How to make a good cup of tea is an important part of tea art, and tea art is an important part of Chinese tea culture. Tea-making indirectly promotes the development of Chinese tea culture, tea ceremony, tea art, and tea sets.
Professionally speaking, making tea is a technical job, which requires strong professional knowledge. Making different teas requires different knowledge. It is necessary to understand the types and characteristics of tea. In addition, the tea set, the ratio of tea to water, and the water temperature are also very important.
The types and characteristics of tea can be found in six types of Chinese tea. In this article, we will discuss the tea set, the ratio of tea to water, and the water temperature.
Table of Contents
The tea set is an important part of the tea art as well and is a very important factor affecting the taste of tea.
There are many kinds of tea sets in China. Besides practical value, they also have high artistic value. Tea sets mainly include teacup, teapot, tea bowl, tea saucer, tea tray, and other tea-drinking utensils.
In daily life, glass cup, porcelain cup, and purple clay teapot are mainly used for making tea.
The biggest difference between these three types of tea sets is the difference in thermal conductivity, which mainly affects the change of the water temperature in the cup.
The glass cup is the most common cup we use in daily life, and it has good heat dissipation. It is the most suitable tea set for making green tea because green tea leaves are very delicate and tender.
If green tea leaves suffer a long time of high temperature, the nutrients will be destroyed, such as vitamin C, and the tea liquid will turn yellow as well. So a tea set with good heat dissipation is very beneficial for making green tea.
Moreover, from the perspective of the tea art, you can see the green tea leaves floating in the glass with green water, which is a delightful view for your eyes and mood.
Making white tea and yellow tea can also use the glass cup. The reason is similar to that of making green tea. Green tea is unfermented tea; white tea and yellow are slightly fermented tea. So white tea and yellow tea can’t withstand high-temperature water for a long time.
The porcelain cup called Gaiwan in Chinese also has good heat dissipation, and it is usually with a lid that can keep the tea warm. The porcelain cup is more artistic and beautiful than the glass cup in terms of tea art.
Porcelain cup is more suitable for making black tea. The color of brewed black tea looks much brighter with the pure white color of the porcelain cup as a foil.
Black tea leaves can’t withstand high temperatures for a long time but can withstand better than green tea. With good heat dissipation, porcelain cup is also used to make green tea, white tea, and yellow tea.
Purple Clay Teapot
Due to the feature of purple clay teapot, the inner wall of the purple clay teapot can absorb the fragrance and taste of the tea. The more times the purple clay teapot is used, the more mellow the tea is.
In addition, because the purple clay teapot can absorb the fragrance and taste of tea, a purple clay teapot is best used to make only one type of tea, otherwise, the taste of tea will be mixed.
If you often use a purple clay teapot to make Tieguanyin tea (oolong tea), the inside of the teapot will absorb the fragrance and taste of Tieguanyin. At this time, if you use this teapot to make Pu-erh tea (dark tea), the fragrance and taste of Pu-erh tea will be mixed with that of Tieguanyin.
Besides, some teas need to be made according to their characteristics. For example, black tea with a higher degree of fermentation and aged white tea are more suitable for brewing in a purple clay teapot, and some oolong teas are also suitable for brewing in a porcelain cup.
- Glass cup: green tea, white tea, yellow tea.
- Porcelain cup: green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea, yellow tea.
- Purple clay teapot: black tea, oolong tea, aged white tea, dark tea.
Ratio of Tea to Water
To make a good cup, the first thing is to know the ratio of tea leaves to the water.
Different types of tea require different proportions of water to brew. The following is a list of ratios:
- Make green tea: the ratio of tea leaves to water is 1:50. For example, 3g of tea leaves require 150ml of water to brew.
- Make black tea and yellow tea: the ratio is 1:60-80.
- Make oolong tea, white tea, and dark tea: the ratio is 1:20-30. These three teas require more tea leaves to make, or else, the taste and fragrance will not be enough.
As mentioned above, temperature is also a very important factor affecting the taste and fragrance of the tea.
If tea leaves suffer high temperature for a long time, some nutrients will lose from the tender tea leaves such as green tea, especially high-quality green tea leaves. If use 100℃ water to brew high-quality green tea leaves, it will ruin the tea.
The aged tea leaves or high-fermentation tea leaves such as dark tea should be brewed with 100℃ water, otherwise, the taste and fragrance of the tea will not come out well.
White tea can’t withstand high temperatures, but it should be brewed with 100℃ water, not for a long time. So using a glass cup or porcelain cup to make it is suitable. The water temperature will drop in a short time. But aged white tea should be brewed with 100℃ water for a long time.
Water temperature for making tea:
- Make green tea and yellow tea: 80℃-85℃.
- Make black tea: 85℃-95℃.
- Make oolong tea, white tea, and dark tea: 100℃.