Many people have had the experience of enjoying a fragrant and rich loose leaf green tea in a tea shop, with a sweet and refreshing taste that lingers on the palate. However, once they buy it and brew it at home, they can't seem to recreate that amazing sensation. So, I am often asked: Why doesn't the tea I buy taste as good as the one I had in the store?
Part of the reason is the different environment, which can affect the perception of taste. Another factor is related to the brewing method used for loose leaf green tea. Below, let's explore some methods to make loose leaf green tea taste even better.
1.Choosing the Right Tea Ware - Glass Cup
Sipping loose leaf green tea is not just a simple act of tasting; it's a comprehensive process that involves savoring the aroma, observing the dance of tea leaves, and appreciating the flavor.
Tea appreciation is also a crucial aspect of tea culture. As the tea leaves gradually unfurl in the cup, undulating up and down, a glass cup allows for a better appreciation of the dynamic beauty of the tea leaves. With a leisurely and carefree mood, it's like watching a "green tea dance." In such situations, the most suitable utensil for brewing loose leaf green tea is naturally a transparent glass cup.
2.Choosing Quality Loose Leaf Green Tea
To truly appreciate the exquisite charm of loose leaf green tea, it's essential to select high-quality loose leaf green tea. Different varieties of loose leaf green tea offer distinct flavors and characteristics, so the choice should be based on personal taste and preferences. For example, Longjing tea, known for its mild taste, is suitable for those who enjoy a refreshing experience. Bi Luo Chun, with a bolder flavor, is more fitting for tea enthusiasts who prefer a relatively robust taste. It's advisable to explore and find the loose leaf green tea that suits you by purchasing tea samplers.
Here are a few renowned varieties of loose leaf green tea from China. When unsure of which loose leaf green tea to try, opting for these varieties is a reliable choice. Additionally, selecting tea gift sets containing these green teas is a wonderful option when giving gifts to family and friends.
Longjing tea, also known as Dragon Well tea, is one of China's top ten famous teas, celebrated for its beautiful appearance, vibrant green color, fragrant aroma, and sweet taste. Premium Longjing tea exhibits smooth and straight shapes, with uniformly even lengths and a fresh, emerald green color. The tea infusion appears in a light yellow-green hue, displaying a clear and bright liquid. The tea exudes a rich and lasting fragrance, and its taste is delightful, with a slightly brisk and concentrated flavor. The aftertaste is sweet, leaving a lingering charm of the tea.
Bi Luo Chun
Bi Luo Chun is a traditional and historically renowned green tea, with a lineage dating back to the Qing Dynasty in China. It has been produced and passed down to the present day, originating from the Dongting East Mountain Peninsula and West Mountain Island in Wuzhong District, Suzhou City, on the eastern shores of Lake Tai. The tea leaves of Bi Luo Chun are slender and curled, forming a spiral shape, with a surface covered in uniform, fine white hairs. Its infusion exhibits a clear and vibrant emerald green color, and the brewed tea leaves maintain a tender and uniform state of light green. In terms of taste, Bi Luo Chun tea offers a rich and refreshing flavor with a sweet and thick aftertaste.
Jasmine Green Tea
The production of Loose Leaf Jasmine Tea involves blending loose leaf tea with fresh jasmine flowers, allowing the tea leaves to absorb the floral fragrance. One particularly famous type of loose leaf Jasmine tea is Jasmine Green Tea. The aroma and taste of Jasmine Green Tea are distinct from other green teas, making it unique. Jasmine Green Tea is known for its rich and enduring fragrance, combined with the fresh and refreshing characteristics typical of green tea.
If you love jasmine tea, then I highly recommend trying iTeaworld's new Chinese Jasmine Tea Sampler, which features four different jasmine teas with different techniques that will allow you to savor the springtime of China in one box!
3.Choosing the Right Brewing Method
There are several brewing methods for loose leaf green tea, namely Upper Tea Brewing, Middle Tea Brewing, and Bottom Tea Brewing. When steeping tea, you can choose different brewing methods based on the level of tenderness and maturity of the loose leaf green tea. The appropriate brewing method can unlock the potential of the tea leaves, allowing you to savor the flavor of best loose leaf tea.
If the loose leaf green tea consists mainly of buds, the Upper Tea Brewing method is suitable. In this approach, you first pour boiling water into a glass cup and then add the tea leaves to the cup.
For loose leaf green tea with a mix of buds and leaves, the Middle Tea Brewing method is recommended. This involves pouring half of the hot water into the glass cup, adding the tea leaves, and then pouring in the remaining water after the tea leaves have been added.
If the loose leaf green tea uses thicker and more robust fresh leaves, the Bottom Tea Brewing method is suitable. This method involves placing the tea leaves into the cup first and then pouring water over them, the conventional way most people brew tea.
For more detailed information on these three brewing methods and the appropriate water temperatures, you can refer to this article, which provides comprehensive illustrations and explanations.
4.Brewing Tea with Mineral Water
The quality of water directly impacts the quality of tea infusion, and tea brewed with high-quality water results in a distinctive color and aroma, especially in the case of green tea.
Generally, spring water is the preferred choice, followed by clean streams and rivers, which are acceptable. However, not everyone has access to clean spring or stream water. In such cases, mineral water becomes an excellent option for brewing loose leaf tea.
5.Choosing the Right Amount of Tea Leaves
The quantity of tea leaves depends on personal preferences, with no standardized guidelines or fixed recommendations. It varies based on the size of the tea utensils, the type of tea, and individual taste preferences. Beginners can experiment with different amounts to find the desired concentration of their favorite tea.
In general, the tea-to-water ratio when brewing tea is around 1:50 to 60. For every 3 grams of green tea, use 150 milliliters of water. This ratio ensures a balanced brew, neither too strong nor too weak, with a flavor that is not overly bitter but rich and smooth. Such proportions are particularly suitable for brewing delicate premium teas and are ideal for serving guests.
The purpose of paying attention to the tea brewing method is to avoid the shortcomings of the tea and highlight its strengths, a concept known as "emphasizing strengths and avoiding weaknesses." By focusing on the brewing method, even for moderately quality loose leaf green tea, we can bring out its strengths and minimize its weaknesses, resulting in a slightly better taste. On the other hand, if we neglect the brewing method, the taste of even high-quality loose leaf green tea can vary significantly from the value we expect for the price paid.
I encourage everyone to experiment during the brewing process and discover the joy of savoring loose leaf green tea in various ways.