This 5 Step guide gives you a starting point to develop your personal tea rituals.
Discover your personal preference
To find your personal flavor preference, try to adjust the amount of tea, brewing time and brewing temperature. For example lowering the water temperature will usually result in a milder and sweeter taste. On the other hand the hotter you brew, the darker and more robust your tea will be.
An exception to this rule is Japanese tea such as Sencha, Matcha or Gyokuro. These teas benefit from lower temperatures. (60-75 degrees Celsius). A variable temperature controlled electric kettle is an excellent way to control the exact temperature.
Five step tea brewing guide
Step 1: Select the correct amount of tea leaves
If you prefer stronger tea, add more tea instead of steeping for a longer time.
Steeping too long will make the tea taste more bitter.
The only exception to this rule is when using herbal or scented teas.
Step 2: Rinse/Pre-Brew the tea leaves
Why rinse the tea leaves?
Chinese people rinse (pre-brew) the tea with hot water and discard the brew for a few reasons:
To warm up the teapot, to ensure that the water temperature does not drop.
The rinsing will wash away the lower quality fanning and dust.
Rinsing the tea leaves with hot water (a quick steep) will release a smooth flavor.
Rinse away unwanted taste
Pre-brewing is essential with Puerh tea.Some people who try Puerh tea for the first time think that it taste fishy. Of course Puerh tea doesn’t contain any fish, but this flavor caused by the fermentation process. Rinsing the tea for 5-10 seconds will remove this taste.
Step 3: Discard the water after rinsing
The Chinese do not serve the first brew of Chinese tea. The first brew needs to be discarded.
Step 4: Brew the first serving
After the first brew, increase the brewing time with each following brew.
Step 5: Serve the tea
Re-use the tea leaves
Oolong Tea, Green Tea, White Tea and Puerh Tea are fine to re-use 5-7 times.
These subsequent steepings bring out subtle flavors and notes. Try to taste the subtle differences!