Floating Leaves Tea Home ---Shiuwen's Blog!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Frequest Asked Questions: Tea Quantity and Brewing Time

In my last post, I talked about the acceptable water temperature to brew Taiwanese Oolong. This Saturday, two new customers came in and asked to buy a tea thermometer. I told them that they don't need one and then invited them to have some tea with me.

They didn't know what to think of my answer, but if you experiment with good oolong, you will see that it can withstand hot water. I hope you all had a chance to brew your Taiwanese Oolong with boiling water and compared it to the way you normally brewed.

I'm also asked a lot about how long I brew my oolongs for. I would say around 30 seconds; more time is added for subsequent infusions. Every season when I receive new oolongs, I will try them out and then adjust the timing. Once again, weather is different every season, which makes tea different every season. I suggest you brew your tea the way you normally like to do it and then adjust the brewing time.

The amount of dry leaves that I use: I don't measure my tea. I will use a scale to weigh the tea when I am tasting oolongs in the tea competition style or the bowl method. But for those people who are just getting into gongfu style tea, here are the amounts of tea I usually use (I measured them today to make sure): rolled taiwanese oolongs- 8 grams; Baozhong- 6 grams; Oriental Beauty- 5 grams.

I hope so far you are getting a clear message from me. Be adventurous with your tea and don't be afraid of experimenting or making mistakes. For beginners, I hope I have offered you enough information to start. When you read things about "there is only one correct way to make Oolong tea", please ignore them. It's narrow-minded to say that. While we want to learn this and that about tea, please keep the Dong Ding farmer's question in mind: "When you drink a tea, can you tell if it's good?"


Paul Dray said...

Hi Shiuwen!

Out of curiousity, can I ask what size the Gaiwan/Teapot was that you used with the tea measurements you gave in this post?

Shiuwen said...


Of course.
I use a gaiwan that is about 120ml of size. I hope this answers your question.
Thank you for reading!

Anonymous said...

I've heard that the need for cool water is just a way to cover for a tea that's not quite as good. Cool water hides flaws, especially in things like processing and storage. --Spirituality of Tea