by: Wong Yee Lee
How To Make Chinese Tea
Chinese tea - water quality
The quality of tea is controlled by the quality of
the water. It was said in ancient China that water is the mother of tea.
There are three categories of water: best is water
from a hill, average is water from the river, bottom is water from a
well. The best water from a hill is on a hilltop; the best water from a
river is in the middle of a river; the best water from a well is from a
well which is frequently used.
It is not easy to get water from a hill. So water
from a tap is the most common. There are two ways to make the best use
of tap water when making tea. 1. Leave the tap water in a bucket for 24
hours in order to let out the chlorine inside. 2. Boil the water then
open the lid for 5 minutes in order to let out the chlorine inside.
Distilled water is a kind of artificial soft
water. It is the most hygienic but it would not be the most ideal water for
Best water temperature for making Chinese
1. Low temperature (70 - 80c)
Good for making young shoot green tea such as Long
Jing (Dragon Well) or yellow tea (Silver Needle).
2. Medium temperature (80 - 90c)
Good for making white tea (Silver Needle White
Fur), red tea or Oolong.
3. High temperature (90 - 100c)
Good for making tea such as Tie Guan Yin (Iron
Guan Yin), Pu'er, Shui Xian (Water Fairy).
Low temperature water tends to be more suitable
for young tea leaves while high temperature water tends to be more
suitable for ripe tea leaves.
Chinese tea - tea leaves
Chinese tea used to be categorized by its place of
origin or place where it went to. Only till recently that Chinese tea is
categorized based on its way of manufacture.
6 types of tea:
Green, yellow, black, white, light green and red.
Green tea has the longest history and it can be
dated over 3000 years ago. People picked the young shoots of leaves and
dried it in the sun without fermentation.
Examples of green tea:
- Long Jing
- Fur Tip
- Green Spring Snail
Yellow tea is to ferment the tea leaves before
they are totally dry. A degree of 10% to 20% fermentation would be
Examples of yellow tea:
- Silver Needle
- Yellow Soup
- Big Leaf Green
Black tea is to ferment tea leaves to a degree of
100%. It is a kind of commonly consumed tea in Mongolia.
Examples of black tea:
White tea is a kind of day dry tea which is
lightly fermented to a degree of 20% - 30%. Tea leaves are usually young
ones covered with white fur.
Examples of white tea:
- Longevity Eyebrow
- White Peony
- Silver Needle White Fur
Light green tea is a kind of tea lightly fermented
to a degree of 30% - 60%. Tea leaves are green in the middle and red on
the fringe. This type of tea gives a taste of fruit or flowers.
Examples of Light green tea:
- Water Fairy
- SONG Species Long Bush
- Iron Guan Yin
Red tea is a kind of tea fermented to a degree of
80% - 90%. Western countries usually call it Black Tea. It usually gives
a taste of roses.
Examples of red tea:
Tea pot - Zisha tea pot is known as the best tea
pot for making tea with. Colors vary from dark purple, red to light
yellow. Zisha tea pots have very tiny holes suitable for brewing tea.
Also, it prevents any chemical changes from taking place.
Tea spoon - The best tea spoon would be made of
bamboo. It is also used for removing any tea leaves from blocking the
tea mouth (opening on top of the tea pot).
Tea boat - It is used for laying tea pot and tea
cups. The first rinse of water would be poured into the tea boat. This
water can also be used for rinsing tea cups.
Tea cloth - It is used for wiping the water
outside the tea pot.
Tea cups - The right size of tea cups would be
used for their appropriate corresponding size of tea pots.
Healing aspects of Chinese tea
Chinese tea is known to have good healing power.
It not only boosts health but also allows longevity. However, we should
avoid tea which has been left cool for a long time or overnight.
Take Oolong as an example, it can reduce the fat
in blood. It has been known for a long time that tea can reduce the fat
in human body. Or take Pu'er or white tea as an example, it would be
ideal for people to maintain a slim body. Apart from the effects above,
all the three teas can reduce the possibility of developing cancer.