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How to Brew Chinese Green Tea

Different types of Chinese teas have different brewing methods, this article gives you the complete guide of brewing all kinds of Chinese teas!

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Chinese Green Tea

Brewing Guide for Chinese Green Tea

Chinese green tea is very delicate and tender, in order to brew it in a professional way, there are some parts should be paid attention to.

At first, we need to distinguish the shape / characterises of the tea leaves.

Different Shapes of Tea leaves:

Category 1. Very tender and fresh tea leaves, either curly or covered with rich fuzzy, or plucked in very early Spring who is extraordinarily fresh and tender. For instance: Our Dongting Mountains Pi Lo Chun (Bi Luo Chun), Green Tip Tea (Xinyang Maojian), and all premium grade green tea (include our Dragon Well tea).

Category 2. The whole shape is slender or flat, bud-shaped tea leaves. For instance: Our Dragon Well Green Tea (Longjing), Yellow Mountain Fur Peak (Huangshan Maofeng)

Category 3. The overall shape of tea leaves is looser, fat and strong, and the tea is relatively less tender. For instance: Lu’an Leaf (Liu’an Guapian) and Monkey Tea (Taiping Houkui)

Three Chinese Green Tea Brewing Methods:

  1. Top-drop Method:

The top-drop method involves pouring the hot water into a glass vessel and then adding the tea leaves. In other words, the leaves are added after the hot water. This method is best suitable for brewing the most delicate teas – Category 1 green tea, such as Dongting Mountains Pi Lo Chun (Bi Luo Chun), Green Tip Tea (Xinyang Maojian), and all premium grade green tea (include our Dragon Well tea). Since the force of the pouring water may break the very brittle and tender tea leaves and their nutritious valuable white fuzzy, let the tea leaves slowly sink without destroying any part of the tea leaves is the best way for brewing this type of green tea. The leaves should slowly and elegantly sink and unfurl. This method should be avoided for more loosely shaped tea leaves.

Step by step:

  • Warm a teaware with hot water. Discard the water afterwards
  • Pour hot water (80-85°C) into the vessel until it is seven-tenths full
  • Add 1g tea leaves for every 50ml of hot water
  • Infuse tea for around 1-3 minutes (infusion time will differ greatly for different teas, and depending on how many times the tea has already been infused)
  • Drink until 1/3 of the tea is left before refilling
  • Repeat a total of three times
  • Gradually increase steeping time for subsequent brews.
  1. Mid-drop Methods:

This method reduces the risk of high temperature destroying aromas in the tea. It divides the brewing process into three parts: hot water – tea leaves – hot water. In other words, the tea leaves are added after half the water has been poured in. This method is most suitable for flat or bud-shaped tea leaves – category 2 green tea.

Step by step:

  • Warm a teaware with hot water. Discard the water afterwards
  • Pour hot water (80-85°C) into the vessel until it is one-third full
  • Add 1g tea leaves for every 50ml of water
  • Tilt the vessel, slowly rotating it two times (this is to ensure a better infusion)
  • Top up the vessel with hot water at the same temperature until it is full
  • Infuse tea for around 1-3 minutes (infusion time will differ greatly for different teas, and depending on how many times the tea has already been infused)
  • Drink until 1/3 of the tea is left before refilling
  • Repeat a total of three times.
  • Gradually increase steeping time for subsequent brews.
  1. Bottom-drop Methods

This is the most common method for brewing green tea and suitable for all general grade tea leaves. However, some green tea, such as Lu’an Leaf (Liu’an Guapian) and Monkey Tea (Taiping Houkui), whose leaves are flat and tend to float or whose nutrient substance is needed to be aroused by hot water are highly recommend using the bottom-drop method – All general grade green tea includes category 3 green tea.

