Brewing tea is, at its heart, very simple. There are several basic steps:
1. Heat good-tasting water.
2. Add tea (about one tablespoon per cup).
3. Steep for 2 to 3 minutes, taste.
4. Strain and enjoy!
5. Re-steep for more pleasure.
There are variations according to the type of tea. Each package of tea that we sell has detailed brewing instructions on the back. As a general rule, please pay attention to the following:
Teapot: Choose a teapot, covered cup, or glass, and preheat with hot water. Use a strainer to prevent leaves from entering the cup or spout.
Tea: Brew teas loose, not in a small tea ball or infuser. This allows the leaves to open fully and release all their flavor. We use 3 grams of tea for 6 ounces of water. Whole-leaf teas vary in density, so use one teaspoon for compact teas and up to 2 tablespoons for voluminous teas.
Water: Start with good-tasting water, such as spring or filtered. Avoid tap water; it may contain chemicals which will affect the taste of the tea. Don't overboil, as this depletes the oxygen in the water and compromises flavor. Do not use boiling water when brewing white or green teas. This will cook the leaves and destroy their delicate flavor.
Suggested Temperatures: White or green teas, well below boiling (170-185 F). Oolongs (185-210 F). Black teas, just off a boil. Pu-erhs, full rolling boil (212 F).
Steeping Time: Until you are familiar with a particular tea, steep for a minute or two, then try a sip. Pay attention to taste rather than color. When the tea tastes right to you, serve or pour off all the liquid to avoid oversteeping. Most teas are meant to be infused several times. Increase steeping time for subsequent infusions.
Experiment: Feel free to experiment with water temperature, brewing time, and proportion of tea to water. Watch the leaves unfurl and savor the aroma. Remember, our guidelines are just that. Enjoy.
The chart below offers some additional general brewing guidelines when using traditional Asian teaware. For each of these teas, rinse teaware to preheat before brewing.
Less-Oxidized Oolong Tea
Oxidized Oolong Tea
|One half of a gaiwan||One quarter of a gaiwan||One third of a gaiwan or a Yixing teapot||One half of a gaiwan or a Yixing teapot||One quarter of a gaiwan||One third of a gaiwan or a Yixing teapot|
|180 degrees F||170 to 185 degrees F||180 to 210 degrees F||190 to 210 degrees F||210 degrees F, near boiling ||212 degrees F, full, rolling boil|
|30 seconds; add 5 seconds to subsequent infusions||30 seconds; add 5 seconds to subsequent infusions||30 seconds; add 5 seconds to subsequent infusions||30 seconds; add 5 seconds to subsequent infusions||30 seconds; add 5 seconds to subsequent infusions||After rinsing once infuse 30 seconds; add 5 seconds to subsequent infusions|
|Yinzhen Silver Needle, White Peony||Dragon Well, Sencha||Wen Shan Pouchong, Tieguanyin|
Beauty, Twelve Trees Oolong
|Keemun, Darjeeling, Ceylon Orange Pekoe||Tuocha, Beencha|