Top quality premium tea makes the best cup of healthy tea because the tea leaves are hand picked while still green and vibrant and then curled into balls to preserve their integrity. There are usually 3-4 leaves in a small compact ball and as the tea is steeping the leaves will open up like a flower. Once opened, you can see the green variation of each leaf, feel the texture and smell the rich aroma exuding from the tea leaves. These couple of balls of tea leaves will create many enjoyable sips of your cup of tea.
High quality tea is enjoyed best in small sips. Gong Fu style is the most common way of preparing and serving tea from Taiwan. Although we prefer making tea with a small earthenware teapot you can use any type of teapot, cup, mug, tea bowl or even a thermos to steep your tea. Because the tea leaves will bloom back to life, it is important to be mindful to have the proper balance as the leaves may expand upwards of 10 to 15 times in size. Traditionally these few balls of the tea leaves will be steeped many times thus delivering subtle changes in the flavor and yet provide enjoyment sip after sip.
Choosing good water is the second most important thing for making tea. When available use spring water as it will draw out the most taste and aroma from the premium teas. Hard water is the least desirable option for making tea.
Although it is called “hot tea”, using boiling water actually adversely affects premium tea. The tea balls are made from freshly picked leaves and are in hibernation until they are steeped in hot water and bloom back to life. Thus, boiling hot water will scald the tea leaves. Water for making oolong tea should be just below the boiling point - about 85 - 95 degrees Celsius or 185 - 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Wait several minutes before using the boiling hot water.
Pre-warm your utensils (teapot, tea cups or mugs) with the hot water you have boiled. Place a layer of tea balls into the teapot or whatever utensil that you have chosen. Then add the hot water with the correct temperature.
Time it takes to steep tea is a personal preference thus creating your perfect cup of tea. You can adjust once you become acquainted with the personality of the tea you have chosen.
Here is a guideline as a starting point. Since our tea is known for preserving its taste through multiple steeps, our tea can be brewed upwards of 6-7 times. The first steep is 50 seconds. The second and third is 30 seconds because the first steep has awaken the tea. The fourth steep is about 40 seconds. The fifth steep should be slightly longer than 50 seconds. The last steep can be 2 minutes. The main difference about our tea is that you can even let our tea steep as long as you like since it will not produce a bitter taste like most other teas. Our skillful transformation during the oxidation process has completely eliminated the bitterness of the tea.
You may enjoy your cup of tea in the mug or tea cup that you have made it in or you may pour into the traditional small cups and enjoy sip after sip.
As you can see making tea is simple and fun. You will soon find the appropriate balance between volume, temperature, and steeping time. Each type of tea is unique and getting to know its personality will help you make your perfect cup of tea. If the first steep is too strong or too weak, you can adjust the brewing time for subsequent steeps.