Step by step:

  • Warm a teaware with hot water. Discard the water afterwards
  • Add 1g tea leaves for every 50ml of water
  • Pour hot water (80–85°C) into the vessel until it is one-third full
  • Tilt the glass cup, slowly rotating it two times (this is to ensure a better infusion)
  • Pour hot water (80°C) into the teaware until it is seven-tenths full
  • Infuse tea for around 1-3 minutes (infusion time will differ greatly for different teas, and depending on how many times the tea has already been infused)
  • Drink until 1/3 of the tea is left before refilling
  • Repeat a total of three times.
  • Gradually increase steeping time for subsequent brews.

To Summarise:

Dongting Mountains Pi Lo Chun (Bi Luo Chun) and Green Tip Tea (Xinyang Maojian) are highly recommended using Top-Drop method; Lu’an Leaf (Liu’an Guapian) and Monkey Tea (Taiping Houkui) are highly recommended using Bottom-Drop Method; Yellow Mountain Fur Peak (Huangshan Maofeng) is better using Mid-Drop method. Dragon Well Tea can use both three ways.  The bottom-drop method can brew any green tea.

In fact, the way to brew is not compulsory, you can try both three ways for brewing any green tea you like. And you will finally find which way you like it most.

Temperature for Brewing Chinese Green Tea:

80°C – 85°C

Time for Brewing Chinese Green Tea:

By using glass vessel, 1-5 minutes. Adjust time for brewing according to your personal preference.

For gaiwan brewing, the first brew should be no more than 1 minutes, normally 10s, different green tea has different first brewing time.

  • Curly Style Green Tea – Dongting Mountains Pi Lo Chun (Bi Luo Chun) – first brew 45s, second brew 1min;
  • Half-curly Style Green Tea – Green Tip Tea (Xinyang Maojian) – first brew 10s, second brew 20s;
  • Not curly Style Green Tea – Yellow Mountain Fur Peak (Huangshan Maofeng) – first brew 10s, second brew 20s;
  • Special Style – Monkey Tea (Taiping Houkui) – first brew 1 min, second brew 2 mins

In fact, the time for brew is not compulsory, it can be adjusted by your personal taste. Each different time for brewing will give you different taste and mouthfeel every time for brewing is a surprise. 

Warning: Avoid brewing green tea in hot water for too long because this can cause tender green tea being over-brewed and loses its fresh taste.

Amount of green tea for Brewing:

Normally 2 teaspoons for 125ML. Or briefly keep tea: water is 1g: 50ml – 1g: 80ml. Actually, Feel free to adjust the amount of tea leaves according to your personal taste.

All You Need to Know About Oolong Tea

Brewing Guide for Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is semi-fermented, tastes like the bridge between green tea and black tea. It is very mellow and fresh. Nobody can deny its unforgettable rich complex flavour. Among many tea wares, we recommend you use (Yixing) Clay Teapot and Gaiwan to brew this most characteristic Chinese tea. The clay teapot used to brew Oolong tea in Gongfu style is specific tiny whose volume is normally around 100ml – 200ml. Or you can also brew it by using normal-sized Teapot with more tea leaves.

Different Shapes of Oolong tea and How Much for Brewing:

Shapes:

Type 1: Overall, sphere or hemisphere – For example Anxi Ti Kwan Yin (Tieguanyin), Taiwan Alishan Oolong, Taiwan Dong Ding Oolong

Type 2: Stripe-type – Wuyi Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao)

How much for brewing:

Brewing type 1 Oolong: using the amount of tea leaves that can cover the bottom of the teapot (tiny)/Gaiwan.

Brewing type 2 Oolong: using the amount of tea leaves that can cover 1/5 -1/3 of the volume of the teapot (tiny)/Gaiwan.

Or you can brew Oolong tea by using 2 teaspoons of the tea for 125ml teacup or gaiwan, 4 teaspoons for 250ml glass or 8 teaspoons for 500ml teapot. Or add 1g Oolong tea for every 20ml – 30ml of water.

