Brewing Tea

Tea brewing is an extremely personal routine so there really are no set standardized rules.  You will learn what works best for you, whether it is the tea, the water, or the vessel.  As a start we can explore some of the fundamental issues about brewing tea.  These are not brewing rules but suggestions to help guide you.

How Hot?
Brewing temperature will vary according to the tea type. In general, the greener or lower oxidized a tea the cooler the water should be. Darker higher oxidized teas can withstand hotter water without over-brewing as quickly.  For a lighter, more floral cup of tea use cooler water and for a darker, more robust cup of tea use hotter water.

How Long?
Steeping times will vary depending on how much tea you use and how hot the water is. To preserve the floral aromatics and the sweetness, steep for a shorter period of time.  To bring out the rich robust flavors and thick mouth feel, steep for a longer period of time. Remember: Any tea steeped too long will become bitter and astringent so don’t just forget about your steeping tea.

How Much?
The amount of tea used will depend on your taste preferences, the size of the brewing vessel, and how much tea are you going to drink (how many re-steeps) in one sitting.  Any good quality whole leaf tea will steep at least 3 infusions.  For some teas the ancient Chinese actually had a saying, “Seven steeps and tea should still be aromatic!”