Spring water / PH / Temperature / Recipe, description
The water we use for making good tea : the best if we can use spring water from around your place. Second best is bottled spring water as it always has less mineral content than mineral water. But well filtered tap water will also be fine.
Important that you use neutral pH water and the mineral content (Total Dissolved Solids) should be relatively law, but up to 4-500mg/liter is acceptable for sheng ( living/raw ) puer teas. For green or white teas even much less is better.
The temperature of the water varies the tea you drink.
– Puer – older puer tea use 95-100 °C.
– For younger puer teas, less than 2-3 years old, use 80-85 °C water to preserve the fresh fragrance and flavor.
– White and green tea at around 80°C.
– Oolong tea at 85-95°C.
– Black (red) and Dark tea at 90-95°C.
Please always refer to the instructions given at each tea’s desciption for details.
Quantity / Different types / Storage
In China they use about 7-8 grams of tea leaves for 180-200 ml water, but we found that for the European taste sometimes 5-6 grams is sufficient. But definitely one of the nicest thing in making tea is finding your own tastes, brewing times, measures with trying different portions.
Most green teas are drunk young, fresh. Others, like wulong, white, black tea can keep well with time. But some can even improve.
Puer tea is known as post-fermented tea. A young Puer tea has many taste characteristics of green tea, but with much bigger body and structure. They age extremely well, with much change in the charasteristics when kept in proper place.
Always keep the tea leaves separated from any strong odors. For short term it can be stored in tins or paper boxes, glass jars but if you want to age puer tea, the best is to buy whole cakes and store them in a relatively airy place.
Pot / Gaiwan / Tea pitcher / Tea cups / Brewing tray
Clay or porcelan pot
Usual size 150-250 ml. Try to keep the tea leaves warm during the brewing period. Therefore clay, porcelan seems to work better. Clay can add additional characteristics to the tea, but try always to use the same pot for one kind of tea.
Some people like to use gaiwan (“bowl with a lid” in Chinese ). Advantages: easy to see what is going on in the bowl. You can control the time much better, depending how wide you open the lid and how fast you pour. Can burn your hand if not familiar with it. Pots are easier to handle, but learn how long is the pouring time of your pot not to leave to long the water on the leaves.
Always have a pitcher for pouring out the tea from the pot. For this we like glass, so that we can easily absorb the colour. But also depends how long you sit by the tea as in glass it gets clod much quicker.
It really only depends on what you like. In China they use smaller cups without a handle, but feel free anyway.
This accessory can be useful, to hold spills.
Some people use strainer, thermometer, but a small scale for learning at the beginning can be useful also for understanding quantities.