Please note there is no precise amount guide for brewing tea, the most important thing is how you calm your soul and enjoy it. The taste is always different, it really depends on your personal taste, and adjust the amount of tea leaves to the quantity you prefer.

Brewing:

There are several types of oolong tea depends on different fermentation degree.

  1. Light or moderate fermented Oolong tea (Ferment 10% – 50%) – Anxi Ti Kwan Yin Fragrant (Tieguanyin), Anxi Ti Kwan Yin Original (Tieguanyin), Anxi Ti Kwan Yin Sour (Tieguanyin), Anxi Ti Kwan Yin, Strong (Tieguanyin) and Taiwan oolong tea.
  2. Deep fermented Oolong tea (Ferment 50% – 70%) – Wuyi Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao)

For simple glass vessel/teapot style:

  • You can brew fewer tea leaves with more hot water for longer brewing time. Use 2 teaspoons of the tea for 125ml teacup or gaiwan, 4 teaspoons for 250ml glass or 8 teaspoons for 500ml teapot.
  • For Ti Kwan Yin (Tieguanyin) or Taiwan Oolong tea, using 100°C hot water to infuse tea leaves for around 2-5 minutes. Re-steep for around one further infusion. (Adjust by personal taste)
  • For Wuyi Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao), using 100°C hot water to infuse tea leaves for around 1-2 minutes. Re-steep for around 2-3 further infusion. (Adjust by personal taste)

For Gongfu Style:

  • Warm the Gaiwan/tiny teapot with hot water; discard the water afterwards
  • Add 1g Oolong tea for every 20ml – 30ml of water (recommend 5g to 8g tea leaves, adjust by personal taste)
  • Pour hot water (100 °C) into the clay teapot / Gaiwan, tilt it, slowly rotating it two times and quickly discard the water (this step is for waking up tea leaves and stimulating the special aroma of the oolong tea)
  • Refill clay teapot/Gaiwan with hot water
  • For light / moderate fermented Oolong tea – For example Ti Kwan Yin (Tieguanyin) or Taiwan Oolong tea. Infuse tea for around 40s for the first brew, extending extra 15s infusion time for the following brew.

For deeper fermented Oolong tea – For example Wuyi Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao). Infuse tea for around 0s for the first brew, 10s for the second brew and then extend extra 10s infusion time for the following brew.

  • Pour the steeped tea into serving cup and divided into small teacups and serve
  • Repeat 7-8 times for Wuyi Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao), 5-7 times for Ti Kwan Yin (Tieguanyin) or Taiwan Oolong tea

How to Prepare Pu'erh

Brewing Guide for Pu’erh Tea

Pu’er is a worldwide well-known Chinese tea produced in the Yunnan province of China. It is a particular post-fermented tea. It uses sun-dried Shaiqinmao tea leaves (Yunnan big-leaf variety) as material and then processed or pressed into different shapes, including loose-leaf Pu’er tea and tight-pressed Pu’er. Among many tea wares, we recommend you use (Yixing) Clay Teapot and Gaiwan to brew this most characteristic Chinese tea. The clay teapot used to brew Pu’er tea in Gongfu style is specific tiny whose volume is normally around 100ml – 200ml. Or you can also brew it by using normal-sized Teapot with more tea leaves.

For simple glass vessel/teapot brewing:

You can brew fewer tea leaves with more hot water for longer brewing time. Use 2 teaspoons of the tea for 125ml teacup, 4 teaspoons for 250ml glass or 8 teaspoons for 500ml teapot. Using 100°C hot water to infuse tea leaves for around 3-4 minutes. Re-steep for around 6-7 times. Adjust it according to personal taste.

