Brewing the Perfect Cup of Shang Tea

by on Sunday, August 10, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Want to know how we brew our tea in the store? Here is a step by step guide to what we do.

The Importance of Water

The first thing that we look at when brewing tea is the quality of the water. If you have been using straight tap water, we recommend that at the very least you start to filter you water in some way, whether that be a brita filter, a fridge filter, or an undersink filter. This will remove some of the chlorine/chloramines, dissolved solids from your pipes, and other components that may be in the tap water that will negatively affect the flavor and taste of your tea.

If you really want the improve your cup of tea though, we recommend either getting spring water or reverse osmosis water from your local grocery store. Many grocery stores have a reverse osmosis machine where you can get a gallon of water for somewhere around 40 cents per gallon. If opting for spring water, stick to waters that aren't too high in total dissolved solids (TDS) such as Crystal Geyser, 365 Spring Water, or Evian.

Heating the Water

When we brew tea at the store, we always let the water boil first and then cool down to the desired temperature. In our case, after boiling the water we let it cool to 208 degrees. We then like to put the hot water in a pitcher to let it cool to the 200-205 degree range. 

At home we typically achieve this by boiling the water in a stovetop or electric kettle, then opening the lid and letting the water sit for about a minute before slowly pouring the water on the tea leaves.

Amount of Tea Leaves

For big leafy teas such as our White Peony King or Honeysuckle White Tea, we add a heaping tablespoon per 8 - 12 oz of water. For denser teas such as Tangerine Blossom or High Mountain Green Tea, we add 1/2 - 1 level table spoon per 8 - 12 oz of water. For those who want to be precise, you can weigh the tea on a scale. Use about 3.5 - 4 grams of tea per 8 - 12 oz cup.

Steeping the Tea

This part is more personal preference, however we steep the tea for only about 1 minute the first time we use the leaves. When you are ready for more tea, you can reuse the leaves about 2 - 3 more times. Brew the tea a little bit longer each time, so maybe 1-2 minutes for the second steeping, 2-4 minutes for the third, and 5-7 minutes for the fourth. Experiment to figure out how you like to brew the tea.

Wrap Up

These are all loose guidelines for how we brew our tea. Remember, the most important factor besides good quality tea leaves is good water! If you use good quality water, the rest will fall into place. 

Did we answer everything for you? If not, leave a note in the comments section or send us an email, and we'll help you out!

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