The perfect steeping time for a perfect cuppa
Another confusing thing while making tea is the brewing time. It has making lots of people wondering for such a long time that what is the perfect brewing time. And here is my answer: Again, we are not in science lab, nothing needs to be so accurate that you need to dig out a timer. Making tea should be a way of relaxation, an exit of hassle and bustle, stressing about the details really is the last thing you should worry about.
There are many different ways of introducing people how to make tea however, as you will notice after gathering enough information, there is no so called standard rules apply. The most often seen “time table” usually tells you that the first brew after rinsing the tea leaves should be from 40 seconds to 1 minutes and adding 20 to 30 seconds on each brew afterwards. Let’s put it in this way so it’s easier to think about it. Tea, is like a broad saying of wine. There’s red, white, dessert and ice wine, and champagne and Prosecco and many others. Each wine has different method of serving, different waking up time, different serving temperature and this and that you name it, wine masters. Tea, is the same. Different tea has its own proper serving condition including the amount to use, the temperature and brewing time. Just like many things in our lives, it takes time and experience to explore what and which is the most suitable to each one of us. 1 minute of brewing might be too light for me while being very strong to one other, give yourself a little bit time and more chances to find out your preferences.
If you really need some guide lines of brewing timing, especially if you are new friend in tea world, these little tips might give you some idea of brewing time. We all know some simple chemical reactions, something like the warmer liquid brings out flavor and color faster and make it thick and strong in a short time. This can be little indication to brewing tea. The more fermented tea usually tastes stronger, and requires higher water temperature to brew. Higher temperature and strong taste tea combine together, therefore the brewing time should be short, and vice versa.
Chinese dark tea such as Pu-erh, I would suggest the first 2 brews no more than 1 minutes, and adding on half a minutes or even more to the later brews. When you notice that the tea has become very light, you would know it’s time either to discard and fill in new tea or extend quite a bit brewing time. Oolong tea type, or the broad saying of green tea, first couple of brews apply the rule above and adjust accordingly. Oriental beauty and white tea or other tea require low brewing temperature, I suggest let it swim in the water for a bit longer, 3 to 5 minutes for the first brew shouldn’t even make it too strong. Allow yourself practice a couple of times thus you will figure out your own brewing time!
There is also one way of brewing tea, when serving to bigger crowd of people. According to the ratio of every 3 to 5 grams of tea brewed with 150c.c. hot water for 3 to 5 minutes. Some people tend to discard the tea leaves after only 1 brew, I personally think that if the tea quality is good, give it another go. With longer time you should be able to brew some more flavor out, and we can avoid wasting.