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The Basics: tips for conventional brewing

Posted by Mana Enterprises LLC. on December 15, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Tea is simple, leaves and water. But learning to infuse the leaves properly will maximize your enjoyment.


Different families of teas will work best under different brewing parameters. The basic parameters include the leaf to water ratio, water temperature, and infusion time. There are basic guidelines for each family of tea, but these parameters can be adjusted to your personal taste.


Leaf to Water

In conventional tea brewing, 2-3 grams of leaf per every 8oz of water is typical. If you don't have a scale, depending on the leaf size you can use a standard teaspoon or tablespoon. For smaller leaves such as fine green or black tea, balled oolongs, or loose puerh, a teaspoon will usually be within the 2-3 gram range. For larger leaf green tea such as dragon well, or twisted oolongs such as dancongs or yan cha, a table spoon would be better.


Water Temperature

Boiling water would scald certain green teas and oolongs, producing a very astringent or bitter cup of tea. If you don't have a kitchen thermometer that you can stick in your stovetop kettle or a electric kettle with temperature display, you can still learn to estimate the correct water temperature.


Green teas tend to brew best with water between 170 to 180 degrees F. If you are heating up your water in a kettle or sauce pan on a burner, simply watch how the bubbles will start to form on the bottom of the kettle/pan. When an even layer of bubbles is covering the bottom of the pan the temperature should be around 160. As soon as a few bubbles per second start rising to the surface the temperature should be between 170 and 180. Pay attention to what the water looks like when you pour it over your tea leaves; if you think the tea came out too weak or too strong you can adjust the next time.

 Oolongs are typically brewed with 190-200 degree water. At this point the bubbles in the water will be rising to the surface in steady streams.


Infusion Time

 2-3 minutes, suited to your taste



Categories: Tea Brewing - how to

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1 Comment

Reply Carmenecoli
11:13 AM on April 6, 2017