Tea Brewing Guideline
The three essential elements to make a great cup of tea are tea leaves, water and tea ware. The skill is to maximize the potential of the tea leaves. The companion(s) is to enhance the social experience via a cup of tea. The ambiance is to focus your attention in order to thoroughly enjoy the presence with tea. Peace and nourishment of the body and soul, is the ultimate goal of tea drinking.
The guideline is for Tea Habitat teas only. We are not responsible for the outcome using none Tea Habitat teas under our guidelines, as every teas are different from vendor to vendor. If you scorched your teas from an other vendor, we are not responsible, please go back to recommendations by that vendor.
Choose very well filtered purify water, such as reverse osmosis filtered water, Brita hardly dose anything. Avoid tap water even your local water taste good, it still contains chlorine. Spring water contains minerals regional to where it’s from, hence may not go well with certain teas due to chemistry reactions between minerals in spring water and chemicals in tea leaves, therefore, purified water is ideal for all teas. Spring water tend to suppress the aroma and in many cases leaves tea residues in form of insoluble tea stain. It’s not something you’d like to be in your body, as your body will have to work hard to eliminate it and that’s if it can.
Water kettle: Do not use plastic and metal other than silver, some copper wares are fine but hard to tell unless you tried it. Glass is acceptable, porcelain is not common, enamel is fine, Chao Zhou clay is excellent as it is very accommodating to most teas, any of the 6 type, good and bad teas. Silver is great if you drink great teas at all times.
Heating source: any heating source is fine except microwave. Live wood charcoal fire is best. Never ever microwave water with tea in it!
Temperature: boil water to full boiling temperature always! It’s the energy the water needs, not just a temperature indicator. Teas Tea Habitat carries require boiling water to bring out the essences for full flavor and aroma, even our green teas and white teas. You may use off boil temperature for subsequent brews if you are using Kungfu methods, never go under 200 degrees Fahrenheit, else the out come would be dull, lack of brightness and energy, flavor is flat, aroma is muted.
For Kungfu methods, use gaiwan or teapot that is 120 ml or less, anything bigger, the proportion of heat, leaves and extraction rate would not be ideal. For large group service, it’s better to combine 2 steeping rather than use a large vessel. For mug style, a large gaiwan of 200+ ml or thin mug works well, if you like glass, nothing wrong as well although not ideal.
Thin Porcelain is good for both cups and brewing vessels such as gaiwan or teapot. Glass is not ideal, even for green teas.
Clay teapot is also a good choice provide that clay quality is authentic. In today’s market, Chao Zhou clay teapot is more accommodating than Yixing teapots, although true authentic Yixing clay is excellent for tea. Chao Zhou clay teapot or water kettle enhances water flavor and texture in turn makes better teas,, any of the 6 styles, it makes good teas better, also makes bad teas better. In general, a good clay teapot gives you better result than Porcelain It improves texture, increase sweetness and smoothness. It would be ideal to use one teapot for teas from the same region of similar process. Make sure to empty the spent leaves, rinse well and let it air dry by putting it upside down.
Silver tea ware is definitely a great choice, water boiled from silver kettle is more energetic, lively, bright, teapot and teacup also have the same affects on tea. The advantage of silver tea ware is it can enhance good teas by a whole new level, and it can make bad teas much worse than it is. If you plan on having great teas, it’s worth the investment, even a silver lined teacup can improve your tea by a substantial amount. We do not recommend any other metal material tea wares.
Pitcher and strainer: we do not recommend using any additional tea wares between a teapot/gaiwan to a cup, the fewer items the tea goes through, less heat lost, the purer the tea will be, therefore taste better. Hot is the key to allow the aroma come out fully. For large groups, pitcher is allowed.
Amount to use for Kungfu method: 3 grams of single old trees, wild teas, ancient tree teas regardless of tea type. These teas have substantial amount of nutrients in the leaves that does not require a large amount of leaves. You may increase the amount once you get to know a tea and that you prefer strong flavor, just be aware strong flavors also comes with strong energies with these teas, you may get heady or tea drunk easily. For the first 4 infusions, quick pour is necessary, 10 to 15 seconds each. Each tea is different, even the same tea from the same tree in different year is different, the best way is to learn about the tea individually. The best indicator is the color of each infusion, just observe as you taste each cup.
***The amount of tea to use is always measured by weight, not by volume such as teaspoon, shape of teas vary greatly by size and density, a ball shape tea leave weights significantly more than a long strand of leaf but smaller by volume.
Amount to use for mug style: 2 grams of any tea in a 200 ml gaiwan or mug
Numbers of steeping that a tea can last: each tea is different, keep on brewing till it runs out of flavor is the only way to go. In general, our wild, single old tree, ancient tree teas of any type (Green, white, oolong, black and puerh) can go 10 to 30 steeping with Kungfu method, 4 to 6 in mug style. Green teas about 4 to 10 with Kungfu, 3 to 4 in mug style. Wuyi Yancha 7 to 10 with Kungfu, 3-4 in mud style.
***We do not carry any products out side of Mainland China, therefore we do not know anything about tea wares and teas made by other countries. We can not provide information of those items.
***Many people refer to drinking out of a mug or a large container as grandpa style, that’s a wrong term. After some research in Chinese, the only referral there is regarding the term Grandpa style or Old man style is used in Taiwan only, referring to Kungfu Tea, because in 1970’s only older people had the time and wealth to enjoy Kungfu tea in Taiwan at the time. In Chinese history, there isn’t a term for drinking out of a mug, the common term is Big Bowl Tea. Mug and glass are relatively new to China, only became popular from mid 1900’s. Small teacups or bowls are used for tea drinking through out the history.