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HOW TO BREW THE BEST TEA

Tea brewing...
It's an art.
It's a science.
It's both.

Art and science are usually perceived as two opposing disciplines with little in common. But when they are combined in tea making, something beautiful, healthy and delicious unfolds that we call TEA ALCHEMY.

The process itself is simple, but some of the words are new.

Here are the 5 STEPS.

Our Online Tea Bar will have all the tools and teaware you would ever need.

If you have any questions or just want to learn more shoot us an email at sip@SantabarbaraTeaClub.com


1. SELECT TEA
  • White, green, jasmine, oolong, black, puer, GABA, floral, or herbal
2. CHOOSE BREWING STYLE
  • Free Style - small lidded bowl/gaiwan
  • Little Pot Style - small porcelain/clay/glass pot
  • Banquet Style - any large teapot will do
  • Grandma Style - stainless steel strainer with cup
  • Grandpa Style - loose leaves in glass/mug
  • Hodad Style - teabag
3. MEASURE TEA LEAVES
  • More leaves for a stronger flavor, less leaves for a subtle flavor
  • Measure by weight (gram) rather than volume (teaspoon)
  • Place leaves in your brewing vessel
4. DETERMINE WHICH WATER TEMPERATURE IS RIGHT
  • 165 to 175 degrees - white, jasmine, green, and raw puer tea
  • 185 to 195 degrees - unroasted and floral oolong tea
  • 195 to 205 degrees - roasted oolong and GABA tea
  • 205 to 212 (boiling) - black, ripe puer, and herbal tea
5. START BREWING MULTIPLE INFUSIONS
  • Begin with short infusions (20-45 seconds brewing time) and increase the time for each subsequent infusion.
  • Pour the tea liquid into cup and drink. This separates the leaves from the hot water and gives them time to rest.
  • Repeat the brewing process.
  • Your tea leaves can be reused several times within 24 hours. Discard used leaves after 24 hours.


Additional tips from James, the TEA MAN


Measuring Your Tea Leaves

The easiest and most reliable way to measure leaf tea is to weigh it. Send me an email and I can explain why. Once you gain experience with this approach you will be able to eyeball the amount of leaves to use for brewing your tea.

Using Good Quality Water

Mountain spring water is the best choice, followed by purified water. Over 99% of the infused tea liquor is water!

Knowing The Best Water Temperature

Correct water temperature is critical in steeping tea. Water that is too hot for certain types of teas can scorch the leaves and make it taste terrible. Water that is too cool is not able to open certain types of tea leaves and will therefore lack flavor.

Practicing Brewing Multiple Infusions

The brewing time for multiple infusions depends on the type of tea, the amount of tea leaf vs water, the water temperature, type of vessel being used, and one’s personal preference. Generally speaking the more water you use, the longer the steeping time, however you can also add more tea leaf to shorten the infusion time. White, green and floral teas tend to yield fewer infusions than standard oolong, black or puer teas, but this also depends on your tea skills and taste.

Please refer to the following chart to understand the concept of multiple infusion. Some teas are best with 2 to 3 infusions. This means their infusion time will be longer. Other teas may be best enjoyed with 6 to 12 infusions. This means they will generally have shorter infusion times in the early infusions. As example, the breakdown below has worked well for many unroasted oolong, black and puer teas. Adjust the infusion time to suit your own preference.

  • 1st infusion: 10-15 seconds (sometimes considered a “rinse”)
  • 2nd infusion: 30 seconds
  • 3rd infusion: 45 seconds
  • 4th infusion: 90 seconds
  • 5th infusion: 2 min.
  • 6th infusion: 3 min.
  • 7th infusion: 4 min.
  • 8th infusion: 5-7 min.
  • 9th infusion: 7-8 min.
  • 10th infusion: 8-12 min.