Chinese teas can be divided into six main categories. Among them, green tea has the longest history and ranks first in variety and consumption. Even though I’ve lived in the Wuyi Mountains for almost three years, I’m still crazy about green tea. In this post, I will describe for you how to brew green tea at home.
Before brewing green tea, gather the following tools:
- Electric kettle – although other common water-heating tools can also be used
- Covered tea bowl – one with a lid allows for easy observation of tea-making in progress
- Tea scoop – for transporting the tea
Now you are ready to prepare the tea, as follows:
- Using an electric kettle (or other water-heating tool), boil water and then allow it to cool to a temperature of 85℃.
- Put a certain amount of green tea into the tea scoop to be used later; the amount will depend on your taste.
- Warm the covered tea bowl by flushing hot water over at least a third of the bowl and lid.
- Cast the tea in the tea scoop into the tea bowl.
- To steep the tea, pour just enough hot water into the bowl to allow the leaves to soak it up. Once the leaves have stretched, pour additional water into the bowl until the bowl is 70% full.
- Cover with the lid to prevent the leaves from turning yellow. The lid should be placed on the bowl such that a bit of the bowl’s edge is revealed each time you flush the water for another steeping.
I am fascinated by the variety of tea making traditions. I had not heard of this method before. It would make the steeping time a bit more variable but I will give it a try. I choose not to boil the water first. The process of boiling water de-oxygenates water, making it “flatter” than water that was not previously boiled. Today one can find variable temperature electric tea kettles for this purpose. Unfortunately none on the market today avoid the heated water touching plastic. I had gone to the store to buy the Breville variable temperature model but discovered that the water level indicator was in fact plastic – NOT the acceptable kind either. I was very disappointed.