Tea Angle Brew Guide
YOUR GUIDE TO BREWING CHINESE LOOSE-LEAF TEA
Tea is a pretty simple beverage to make. Sometimes in the pursuit of perfection we forget that tea is just the combination of leaves and water. There is no right or wrong. Part of the fun of brewing tea is experimenting until you hit that sweet spot that’s right for you. Every tea is unique and everybody's tastes are different. Use the guide below as a starting point, then experiment with different leaf quantities, water amounts and steeping times to suit your own preferences.
Here's a little more info on the three different brewing methods we like to use when drinking Chinese tea.
GONGFU CHA (60 – 100ml)
A traditional Chinese method of brewing tea, usually involving the use of a gaiwan or yixing teapot. The general gist is – more leaves, less water, quick steeps and multiple infusions. How much leaf and how many infusions really depends on the tea you're drinking. This method of brewing allows you to taste all of the unique qualities of great loose-leaf tea.
TEAPOT STEEP (300ml)
You're probably more familiar with brewing tea this way. Tea leaves into a teapot, water, steep for a few minutes, enjoy your freshly brewed beverage. Lots of tea, less effort.
COLD BREW (500ml)
Really simple. Just add 5g – 8g of tea leaves to every 500ml of cold water and pop it in the fridge for 6 – 10hours then its ready to drink. Cold brewing tea extracts the natural sweetness and aromas of the tea leaf minus the unpleasant bitterness or astringency and makes for a really refreshing drink best enjoyed on a hot, summer's day. Keeps in the fridge for 2 – 3 days.
- Whether you're brewing Gongfu style or a teapot steep, give the tea leaves a quick rinse with hot water first. This means pouring hot water into your tea vessel with the tea leaves, let it sit for approx. 3–5 secs then tip the water out. This step is here to "awaken" the tealeaves which results in a cleaner brew and better extraction of flavour in all subsequent infusions.
- With a teapot steep, it's important to decant all or most of the tea into your tea cups or into a separate vessel after the recommended steeping times. This ensures that you don't over steep your tea, which could result in a beverage that's too bitter and/or astringent (unless of course you're into that sort of thing – in which case go nuts).
- Water is important. Not even the best quality tea leaves in the world can save you if your water is of poor quality. Ideally, you want a small to medium amount of minerals in the water so that its not too "hard" but not too "soft" either. Too hard and the water could taste a little "tinny", which will ultimately affect the flavour of your tea. Too soft and the tea could taste a little flat. Fortunately for us here in Australia, our tap water is pretty awesome and in most cases, will give you a pretty darn good cuppa tea. But if in doubt, use filtered water.
- Proper tea storage is also super important. Improper storage leads to flat, flavourless and potentially weird tasting tea. So as a rule of thumb, keep your tea leaves in an airtight container (the less air inside the better) and away from heat, light, moisture and strong odours.
- Tea leaves will absorb the scent of its surroundings so unless you're experimenting in creating some weird tasting concoction, make sure you store your teas away from anything that has a distinct smell or odour.
- To milk or not to milk, that is the question. While we certainly won't stop you adding milk to any of the teas that we sell, we suggest you try them without first, the way that the producers had intended the teas be drunk.
Click here to explore our tea collection
Click here to learn more about Gongfu Cha