Here are a few tips that can help you to brew the perfect cup of tea:
- The standard measurement is approximately two grams for 15 cl water, but the professional tea tasters normally use two grams for every 10 cl water. Adjust the amount according to your preference.
- Fresh and cold water must always be used. Don’t boil it any longer than necessary and never reheat it. Then the water will loose oxygen and the flavour become flat.
- Soft water is better than hard water.
- The water temperature varies and depends on the type of tea. Black tea requires hot water (90–100°C) in order to fully extract the flavour from the leaves. Green tea will however become bitter if the water is too hot. Therefore, you should use a water temperature of about 75–80°C for green tea.
- Steeping time depends on the type of tea and personal preferences. Experiment to find out how you like your tea. In China, the tea leaves are often allowed to remain in the tea cup while they drink. This is however not a good idea if you drink Japanese green tea, since this tea will become too bitter.
- A gaiwan (lidded bowl) with a capacity of about 10–20 centilitres is the ideal cup for tea. This small-sized kind of cup will make it easier to achieve a perfect brewing. The lid will also stop the essential oils from evaporating.
- An Yixing clay teapot (unglazed) could be used when brewing Chinese oolong tea, black tea and dark tea.
- A glass or porcelain teapot is the better option when drinking green tea, white tea or Darjeeling, that is, unless you steep the tea directly in a gaiwan.
Brew in a Teapot
This is how to brew tea in a teapot. Just like they do in the UK:
- Heat the teapot with hot water. This will make it easier for the tea leaves to release their flavour.
- Use one tablespoon tea leaves per cup (two grams for every 15 cl), plus “one for the pot”.
- Add hot water.
- Let steep for 3–5 minutes.
The Chinese Tea Ceremony (Gongfucha)
The Chinese tea ceremony is called gongfucha, and it’s most often used when brewing oolong tea. The Chinese use a very small teapot with a capacity of only 10–15 cl.
- Heat the teapot with hot water.
- One third or one half of the teapot is filled with tea leaves.
- Add water in order to rinse the leaves.
- Pour it out immediately. The water could be poured into the cups to heat them.
- Add hot water again and let steep for about 30 seconds.
- Then pour the tea into the empty cups or any other serving vessel.
- Brew several times using the same leaves by repeating steps 5 and 6.