Chinese tea ceremony

Basic chinese tea brewing technique


It is impossible to actually brew a cup of tea that suit everyone's taste. Some want the taste richer, other might want it mild. So there is no exact brewing technique. Basic guidelines provided here can only be a reference. You should try to brew your tea a few times more with different amount of tea leaves and infusion time in order to get the best result.

Tea wares

Purple clay teapot is the best for brewing most types of chinese tea. This is true because purple clay teapot usually enhance the taste of the tea you brew with it. If you wish to get the best out of your tea, purple clay teapot is your only choice. It is a good practice to use one purple clay teapot specially for one type of tea.
Even aged "puer" tea, green "puer" tea and ripe "puer" tea need a separate teapot. The size of the teapot can be determine by the type of tea you want to brew with it. For "shui xian" tea, use a small teapot - not more than 100ml capacity, for "oolong" tea and "liu-an" tea, use a slightly bigger size teapot - 50ml to 150ml capacity and for "puer" tea and "liu bao" tea, use a larger teapot - 150ml and above.

Ceramic gaiwan or chinese tea cup is also good for brewing all types of chinese tea. Ceramic wares will not enhance the taste but it will bring out the original taste. That is why ceramic "gaiwan" or chinese tea cup is use when tasting new teas. It is especially good for scented tea and green tea too.

Glass and Crystal teapot like ceramic wares, will bring out the original taste. But must take note on the heat resistant level because it might crack when in contact with hot boiling water.

Amount of tea leaves

oolong tea - fill one third "1/3" of the teapot with tea leaves.

green tea - fill slightly more than one third "1/3" of the ceramic "gaiwan" with tea leaves.

scented tea - fill one quarter "1/4" of the teapot or "gaiwan" with tea leaves (depending on the type, could need more for mild taste and less for heavy taste tea).

liu-an tea - fill one third "1/3" of the teapot with tea leaves.

shui-xian tea - fill up the whole teapot or at lease three quarter "3/4" with tea leaves.

liu bao tea - fill one quarter "1/4" of the teapot with tea leaves for new "liu-bao" tea and one third "1/3" for aged "liu-bao" tea.

puer tea - for new green "puer" tea, fill one quarter "1/4" of teapot with tea leaves. For new ripe "puer" tea, fill one third "1/3" of the teapot with tea leaves. For aged green or ripe "puer" tea, fill slightly more than one third "1/3" and close to half "1/2" of teapot with tea leaves.

Water temperature control

oolong tea - boiling water with the temperature of 80 degrees Celsius or 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

green tea - boiling water with the temperature of 70 degrees Celsius or 158 degrees Fahrenheit.

scented tea - boiling water with the temperature of 80 degrees Celsius or 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

liu an tea new - boiling water with the temperature of 90 degrees Celsius or 194 degrees Fahrenheit.

liu an tea aged - boiling water with the temperature of 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

shui xian tea - boiling water with the temperature of 80 degrees Celsius or 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

liu bao tea new and aged - boiling water with the temperature of 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

green puer tea new - boiling water with the temperature of 80 to 90 degrees Celsius or 176 to 194 degrees Fahrenheit.

ripe puer tea new - boiling water with the temperature of 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

aged puer tea green and ripe - boiling water with the temperature of 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit

Infusion time

The initial brew - is use to clean up the tea leaves and should be pour away for hygienic purposes.

First brew - soak for 8 to 10 seconds for the leaves to open up.

Second brew - soak for 5 seconds.

Third brew - soak for 8 seconds.

Forth brew - soak for 10 seconds.

Fifth brew - soak for 15 seconds.

Sixth brew - soak for 20 seconds.

Seventh brew - soak for 30 seconds.

Eighth brew - soak for 40 seconds.

Ninth brew - soak for 50 seconds.

Tenth brew - soak for a minute.

Above tenth brew - add 20 - 30 seconds to each brew.

Step by step brewing

First of all, warm up the teapot by pouring hot water into the empty teapot, and then pour it away. This practice is good as it kill germs too. Then put your tea leaves into the teapot and cover it up with the cap and shake a few times. Now open up the cap and smell the aroma released by the tea, this is a good experience. Next, follow the instructions from the infusion time-table and start to brew your tea. It is recommended to first pour out all the tea from the teapot to a "gong dao bei" or fair cup before distributing it to the cups. Other accessory like external tea leaves filter can be use too but not internal filter. External tea leaves filter is the one placing on top of the "gong dao bei" and internal filter is the one place inside the teapot spout.

Optional brewing technique

Tea brewing is an art and hence it is strongly suggested to brew your tea using the original brew technique. But one might ask, will it be too much hassle to brew just a cup of tea for themselves when they are alone? Not at all. By using an ordinary mug, and follow this optional technique, all the hassle will be overcome should it happen to anyone. First weight 2 to 3 grams of tea leaves you want to brew. Then warm up an ordinary drinking mug and put the tea leaves inside. Pour just enough hot water to cover all tea leaves and quickly pour it away. Now fill up the mug with hot water and wait for around 10 minutes. A cup of freshly brew tea is now ready to drink. This technique is especially good for green tea, oolong tea, scented tea and new green "puer" tea. Happy trying and enjoy.


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