Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured or fresh leaves of Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to China and East Asia. After water, it is the most widely consumed drink in the world. Brewing is the extraction of the goodness nature has induced in the black, oolong, green or white tea leaves. Brewing is an integral part of tea making, as the leaves are used whole, ground or chopped and steeping later in hot water to extract the flavor of the tea.
When choosing tea leaves to brew, you should also pay attention to their color. The most prized are the red-fleshed tea leaves, which are the ones most often used. They are red-fleshed due to a gene transfer from a flower, called the anther, which is used to make the tea. A red-fleshed tea leaf will extract more essence from the water used to brew it. Because of this they have become the most expensive tea leaves to use.
Brewing tea is as simple as it is a skill. You’ll need to have a kettle with a tight fitting lid, 4 cups of water, a teapot with filter screen at the bottom and a pair of chopsticks. The filter screen is important, as it will let the full aroma of the leaves pour into the water. There are many types of brewing methods, but the most common is single-serving brewing.
To do single-serving brewing, you’ll first need to put 4 cups of water into the pot, then add the leaves of the tea. Be sure to rinse them well and then steep them with the filter screen in the hot water for one minute. This will help extract the essence of the leaves. Then, place this brew into a basket, and let the brew cool. Next, remove the leaves from the brew and store in a sealed container. Once brewed, use only the one pot for the next serving.
The second brewing method is make-at-once brewing. In this case, you make the brew in the pot, then place the brew in a pot, then add boiling water to it. This allows you to brew a large pot of tea in one go, making it a great way to brew a lot of tea at one time.
The third brewing method is brew-and-then-use brewing. In this method, you brew the brew, then store it in a jar with hot water. Then you can use it straight away.
Finally, there’s the hot water bath brewing. This method allows you to make a tea without having to make hot water. The basic principle is the same as the make-at-once brewing, with the addition of hot water to the brew.
After brewing, you have two options. You can store the tea, or drink it.
Generally, the hot water bath brewing is best. This allows you to use less water than the other brewing methods, and this will help enhance the flavor. However, for the brew-and-then-use method, this can sometimes be best. After the brew, you have two options. You can store the brew, or drink it.
The basic concept behind the brew-and-use method is the same as the make-at-once brewing. After you make the tea, you store it in a pot. You add hot water, then the brew, then add ice and stir. When the tea is ready to drink, you add hot water, brew a second time and enjoy!
Brewing tea is an art. The best tea is the one that has been brewed many times, then stored in a cool environment, and finally brewed and stored several more times.
I hope this has helped you to understand the basic brewing methods, and I hope that this article has given you some food for thought on the subject. I can always use a few tips.