Monday, May 31, 2010

The art of making chinese tea...

Hiiii Tea Tuesday bloggers!!
I hope you've had a good weekend!

Well, as promised, a mini tutorial on the traditional process of brewing chinese tea.

 In chinese tea drinking, the emphasis is on the tea rather than the process which is designed to draw out the drink's finest nuances, to be savoured over a good conversation amongst friends..

The process I'm sharing today may vary a little when using other types of tea leaves but here are the fundamental steps.

( PS: I'm no tea master ;)
but I love this process for what it does to a good cuppa)

I've had the priviledge of learning this process from Mr Vincent Low who runs a tea shop in Singapore.
 (I couldn't find a link to his shop but he does have a wonderful shop selling good quality tea).

I've labeled the various utensils required in the picture above and I'll be using these terms for the description.

Today's tea is white tea  which comes from the 
silver buds of the tea plant and it has minimal processing, hence its tremendous health benefits.

Hot boiling water is first poured onto the utensils to warm them.
the water is then poured away into the "tea sea".

Carefully place the tea leaves into the miniature teapot, about one third full.
Pour hot water into the teapot until it overflows.
Place the lid on, and continue to pour hot water over the teapot, so as to maintain the temperature or rather to keep it hot.

Let it sit for about two minutes, and then the first brew is poured into the pouring pitcher, 
the smelling cup and the tea cups.

This will allow the flavor of the tea to penetrate the tea cups and the pouring pitcher. 

The first brew is to be discarded. 

This is a picture showing the tea leaves after the first brew
(my apologies as it's a distance away to see it clear enough ;) ) .

The tea leaves are softened by the process,
which helps to release the nutrients from the tea leaves.

Pour hot water into the teapot and outside the teapot again and let it sit for another minute or so.

Pour the tea into the smelling cups not by filling one cup at a time but
by passing the tea over each cup so they fill equally.

Pour the tea from the smelling cup into the tea cup, take a whiff into the smelling cup
and slowly sip in the tea.

 Excess tea is drained into the pouring pitcher which fits the teapot nicely
so there is no need for a strainer.

This miniature teapot is good for making 14 cups of flavorful tea ie 7 cups for each person.

I wish you could join me for tea....  :))

Happy Tea Tuesday!



~*~Patty said...

ooo Steph, I DO feel like I have had a special tea time with you ... how relaxing the ceremony is ... thank you SO much for sharing that ... in my dreams you and I will get to sip tea together some day :)

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

This is truly an art. I had no idea there were so many steps involved in making a great cup of Chinese tea. It takes practice and dedication to do this each day. It's a good thing each person has seven cups of tea, although I was surprised to read this tiny teapot was good for 14 cups.

Your setup is beautiful and your tea tutorial was so well executed. You may not be the "master," but you are certainly well educated in the art of tea making (and drinking). I've learned so much coming to your site that I've set out to find some Pu'er tea. Now I must find a tea cup and a matching smelling cup.

Have a great Tea Tuesday from half way around the world.

Betty said...

let's have it together and journal together!

*jean* said...

cool....and fascinating! thank you for sharing!! happy T day!

La Dolce Vita said...

what a great post, great photos, and thanks for sharing this with us!