Help! Am I doing this all wrong?
Fairly new to Tea, yea, tea in general. I recently discovered David’s Tea and I’m hooked! So here’s what I do, and I think it’s wrong because I read reviews and threads here that are not at all like I do it.
I simply boil my kettle and poor, I let sit for about 4-6 minutes.
I see people boiling at specific temps, and steeping a second time, and steeping for only a minute or two. What’s up with that? Am I doing this wrong?
Different teas require different temps and steeping times for the best flavour. Keeping in mind, everyone has their own personal preferences.
The reasons for these different parameters are some teas can burn with too hot water (ie. white, green), and therefore they may taste bitter or taste bad if the wrong temp is used. Some teas if steeped too long can get too strong of a taste, so that is why there are different steep times.
Do a bit of research. Try teas with recommended parameters. But in the end, make it how you like it.
You’re not necessarily doing it wrong. It depends on what kind of tea you’ve got.
What you want to look at is what type of tea you’ve bought. Although it’s all made from the same plant, various teas behave differently according to the different types of processing procedures.
Black tea takes boiling water. (If it’s a flavoured black tea, you can sometimes get a better result if you use just under boiling water.)
Oolong tea takes water around 90°C or so
White tea and green tea takes water between 70°C and 80°C. If you use boiling water with white or green, the result is likely to be very bitter (although you can sometimes get lucky and get a drinkable cup with far too hot water, but that happens so rarely that it’s honestly not worth it even try. It’s like winning the lottery if it happens.)
Some teas if they are a good quality you can get an enjoyable cup on using the same leaf again, sometimes several times. Just steep it a bit longer than you did the first time. It’s worth giving this a go and seeing if you like it. It saves on the leaf and therefore saves you money, but some people don’t really care for the second steep so if it doesn’t work out for you, it’s not a big deal.
There is a method called gong-fu steeping which I think is what you’ve read about. It involves using a large amount of leaf to a small amount of water, but you do many very short steeps of it. Most people use a gaiwan which is like a tiny cup with a lid or a tiny little teapot for this, but if you want to give it a go, you can just try it in an ordinary coffee cup with a saucer for a lid and get the ‘proper’ (and sometimes fairly pricy) equipment for gong-fu brewing later on.