Here you will learn different ways to properly brew high quality Chinese tea. Following these rules, you will get maximum pleasure and release the best tea properties – aroma, taste, aftertaste, and effects. The simple rules are relevant in the case when there is not enough space or time for a full Chinese tea ceremony set.
1.Use freshly boiled water. The water should be boiled once until some waves and bubbles appear. Be aware that the water should be boiled but should not be un-boiled. We recommend using soft spring water or soft bottled water. Fine quality filtered water is suitable as well. Brew green, yellow and white teas with a little cooled boiling water, 75-80 С degrees or 167-176 F degrees. Oolong and Puer can be brewed using 95 C hot boiled water.
2. Preheat the tea ware with hot water before infusion.
3. Tea can be brewed 5-10 times according to your preferences. The number of repeated infusions depends on the quantity of dry tea leaves and the tea pot volume.
4. Add hot water to the teapot. Brew 2-3 seconds and pour the tea cups with the liquor.
5. Don’t leave hot water in the teapot to avoid over brewing.
6. Drink tea hot or warm. Cold tea is harmful.
7. Following the above rules will let you enjoy the tea taste, flavor and get all the health benefits.
So we recommend this way to brew tea, according to the rules above:
1. Boil the water till first bubbles come up.
2. Pour the water in the thermos.
3. Take porcelain, ceramic or Yixing clay teapot or gaiwan*. Volume of tea ware should be equal to volume of tea cups. For example, if you have a tea cup of 100 ml and three persons having tea, you take a tea pot of 300 ml.
4. Preheat the teapot, teacups and pitcher with hot water or hot steam.
5. Put dry tea leaves into a presentation vessel or a nice plate.
6. So, we have: a thermos of boiled water, empty and warmed brewing teapot, warmed cups, dry tea leaves**.
7. Fill the warm teapot with dry tea leaves.
8. Pour hot water to the teapot and almost immediately fill the tea cups or pitcher with the liquor. There should not be any water in the teapot after pouring the liquor into the cups.
9. Don’t drink the first infusion. It is used to wash the tea leaves.
10. Brew tea to your taste, more or less strong and as many times as you like.
11. Use a tea tray, it makes the tea ceremony more cozy.
* gaiwan is a special cup with lid
** The quantity of tea leaves depends on the volume of tea ware and the type of tea. Generally, use 3-6 grams for one slop brewing (eg, 3-4 grams of green teas and 5-6 grams of oolong). There is no exact rule about this, you are free to experiment. If you find that the tea brew is too strong (or is too bitter or astringent), put next time less tea leaves, or infuse quickly (infuse each brew less time). If, on the other hand, the tea brew is too light, keep it longer with warm water. Fill up or delay tea leaves during brewing is not necessary. It would upset the process of tea making, so the tea loses many advantages. Brew the tea following these rules a few times and soon you will get the nuances of this process.
If you brew compressed Puer, keep in mind that it takes a bit longer to get softer than the loose tea. This is especially true for pressed "tea nuggets". This tea should be infused a bit longer the first time. The best way to cook these kinds of tea is to boil it in a special pot on an open fire. It is easy to crush the compressed Puer with special knife for Puer or just using your fingers. Crush Puer cha bing carefully and keep the entire tea leaves.
Also, there are many ways for "fast infusion" using a minimum tea ware. Although, such methods are not ideal, nevertheless it allows simplifying the brewing when you have no time for a full tea ceremony. This is, in our opinion, the most convenient method (best for Puer):
1. Boil water till the first bubbles
2. Rinse large glass teapot (1-1.3 L) with boiling water
2. Put 10-20 grams of tea *
3. Brew about 5-8 minutes *
4. Pour liquor using a tea mesh in a thermos (only tea drink, no tea leaves)
5. Next, you can take the thermos when you go out, or drink it bit by bit when you like it.
So the tea remains hot for a long time and it does not get over brewed.
* Depending on the tea variety and your taste
Brewing in Tea infuser
Tea infuser is a special tea ware. It combines three items used in the "tea ceremony" – A tea pot, a pitcher and a tea mesh. Using a tea infuser allows you to properly brew quality tea in the office or when you want to brew tea with a minimal amount of dishes and there is no time for long lasting tea party.
How to brew tea in the tea infuser:
1. Rinse the tea infuser with hot water.
2. Open the top lid and put the dry tea leaves in the upper section of the tea infuser.
3. Pour water at relevant temperature according to the selected tea variety.
4. Press the button on the lid of the kettle, according to tea brew rules or when you feel the liquor is ready. The valve of the upper section opens and the liquor moves into the lower section of the kettle. Tea leaves remain in the upper section of the kettle.
5. Pour liquor into a personal cup. Repeat the steps described in paragraphs 3 and 4 as long as you want to drink or select tea variety brewed.
When you cannot use the above methods, it is possible to make tea just in the cup or in a typical large kettle. In this case, it is important not to get tea over brewed and as soon as the liquor is ready pour it into a cup. If the tea stays too long with hot water, it may get too bitter. The better way to know the tea is to follow your feelings and learn how to feel the tea. Note that simplified methods of brewing tea cannot fully release its properties. This is especially significant for expensive tea - high quality Oolong, Puer, white and yellow tea.
Read how to make tea on an open fire in this article.
How to make tea in gaiwan properly:
In the video below you can see the different ways of tea infusion. Harmony of the tea party is very personal and each tea master has its own approach on how to create it. Those, who tries to make dogma in tea ceremony makes it dead. There are no canons about the "smoothness" of the movement, placement of the tea ware, clothes, and other external attributes. All these elements have much less significance than the internal state of the master. Despite the importance of details, you should always remember that the most important is the attention to the tea and processes.