HOW TO BREW THE PERFECT CUP OF CHINESE TEA

Tea is a very important part of the Chinese culture. Chinese have drunk tea since ancient times and so they have a wide range of knowledge and experience with tea and tea making. There are some very important steps in tea making. The first of which is to choose the right tea, the second, choosing good water and the third is to choose a tea container. The fourth step is to select the right temperature at which to brew the tea.     

There are five methods for choosing tea. The five methods are referred to as Xin, Gau, Jun, Xiang, and Jing. The Xin method is to choose fresh tea, never using bitter or dull-fragranced teas. Gan means that the tea leaves need to have low moisture content (less than 6%). When tea is rubbed between the fingers, it should be easily made into a fine powder that would quickly fly away. Jun is the fashion in which you choose the right tea leaves. In choosing tea leaves, knowing how to select the right thickness and color is very important. The thickness of the leaves should be even and the color should be without any burned marks (which could result from roasting). Also, the leaves should not display too many crumbs or any moles. Xiang means the fragrance of the tea should have a soft scent without any burnt or sour smells. Jing means that tea shouldn't contain any foreign substances. The best floral(herbal) teas have deep but fresh, pure scents. There are several ways to make good floral tea. One way is to collect the tea leaves and keep them in a special tight container, letting them sit as long as one year. Certain floral teas taste better and smell better the longer that they stay in the container. For example, Xi-lu-long-jing, Gi-qiang, and Mo-gan-huaug-ya teas are to remain in the container called Sheug-shi-hui-gang for 1-2 months. The color and scent of the tea improves as it stays in the container, compared to it's condition with no time spent in the container. However, teas like Yun-nan-ouer-cha produce deeper flavors with better fragrances when they remain in the containers for a year.