For Gongfu Style: (Recommend using (Yixing) Clay Teapot and Gaiwan)

  • Warm the Gaiwan/tiny teapot with hot water; discard the water afterwards
  • Add 1g Pu’er tea for every 50ml of water (recommend 7g-10g tea leaves, adjust by personal taste)
  • Pour hot water (100 °C) into the clay teapot / Gaiwan, tilt it, slowly rotating it two times and quickly discard the water (this step is for waking up tea leaves and stimulating the special aroma of the Pu’er tea)
  • Refill clay teapot/Gaiwan with hot water
  • Infuse tea for around 10s – 20s for the first brew, extending extra 20s infusion time for the following brew.
  • Pour the steeped tea into serving cup and divided into small teacups and serve
  • Repeat 8-15 times depends on personal taste.

Benefits of Chinese White Tea

Brewing Guide for Chinese White Tea

Our White Hair Silver Needle Tea (Baihao Yinzhen) and White Peony Tea (Bai Mudan) can be brew by both glass vessel, teapot and Gaiwan.

For simple glass vessel/teapot brewing:

You can brew fewer tea leaves with more hot water for longer brewing time. Use 3 teaspoons of White Hair Silver Needle Tea (Baihao Yinzhen) or 3g White Peony Tea (Bai Mudan) for 125ml teacup or gaiwan, 6 teaspoons of White Hair Silver Needle Tea (Baihao Yinzhen)  or 6g White Peony Tea (Bai Mudan)  for 250ml glass or 12 teaspoons of White Hair Silver Needle Tea (Baihao Yinzhen) or 12g White Peony Tea (Bai Mudan) for 500ml teapot.

using 90°C hot water to infuse tea leaves for around 5-6 minutes. Re-steep for around one or two further infusions. (Adjust by personal taste)

Using Gongfu Style:

The detailed brewing guide for brewing White Hair Silver Needle Tea (Baihao Yinzhen) is below:

  • Warm the teaware with hot water. Discard the water afterwards
  • Add 3 teaspoon of tea leaves for 125ml teacup or gaiwan, 6 teaspoons for a 250ml glass and 12 teaspoons for a 250ml teapot (1g tea for 30ml or 50ml water or adjust by personal taste). If using Gaiwan style brewing, add 5g tea leaves for 110ml Gaiwan
  • Fill one-third of the teaware with hot water (90°C). The water should not be poured directly onto the tea leaves, but should run down the inside faces of the teaware; this protects the silvery-white fuzz and avoids otherwise damaging the appearance of the tea leaves
  • Tilt the teaware, slowly rotating it two times to ensure a better infusion. Make sure the water reaches every tea leaf
  • Refill the glass with hot water until the glass is seven-tenths full
  • Infuse tea for around 5-6 minutes (adjustable according to personal taste). If using Gaiwan style brewing, the first brew can be around 30s, for the second brew, extend extra 5s, then gradually increase steeping time for subsequent brewing.
  • Drink until 1/3 of the tea is left before refilling
  • Can be refilled for 4-5 times.

Compared with White Hair Silver Needle Tea (Baihao Yinzhen), White Peony Tea (Bai Mudan) is not as tender as it but with a stronger flavour. The detailed brewing guide for brewing White Peony Tea (Bai Mudan) is below:

  • Warm the teaware with hot water. Discard the water afterwards
  • Add 3-4g tea leaves (1g tea for 30ml or 50ml water or adjust by personal taste). If using Gaiwan style brewing, add 5g tea leaves for 110ml Gaiwan
  • Fill the teaware up to one-third with hot water (90°C). The water should not be poured directly onto the tea leaves, but should run down the inside faces of the teaware; this protects the silvery-white fuzz and avoids otherwise damaging the appearance of the tea leaves
  • Tilt the teaware, slowly rotating it two times (this is to ensure a better infusion). Make sure the water reaches every tea leaf
  • Refill the glass with hot water until the glass is seven-tenths full
  • Infuse tea for around 5-6 minutes (adjustable according to personal taste), if using gaiwan gongfu method, the first brew can be around 30s, the second time is around 35s, then gradually increase steeping time for subsequent brewing
  • Drink until 1/3 of the tea is left before refilling
  • Can be refilled for 4-5 times.

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