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Let's talk about tea - part 2

August 06, 2020 3 min read

Premium tea leaves for your boba milk tea

Hey Bobaholics!

I am back with more about tea and it is time to spill some of the tips. I’ll let you in on how I brew tea and some of the traditions that are used to serve and prepare tea. 

The Art of Brewing Tea

Brewing tea requires no skills at all, you just add hot water to tea leaves and let it steep. The intimidating part is choosing the right tea since there are so many options out there. But whatever tea you choose the brewing process will be the same. The rule of thumb I use for brewing tea is a 2 to 1 ratio, so about 2 grams of loose leaf tea to 1 cup of hot water and let it steep for 10 minutes. I tend to let it steep longer, but 5 minutes is sufficient if you prefer a lighter taste. Most often you would throw out the tea leaves after one brew, but you can actually continue to add hot water until the tea turns bland. 

My family frequently drinks tea, so we have acquired many teapots and tea sets over the years. But if you do not own a teapot you can use anything, a large bowl would do just fine. Then use a mesh strainer to strain the tea into a cup. I have even used a cooking pot to brew my tea, which works great because you can brew the in the same pot you boiled the water in.

Depending on your tea preference, steeping times will vary. How long you steep the tea leaves will actually have an effect on the tastes. By referring to the color of the tea you will know how it tastes. The lighter the color, the blander it will taste, and the darker the color, the deeper the taste. For reference use the images down below of black, jasmine green, and oolong tea steeped at different times.

Black Tea
Black1

1 minute

Black2

2 minutes

Black5

5 minutes

Black8

8 minutes

Black10

10 minutes

Black15

15 minutes

Jasmine Green Tea
Green30

1 minute

Green2

2 minutes

Green5

5 minutes

Green8

8 minutes

Green10

10 minutes

Green15

15 minutes

Oolong Tea
Oolong30

1 minute

Oolong1

2 minutes

Oolong5

5 minutes

Oolong8

8 minutes

Oolong10

10 minutes

Oolong15

15 minutes

Tea Ceremony

A tea ceremony is a traditional form of preparing and serving tea, and there are distinctively two tea ceremonies I have chosen to review, the Chinese and Japanese tea ceremony. These two practices require different tools and skills in order to brew a perfect cup of tea, which is why I have chosen to explore these two traditions. In Japan powdered green tea is used in their tea ceremonies, while in China loose leaf teas are used. 

There are even tea houses, which are traditional cafes where you can enjoy tea made by experts. These experts have learned and mastered the craft of serving and preparing tea. 

Chinese tea set

Chinese Tea Ceremony – 功夫茶 (gongfu cha)

Gongfu cha means making tea with skill. Commonly premium quality oolong or pu-erh tea leaves are used for the ceremony. But other teas can be used for the ceremony. It is often prepared and served in clay teapots and cups, but ceramic teapots and cups are also available.

Matcha tea ceremony

Japanese Tea Ceremony – 茶道 (chadō)

Chadō means the way of tea. Premium matcha (powdered green tea) is used for the ceremony. It is prepared in a ceramic tea bowl with a wooden tea whisk.