As everyone knows, to make delicious dishes, you not only need good ingredients but also good skills. Brewing tea, although not as complex as cooking, has some similarities. Some differences in brewing steps can lead to different results, even with the same type of tea.
Loose leaf green tea, like loose leaf black tea and loose leaf oolong tea, can be brewed in a Gaiwan, which is a convenient brewing method. However, loose leaf green tea is more suitable for brewing in a glass cup. Because loose leaf green tea is visually appealing, a glass cup allows you to appreciate the clear broth and green leaves simultaneously, creating a beautiful presentation.
Below, we will introduce three ways to brew green tea using a glass cup: Upper Tea Brewing, Middle Tea Brewing, and Bottom Tea Brewing.
Upper Tea Brewing
Choose an open glass cup and pour hot water at around 85 degrees Celsius into the cup. When the cup is about 70% full, stop pouring and add the tea leaves. When adding the tea leaves, drop them from the air without touching the cup's walls to prevent them from sticking.
The Upper Tea Brewing is suitable for high-grade loose-leaf green teas with many buds and delicate leaves, such as high-grade Biluochun and Xinyang Maofeng loose leaf green teas. To purchase the best loose leaf tea, you need to spend time and effort to distinguish and select the right one. When you have acquired high-quality loose leaf tea, it's essential to choose the appropriate method to brew it to fully appreciate its flavor.
The advantage of the Upper Tea Brewing is that it allows you to observe the tender buds unfurling in the cup when they meet the water, as well as the "green tea dance" of the leaves floating up and down. Moreover, the Upper Tea Brewing avoids vigorously agitating the tea leaves, preventing the loss of delicate hairs on high-grade green tea leaves, which could make the tea murky. When brewed using the Upper Tea Brewing, the tea offers a sweet taste in the beginning, a mellow taste in the middle, and a refreshing taste at the end.
Middle Tea Brewing
Choose an open glass cup and pour hot water at around 85 degrees Celsius into the cup. Stop pouring when the cup is about one-third full. At this point, add a suitable amount of dry tea leaves and gently shake the cup to wet the leaves completely. You can smell the aroma of the green tea at this stage, which is very pleasant. After smelling the aroma, continue pouring water until the cup is about 70% full.
The Middle Tea Brewing is suitable for tightly rolled loose leaf green teas like Longjing tea, Taiping Houkui, and Huangshan Maofeng.
The advantage of the Middle Tea Brewing is that you can pour water from a height during the second water addition, gradually lowering the water temperature and avoiding the bitterness of the tea. Additionally, using the Middle Tea Brewing, the tea leaves float more consistently in the water. When brewed using the Middle Tea Brewing, you taste mellowness in the beginning, sweetness in the middle, and freshness at the end.
Bottom Tea Brewing
Choose an open glass cup, place an appropriate amount of dry tea leaves at the bottom, and then pour hot water along the cup's walls until it's about 70% full. Because the Bottom Tea Brewing is suitable for different types of tea leaves compared to the Upper Tea Brewing and Middle Tea Brewing, you can use hot water at 90-95 degrees Celsius. During the brewing process, you can watch the beauty of the tea leaves unfurling and swirling as you pour in the water, which helps release substances from the tea leaves.
The Bottom Tea Brewing is suitable for large-leaf, loosely shaped, and less tender loose leaf green teas, such as Liu An Gua Pian and lower-grade Taiping Houkui.
The advantage of the Bottom Tea Brewing is that the forceful water flow can fully stimulate the substances in the tea leaves. Some less tender green teas may lack the desired freshness and aroma, and they require the impact of high-temperature water to bring out the aromatic compounds. When brewed using the Bottom Tea Brewing, the tea has a more tender, bright green color, and a fuller flavor.
To fully understand the different green tea brewing methods, it's best to practice them yourself to experience the unique qualities of each method. As for where to purchase the corresponding green tea, we recommend iTeaworld's Green Tea Sampler, which includes various top-grade and above top-grade classic green teas. This will allow you to fully experience the differences that the Upper Tea Brewing, Middle Tea Brewing, and Bottom Tea Brewing can bring to your tea enjoyment.
The three green tea brewing methods introduced above cover most types of green tea. We hope this article helps you better understand how to brew green tea and choose the right method to bring out the best flavor of each type of green tea.