Brewing Tips : Jasmine Tea, Rose Tea, Chinese White Tea

Each person’s unique tastes can be explored with the many flavors of tea. There are a number of elements that fuse to brew good tea. With practice and experimentation, you will soon discover your own tea style. Sometimes you may prefer the formality of the traditional method, and at other times you may toss some leaves into a cup and add water. The loose leaf and compressed loose leaf teas allow you to determine the strength and brewing style.

There are two main points to always keep in mind when brewing tea, including chinese white tea. The first thing is use good water. Spring water is preferred. This should be stressed since most cities tap water will change the way tea tastes, and not for the better. The second thing is be aware of the temperature of the water in relation to the type of tea you are brewing. Using boiling water on green tea will make it taste bitter. Using steaming water on pu-erh won’t bring out the full range of flavors.

Of course it is also important to use the right amount of water per amount of tea and to not let the tea steep (soak in the water) too long or too short. Follow the directions below and soon you’ll be making amazing tea that you’re sure to enjoy.

*Depending on how much tea you use per cup, you can expect a pound of dry tea leaves to yield 150 - 200 cups of tea, and two ounces to yield 20 - 28 cups.

TEA BREWING INSTRUCTIONS:

TEA CHART

Tea Steeping Time Water Temperature
Green / White 1-4 Minutes Steaming (150-180 F)
Oolong 1-3 Minutes Light Boil (165-190 F)
Pu-erh 2-10 Minutes Rolling Boil
Black 2-5 Minutes Rolling Boil

INSTANT TEACUP BREWING

Place about one level teaspoon of dry leaves in the cup (6-8 0z)
Pour hot water directly over leaves (let steep1-3 minutes)
Drink and enjoy (leaves usually float to the bottom)
Re-use the same leaves once more with 1/2 the amount of fresh hot water

EXPRESS BREWING (WITH A SMALL TEAPOT 5-8 OZ)

  • Measure 1 tsp.- 1 Tbs. (3-10 grams) of dry leaves into small teapot
  • Fill teapot with hot water and steep (see chart for time and water temp)
  • Pour off entire liquid into cup(s) and Enjoy!

    Using the Express Brewing Method, the leaves can be reused 2-4 times. Experiment with the strength of your brew by using more dry leaves and decreasing the steeping time. This process will lead you to your desired concentration of tea and preferred balance of flavor. To avoid bitterness, be careful not to over steep the leaves or use water that is too hot for that particular tea.

Simplified Traditional Brewing (in small teapot)

  • Fill clay teapot with hot water (to warm the teapot)
  • Pour out the water
  • Add dry leaves (fill up to halfway with leaves)
  • Add hot water (see chart for water temperature)
  • Immediately pour off the liquid and discard
  • Add fresh hot water (see chart for water temp) to top of teapot
  • Cover with the lid of the teapot and continue pouring water over the teapot
  • Wait 30 seconds - 1 minute and pour off into serving vessel or cup(s)
  • Serve and Enjoy!

    The leaves can be re-used 3-5 times while increasing the steeping time by about 30 seconds each infusion.

GONGFU (GREAT SKILL) BREWING

  • Use a 3 to 6 oz Guywan (a saucer and a cup with a lid) or a warmed small teapot.
  • The leaves are placed in the cup or pot (almost half full of dry leaves) and add water at appropriate temperature.
  • Allow to steep for 30 seconds to one minute, then pour.
  • If using a Guywan, strain the liquid by holding the lid allowing the liquid to drain while the lid holds back the leaves.

    Serve 1-4 people in very small 1 oz cups. This creates an espresso type brew that brings out the rich flavors of oolong, green and white teas. The leaves can be reused from 4-6 times depending on the quality and flavor of the particular tea. As a general rule, slightly increase the steeping time for each subsequent brew. Be careful though, the tea can easily become bitter if over steeped. This is a great way to learn to taste different subtleties of tea.

TEA AND CAFFEINE

Caffeine is a stimulant that is active in tea. Green tea has less caffeine than black tea, due to the oxidation process of black tea. The caffeine in tea is released gradually into the bloodstream and doesn't make you jittery like the caffeine from coffee. Caffeine can have both positive and negative effects on the body. Caffeine increases the body's metabolism for up to four hours, which may be part of tea's weight loss attributes (don't drink your tea with sugar if your intention is weight loss). It is also known to heighten mental alertness.

Caffeine can increase PMS symptoms and exacerbate cystic growth in some women. For those affected, caffeine intake must be monitored. While some believe that up to two small cups of tea a day is acceptable during pregnancy, others believe that caffeine should be avoided altogether, including up to a month prior to conception. There are decaffeinated products for those who are caffeine sensitive. You can also decaffeinate your own tea.

TO DECAFFEINATE YOUR TEA

Add hot water to loose leaves and steep for 2-3 minutes. Discard the liquid. This first brew contains most of the caffeine of the tea.
Add water to your teapot and let steep for 2-3 minutes and drink that infusion that has only small amounts of caffeine. Over 80% of the caffeine is removed during the first wash of the leaves.

PREMIUM TEA MAKES PREMIUM TEA

REFERENCES

Chow, K. & Kramer, I. (1990). All the Tea in China. San Francisco: China Books & Periodicals.

Mitscher, L. A. & Dolby, V. (1998). The Green Tea Book. Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing Group.

Oppliger, P. (1997). Green Tea. Essex, United Kingdom: C.W. Daniel Company.

Rosen, D. (1998). The Book of Green Tea. Pownal, VT: Storey Books.

Taylor, N. (1998). Green Tea. New York: Kensington Books.

Zittlau, J. (1999). Green Tea for Health & Vitality. New York: Sterling Publishing.


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