Brewing oolong tea is an art that requires careful attention to detail to get the best out of your oolong and make the perfect cup. Oolong tea, known for its complex flavours and aromas, can be enjoyed through multiple infusions (brews), each revealing different nuances.
To help you master the art of brewing oolong tea, here are some helpful tips and techniques:
1. Choose high-quality oolong tea: Start with good-quality oolong tea leaves, we recommend Buds & Beads GABA Oolong or Mao Xie “Hairy Crab” Oolong. The quality of the tea leaves greatly impacts the taste of the final brew.
2. Use fresh, filtered water: Water quality matters when brewing oolong tea. Opt for fresh, filtered water to enhance the flavours. Avoid distilled or heavily chlorinated water as they can negatively affect the taste.
3. Preheat your tea ware: Warm up your teapot, teacups, and any other tea ware you plan to use for around 30 seconds. Pouring hot water into the teapot and cups before brewing helps maintain the optimal brewing temperature and ensures a consistent brew. Remember to discard the water before brewing.
4. Measure the right amount of tea leaves: We recommend the ratio is 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per 250ml of water. Adjust the amount based on your personal taste preferences and the specific oolong tea you're brewing. Experiment with different leaf-to-water ratios to find your preferred strength.
5. Control water temperature: To get the best out of your tea it requires a specific water temperature. The ideal temperature for oolong depends on the type of oolong tea, but we recommend for both our oolongs to heat your water to around 85°C to 95°C. Lighter oolongs might benefit from lower temperatures, while darker oolongs can handle slightly higher temperatures.
6. Time your steeping: Oolong teas require precise timing to achieve the desired flavours. Steeping times can vary depending on the type of oolong and personal taste preferences. Start with shorter steeping times, around 1-2 minutes, and gradually increase to find your preferred balance of strength and flavour.
7. Experiment with multiple infusions: Oolong teas are known for their ability to withstand multiple infusions. Each steeping reveals different layers of flavours, it also reduces the amount of tea wasted from single use. Experiment with different steeping times and water temperatures for subsequent infusions to explore the tea's complexity fully. We like to steep the first infusion for 30 seconds to “rinse” the tea leaves and discard this liquor. Your second steep should be your first cup you drink!
8. Appreciate the aroma: Before taking your first sip, inhale the aroma deeply. Oolong teas often have captivating fragrances that can enhance the overall tea experience. Notice the subtleties in the aroma and how they evolve with each infusion.
9. Enjoy mindfully: Oolong tea is best enjoyed when you can fully immerse yourself in the experience. Find a calm and peaceful environment, free from distractions, to savor each sip. Take your time, allowing the flavours to unfold on your palate.
Remember, the art of brewing oolong tea is subjective, and everyone has their own preferences. Don't hesitate to experiment, adjust the parameters, and enjoy the journey of discovering the nuances and complexities of this remarkable tea.
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