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Lesson #5. Brewing of chinese tea. The weigh and temperature

If you are a beginner in tea brewing however intend to do it properly, than you will need the following utensils:

Off course, you can measure «by-sight», brew in a regular tea pot and cool the water based by your own sensation. But we are learning to brew tea properly, so the aforementioned utensils wouldn’t go amiss and will come in handy further on. Practicing to brew with these utensils you will steep and measure the temperature, weight and volume correctly.

7 grams of oolong

Many people will be right to mention that tea in China is more than a mere beverage, it is an art and poetry not to be distracted by measuring temperature and volume. My answer is: learn how to brew correctly and try the real flavor of the tea before you start experimenting and expressing yourself. As Dali puts it: «At first you should learn to draw and paint as old masters, and do anything you want after that - everybody will respect you».

To drive the point home I’ll give an example from my own life. For many years I’ve been measuring tea «by sight», but coming in China I’ve been always surprised that the natives brew much stronger tea. At first the taste was odd but after a week or more on such tea I could not drink it the old way: there was no enough flavor, especially in oolongs. Later on, when studying Chinese sources, I discovered that the correct proportion was to take 7 grams of pu’er and oolong or 5 grams of other teas per 100 ml of water. My tea became consistently tasty and I re-trained my «sight» to these new weights. Now I always brew tea in my favorite gaiwan «by sight». In other words, after learning the real flavor of tea I have tuned my brewing skills in line with correct practices. And they will be hard to disregard further on. You will always sense if you steeped it right and how completely delivered the flavor.

For green, yellow, white and red tea take 5 grams per 100ml. This is how the dry leaf looks in 100ml gaiwan.

5 grams of flat leaf tea “Dragon Well from Xi Hu lake” fill the half of gaiwan.

5 grams of flat leaf tea “Dragon Well from Xi Hu lake” fill the half of gaiwan.

5 grams of small napless buds of “Mount Jun Silver Needles" fill no more than one third of gaiwan.

5 grams of small napless buds of «Mount Jun Silver Needles» fill no more than one third of gaiwan.

5 grams of “White peony” tips fill up the whole gaiwan.

5 grams of «White peony» tips fill up the whole gaiwan.

Versatile and bright oolong flavor requires 7 grams per 100ml of water. This is how the dry leaf looks in gaiwan.

7 grams of large-leaf non-rolled “Lonely bushes from the mount Phoenix” tea fill two thirds of gaiwan.

7 grams of large-leaf non-rolled «Lonely bushes from the mount Phoenix» tea fill two thirds of gaiwan.

7 grams of “Big red robe” oolong with the average leaf size fill a half of gaiwan.

7 grams of «Big red robe» oolong with the average leaf size fill a half of gaiwan.

7 grams of rolled Tie Guan Yin fill less than one third of gaiwan.

7 grams of rolled Tie Guan Yin fill less than one third of gaiwan.

When brewing shu and sheng pu’ers also use 7 grams per 100ml. This is how the dry leaf looks in gaiwan.

7 grams of pu’er from the cake.

7 grams of pu’er from the cake.

7 grams of loose small leaf “Palace pu’er” fill less than one third of gaiwan.

7 grams of loose small leaf «Palace pu’er» fill less than one third of gaiwan.

7 grams of loose sheng pu’er fill up the whole gaiwan.

7 grams of loose sheng pu’er fill up the whole gaiwan.

Brewing of tea in 100ml:

The Type of Tea Weight
per 100 ml
water temperature
°C 
the Best material The Worst Material
Green tea 5 gram 70-80 Glass Yixing clay
Yellow tea 5 gram 80-90 Glass Yixing clay
White tea 5 gram 95-100 Porcelain, clay  
Red tea 5 gram 90-100 Porcelain, clay Glass
Wulong 7 gram 95-100 Yixing clay Glass
Pu’er 7 gram 100 Porcelain, clay Glass

When brewing pu’er and oolong the first steeping is discarded as insufficiently saturated. This information is to be kept in mind and applied, and you will always get most splendid tea.

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