Tuesday, May 23, 2006

3 brewing methods for Lung Jing tea

In his latest Lung Jing book, Teaparker mentions 3 ways to brew this tea (page 66-69). They come as a good complement to the advice I gave last year in this article, which stirred some controversy among my readership.

The subject of the controversy was the use of just boiled water to brew this green tea (instead of temperatures ranging from 60 to 70 degrees Celcius, as suggested by most tea shops.)

Teaparker continues to advocate the use of water that has reached boiling, but suggests different methods depending on the quality of your leaves. All the methods use 5 grams for a 200 cc ceramic teaware (gaiwan or tea taster):

1. First fill the teaware with hot water, then add the tea leaves little by little, almost leave by leave. This method is best for low to medium quality longjing.

2. Fill the teaware with 1/3 hot water, slowly add the tea leaves, then add the rest of the water. This method is best for medium quality leaves.

3. First put the dry leaves in the teaware, then slowly add the hot water indirectly by first touching the walls of the teawar. This is best for high quality leaves.

The difference in the 3 methods is essentially the temperature of the water, as it will have had time to cool down in the first 2 methods. What is common is the use of water that has boiled and the use of porcelain. Many Mainland Chinese recommend to use transparant glass to better see the leaves. However, Teaparker notes that glass doesn't handle high temperatures as well as porcelain. He makes his point using the experments we made last year. He even included 2 pictures he took that day, which feature my tea quilt! (the one from my mom, which you can see in the background of that picture.)

8 comments:

An Lie Kai said...

which is the best type of water should be used for brewing a high grade Longjing tea? From what ive learned, soft water is suitable for brewing green tea instead of hard water, whereas other sources say mineral water is ideal for brewing. However, Tiger Spring water is the best kind for brewing Longjing and it is rich in mineral content. And what is the best TDS in water required to brew the perfect Longjing tea?

Stephane said...

An Lie Kai,
You are correct that soft water, with a low TDS is best to brew Longjing. However, it may also depend on the mix of minerals. There's no magic number. And zero (from RO) makes very flat tea.

I'm currently drinking Gao Shan Oolong with Wu Shi Shui from the same mountain as the tea. It works very well!

Thanks for your visit and interest in my blog. And sorry for the late answer.

An Lie Kai said...

Stephane,
Thank you for your reply, and one more thing which i forgot to mention, what do you think of bamboo charcoal-filtered water? is it suitable for brewing Long Jing or any other green tea? ive read so many articles on bamboo charcoal and none of them i find satisfying. Thank you again for your answer. :)

Stephane said...

An Lie Kai,
Bamboo filtered water can be very good for green tea. Using active bamboo charcoal adds life to water. Many waters need it and can be improved by it. Of course, some don't , so it's best to make your own tests to find out. For each water, the using of active bamboo will have different results.

Sorry if I can't give a definitive answer.

An Lie Kai said...

Thank you Stephane, for your answer. :)

bongoman said...

I'm trying the first method with what I suspect are low-grade leaves from a local tea shop.

Are you then drinking direct from the gaiwan, grandpa style? Or pouring out the tea into cups? If the latter, any clues as to timing?

Stephane said...

Bongoman,

The tea is then poured out. Timing depends on the leaves. The better, the longer the brewing time.

bongoman said...

Thanks for the reply Stephane.