In this tea making tutorial, we will focus solely on how to Oolong Tee best prepared.
However, since oolong tea is fermented to different degrees and the tea leaf sizes can also vary, there is no uniform rule as to how oolong tea is best brewed. See also our oolong tea overview.
Of course, you can also brew oolong in a conventional teapot, but you should use a tea filter, which you can remove after brewing, otherwise the taste of the tea can become bitter.
How much tea do you need?
It should be noted here that Oolong tea is either sold rolled or with twisted tea leaves and that these unfold back to their original size when brewed.
For rolled tea leaves we recommend 3 to 4 teaspoons per liter or when using a Gaiwan or a Yixing teapot with a capacity of 200ml, just under a teaspoon is enough!
For twisted tea leaves, you take about twice the amount.
What water do you use to brew oolong tea?
The water should not be too hard; softened tap water or soft, non-carbonated mineral water is well suited. The water should be fresh and not stale.
What is the correct brewing temperature for oolong tea?
This is where a science of its own begins, but if you follow a few rules, you will quickly achieve success.
Basically, one can say that the greener, i.e. the less the tea has been fermented, the cooler the water, or the more strongly the tea has been fermented, the hotter it can be brewed.
- For lightly fermented oolongs like Alishan, Milky or Baozhong it is often sufficient to brew them at 80 – 85°C
- More heavily fermented oolongs like Dong Ding or roasted oolongs are better brewed at 85 – 90°C
- Strongly fermented teas like Red Oolong - or aged Tee need approx. 95°C to be able to develop your aroma properly.
How long should oolong tea steep?
Normally it is not necessary to steep oolong tea for more than 3 minutes. It is advisable to start with one minute of brewing time and gradually approach your personal taste preference in 30-second increments. With most oolong teas, 2-3 minutes is a good time.
An exception are the Aged Oolongs which, due to their age, need longer for the tea leaves to unfold and release their aroma. However, it can also happen that the first steepings are too intense and the right taste only emerges after brewing 3-4 times.
How often can oolong tea be brewed?
Oolong tea is of very high quality. Since only whole tea leaves are processed, it is possible to brew oolong tea more often! Basically, one can say that Oolong tea from higher plantations can be brewed more often than teas that have grown faster on lower plantations. On average, all oolong teas can certainly be brewed at least 3-4 times. New aromas are then released with each brewing process.
Tea Eggs and Strainers
Remember that the tea leaves unfold to their full size when brewing and take up a lot of space. Therefore, when using a large teapot, we recommend a "basket-shaped" tea strainer. Tea eggs, on the other hand, are usually too small to brew loose tea.
How to brew oolong tea step by step?
- Thermometer (optional)
- Teapot or Gaiwan (200ml capacity)
- filter or strainer
- Stopwatch (or smartphone)
- Tea cup for serving
- Riechbecher (optional)
- A teaspoon of oolong tea leaves (rolled)
- Approx. 1 liter of water - enough so that you can pour it over your teaware to warm it up
INSTRUCTIONS how to do it in 6 easy steps
1. Heat the water until it reaches the desired temperature, a thermometer will help you determine this. Some kettles already have a built in thermostat which can be used as an alternative but not as accurate as a separate thermometer can be.
2. Pour a small amount of heated water over the teapot and cups, and fill the empty teapot with it to heat up. Then pour the water out again.
3. Now put about 1 teaspoon of tea leaves in the heated teapot and pour the hot water over the oolong tea. Now close the teapot or gaiwan and let the tea steep. You can stop the time with your smartphone.
4. Depending on your personal preferences, you can now steep the oolong tea. We recommend starting with a brewing time of about one minute and then increasing the brewing process in 30-second increments until you achieve your favorite taste
5. After the brewing time has elapsed, pour the tea into the prepared teacup. If you use a tea strainer in your teapot, please remove it. Alternatively, empty the remaining tea into a second teapot,
6. Now you can enjoy the freshly brewed tea!
BONUS Tip: a slim smelling cup is also used at a Chinese tea ceremony. First you fill the brewed Oolong tea in the scented cup, cover it with a teapot, turn both together and then remove the empty scented cup. If you now bring the smelling cup to your nose, you can take in all the great, intense aromas with your nose.
An overview of all oolong teas from Taiwan that are available here in the Evergreen Teashop you can find here:
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