptable balanced brew. I want to shoot for outstanding does anyone have any suggestions. I did do a search on the group but couldn't get much info.
It seems that brewing instructions on more packages than not of quality teas will often turn these otherwise good to great teas into dreck making you wonder if they are any different than low quality mass produced powder in tea bags. They usually say somthing to the effect "add boiling water and brew forever" I have seen this on bags of high quality chinese green teas that should be brewed at temps in the 170 deg F to 180 deg F range as well as others. Thanks to post on this news group I was able to learn the proper temp range for these teas and they are great when brewed according to the good advice of some of the posters who have done it themselves.
I know every one has different tastes but a lot of these teas seem to all have the same overpowering bitterness when brewed according to package instructions except for a few black teas that I found came out well with boiling water and long brew times.
My point is I hope to aviod re-inventing the wheel, is there a good source of brewing information for the many different types of teas that I can refere to or perhaps download so I can improve on rather than re-invent the already invented. This newsgroup has been one of my best sources by the way but I am thinking maybe a brewing encyclopedia that discusses the most popular methods, tastes and flavours prefered most, vs traditional and less popular. I found the gong fu posts facinating.
Any comments thoughts or good ideas are appreciated
Reply to
opother

What is your baseline reference for the taste of this tea? If it is a new tea then you break it in like a new car. If it is a familiar tea then expect problems with used cars. Of all the variables for Indian teas I solve most problems by using more tea and less brewing times. If a tea is that finicky then it could be the freshness. Not in the sense of directly from the estate to you but exposed to the environment somewhere along the line. Brewing parameters are more or less. Everyone has a different bell curve. I just recently changed my brewing technique for teas with multiple infusions. I now leave a little soak for the next pot.
Jim
Reply to
Space Cowboy

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