Dessin de Li Ya Ming pour les thés Terre de Ciel

Some simple tips when infusing your tea

Quantity and recommended infusion times

Quantities recommended: 4 to 7 grams for 15 to 20cl of water, depending on the teas and multiple infusions, but this will also be down to your own experience.

The infusion times are given approximately. Everybody, over time, should adapt them to their own personal taste, feeling, equipment and quantities of water used.

  • Green Pu'Erh cake: 7g – very brief infusions: 1min - 1.30mins, sometimes less-multiple infusions
  • Red Pu'Erh: 5g to 7g – 2mins infusions – multiple infusions
  • Black tea - long infusion – 3mins approx. - multiple infusions
  • Moonlight White tea – 3mins or more – several infusions
  • Jasmine pearl tea, green tea – 3 to 4 mins – several infusions
  • Others Green tea – 2 to 3 mins – several infusions
  • Oolong tea – 3 to 4 mins – several infusions

These infusion times vary according also to tea shape, loose tea leaves, rolled teas, pressed teas, especially for the first brewing. Rolled and compressed teas need a little time to open up in the teapot. In the end, the care brought to your tea and its preparation will be your best guide.

Equipment and teaware

China and glass are neutral materials, so it is possible to use them in the form of teapots, pots, infusers or gaiwans for any type of tea. We recommend either of these if you are to have only one piece of equipment to infuse your tea. Jindezhen porcelain, with its luminous white and subtle bluish tint, tends to be amateurs' first choice.

Noble clays of Yi Xing or Jiangshui: the beautiful little teapots used for Gong Fu Cha are made with these clays. They absorb a tiny amount of tea during infusion, which builds up a coating over time and enhances the tea's flavours. Therefore each teapot should only be used for one specific type of tea: green, oolong or fermented.

C'est l'après-midi
sous la fenetre je viens de me réveiller de la sieste
à une tasse de thé
je confie mon sentiment poétique
Lu Yu(1125-1210)

Water

« Water from a mountain spring is best, then comes river water and finally water from the well » (Yu Lu's tea classic).

The ideal is therefore a soft and very pure water. Each one will adapt depending on their supplies whilst aiming towards this standard. A filtered water is the minimum requirement, not hard and neutral in taste./p>

Temperature

Again it is difficult to give precise water temperatures as boiling temperatures depend on altitude. Always let the temperature drop a little after boiling.

Green or red Pu'Erh teas need very hot water, 90-95 degrees approx.
Green teas must be infused in slightly cooler water: 80-85 degrees.
White teas, very delicate and fragile, need around 80 degrees water. With this kind of tea, be careful not to « cook » the buds with an overheated water.

Preparing the infusion

Place the tea leaves in the teapot – not a tea strainer or filter (even paper one).
Cover the leaves with hot water, counting to about 15 sec. (again this depends on the type of tea), so that the Pu'Erh can loosen up and the rolled leaves (pearls, wulongs) can unfold. Throw away this first infusion.

The tea must always be rinsed. Some connoisseurs even recommend two rinses.
Then, infuse the tea for the advised time, and serve. If you are using a big teapot, prepare tea in 25-30cl of water or less if possible.

Whilst you are enjoying your tea, you may infuse the leaves a second time around, adjusting the time to your personal preference. Your tea will hence not brew for too long and your will be able to enjoy it at the right temperature.

You may proceed in the same way for the third and fourth infusions (sometimes more, depending on the type of tea, especially green Pu'Erh). These may be on the spur of the moment or left until later.

And in the end when your tea will have revealed all its aromas to you, the tea leaves may still be used to fertilize your plants !

Enjoy !
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