Making tea is technical work but also delicate work. Every link in the process may impact the tea soup from selecting water, boiling water, selecting equipment, and preparing tea to brew.
Water selection: try to choose soft water, avoid alkaline water
Modern scientific research has proved that the influence of water on tea mainly comes from two aspects: the minerals in the water and the acidity and alkalinity of the water.
Many minerals, calcium and magnesium ions, are generally rich in content and have the greatest impact on the whole process. The hardness of the water can measure the content of the water. The higher the content, the harder the water.
After the hard water is boiled, calcium and magnesium ions will inhibit the dissolution of tea polyphenols, and tea polyphenols are vital to the tea's flavour. Inhibiting its dissolution, it is inevitable that the tea soup is weak, and the tea fragrance is low turbid. Therefore, try to choose water with low hardness.
If it is brewed with alkaline water, water with a higher pH level, the tea polyphenols are unstable and will oxidize quickly. For teas with a low degree of oxidation, such as green tea, yellow tea, and Tieguanyin, the normal tea soup colour should be bright light green, light yellow, or yellow-green. If it is alkaline blisters, it will quickly become a reddish colour.
Generally speaking, ready-made purified water is more suitable for making tea. If you want to go further, you can buy a pH meter to measure the acidity and alkalinity and then buy a conductivity meter to measure the hardness of the water.
The water should be boiled quickly on high heat, rather than simmered. When the water is continuously bubbling and boiled, the water activity is better. If it is boiled for too long, the oxygen content in the water will decrease, and the activity will decrease.
If you use tap water to make tea, you need to boil it a little longer. When the tap water is boiling, open the kettle's lid and keep it boiling for about one minute, removing part of the residual chlorine from disinfection and reducing any peculiar smell.
Different tea sets should be used for different teas
Green tea: It is advisable to choose a glass cup or a glass pot to watch it dancing in the water. It is not advisable to select a purple clay teapot. The water temperature required for green tea is low, and a purple clay teapot with strong heat preservation will suffocate the green tea.
Black tea: Use glass tea sets or white porcelain tea sets to observe black tea's soup colour and golden circle easily.
Oolong tea: If you want to show the exuberant aroma of oolong tea, you can use a porcelain tureen, which is convenient for smelling and will not smoke; if you're going to show its deep flavour, you can choose a purple sand pot, which can better stimulate the tea. The purple sand has good heat preservation and can be heated to ensure the brewing temperature.
Pu'er tea: Especially for old Pu'er tea, a purple clay pot is suitable. The purple clay teapot has a unique double pore structure and good air permeability, reducing some abnormal gas generated when Pu'er tea is stored. The tea has a better layer and flavour.
White tea: The raw materials of Baihao Yinzhen are very tender, and the brewing temperature should not be too high. Therefore, it is advisable to make tea with a large mouthful to avoid suffocating the tea, while for white peony, shoumei or gongmei, there are not too many restrictions on the use of tea sets, old white tea You can also boil and drink in a clay pot.
Proportion: strictly control the proportion of tea and water
To make a cup of tea soup with a stable flavour, controlling the tea-water ratio is particularly important.
Choose the right proportions.
Safe ratio: When it is challenging to separate tea and water, such as when travelling or using mugs, strictly control the tea-to-water ratio at 1.5:100 (that is, 100 ml of water corresponds to 1.5 grams of tea), which is a "safe ratio", even if it keeps suffocating. The tea will be bitter.
Daily ratio: In daily tea brewing, you should use a tea-water ratio of 1:30 (that is, 30 ml of water corresponds to 1 gram of tea), which is more suitable for multiple brewing and drinking.
If you don't have an electronic scale, you can roughly determine how much tea you put in as long as you follow the tea's shape and the teapot's volume.
Green tea: flat green tea, green bamboo leaves, etc., cover the bottom of the pot with a thin layer. Slightly fluffy green teas such as Maofeng and Melon slices account for about 1/5 of the pot volume.
Black tea: For lighter tea like Qi Hong and Jin Jun black tea, the amount of tea should accounts for 1/5 of the pot volume. Thick black tea such as Dianhong, the volume should be about 1/4.
Jin Jun black tea
Oolong tea: Oolong tea has a relatively large amount of tea. If it is in the shape of particles like Tieguanyin, put about 30 pieces. If it is a thick strip of tea like Shanzong and Yancha, add 1/3~1/2.
Pu'er tea: Put in about 1/3 of the strip-shaped Pu'er loose tea, and pry a piece of the pressed Pu'er tea to cover the bottom of the pot.
White tea: Baihao silver needles take about 1/3 of the pot volume, while the thicker and older white teas such as Baipeony, Shoumei or Gongmei are very fluffy, and you only need to use about 1/2 of the amount.
Controlling the water temperature: A critical factor when making tea.
Green tea: Should not be brewed with water higher than 90°C. Otherwise, the freshness of the tea soup will decrease.
Black tea: Use water at 85℃~90℃ to keep the sweetest taste. The temperature is too high, and it is easy to be sour and astringent.
Oolong tea: Use boiling water to brew. Otherwise, the aroma will not be good.
White tea: Brew it with water below 90°C to highlight their sweetness and avoid bitterness. Gongmei with lower tenderness can be brewed with boiling water.
Dark tea: Boiling water can brew its thick soup and mellow taste.