How to Brew A Perfect Cup of Tea?
Different cultures have different principle on successfully brewing a perfect cup of tea. There are a few things that a good tea maker should pay attention to:
Make sure your tea leaves come from a quality tea garden and aren't just tea dust (leftovers after tea has been processed).
Elevation and time of harvest offer varying taste profiles; proper storage and water quality also have a large impact on taste.
The quality of water used to brew any tea: it has to be free of chemicals and chlorite. For Chinese people ideal water to brew tea is the spring water coming from mountains. The minerals in spring water tend to bring out more flavor in the tea.
Most households use distilled water nowadays, but most of the minerals are usually removed in that kind of purified water.
Preheat a teapot by pouring a small amount of boiling water into it and swirling briefly, therefore raising the temperature of the pot to 180°F (82°C).
Never stir the tea while it’s steeping.
The amount of tea to be used per amount of water differs from tea to tea, but one basic recipe calls for 1 teaspoon (approx. 5g) of loose tea for each cup of tea (200-240 ml or 7-8 oz.) you’re brewing. For pots that hold up to 12 cups (3 liters), add an extra teaspoon of tea “for the pot.”
Water should be boiled vigorously to boil off any dissolved oxygen and then allowed to cool to the appropriate temperature before adding to the tea.
Teas that have little or no oxidation period, such as green or white tea, are best brewed at lower temperatures:
65 to 70°C (149 to 158 °F)
70 to 75°C (158 to 167 °F)
75 to 80°C (167 to 176 °F)
80 to 85°C (176 to 185 °F)
While teas with longer oxidation periods should be brewed at higher temperatures:
just under the boiling point 99 °C (210 °F)
99 to 100°C (203 to 212 °F)
99°C (210 °F)
Pour freshly boiled water over the leaves. This process extracts the flavour from the tea leaves by developing active substances.
The strength of the tea should be varied by changing the amount of tea leaves used, not by changing steeping time. The steeping time increases (from 1 minute to 3 minutes) as the water temperature rises to brew the tea. Hotter water or longer steeping times will produce a bitter taste.
When the tea has brewed long enough to suit the tastes of the drinker, it should be strained while serving.
Some teas, especially green teas and delicate oolong teas are steeped for shorter periods, sometimes less than 30 seconds. However, the black Darjeeling tea, a premium Indian tea, needs a longer than average steeping time. Pu-erh teas require boiling water for infusion between 30 seconds to 5 minutes.
Also, there’s a relationship between the size of the loose tea leaves and its briskness. Large leaves brew slowly with more astringency. The smaller the particle the faster the brewing is. British people tend to like small tea because it makes the strongest brew and goes well with milk and sugar.
Glass cups should be preferred to drink tea; if porcelain is used, the inside should be white with a thin rim.