How to hold a genuine tea ceremony at home

How to hold a genuine tea ceremony at home

06.02.2019

There is more to tea ceremony than just tea brewing; it requires special attention both to the drink and the process. In this article, we will tell you how to hold a tea ceremony at home keeping it easy. The first step of the process is to choose your tea. Which taste of this drink do you prefer?

Those who like it light and fresh should pay attention to white and green sorts of tea. If you like astringent, saturated and brutal tea taste, then go for a variety of dark sorts (black tea, dark oolong, shu pu-erh). In Russia, it is the black tea that has gained popularity, because tea of this type can warm you up in the cold season. We would like to draw particular attention to teas from  Africa. Today, Africa is the leading producer of tea, though the production there started just over a hundred years ago. Black tea accounts for the majority of African tea production, along with some green and white sorts. African tea has an expressive and vibrant taste, rich and beautiful infusion color.

Water

As tea primarily consists of water, its role is very important. Pure soft (but not too soft) water, which has no odor or taste, is considered the best. Tap water, well and filtered water may not be suitable, as it is often harder with higher mineral content. Anyway, the best approach is to try brewing your favorite tea with different kinds of water, in order to compare their taste and select your best fit.

Brewing temperature

Every tea group has its nuances and the temperature plays an important role. The characteristics indicated below are general, although they can vary for particular sorts.

  • White and green tea: 70 to 85 С
  • Light oolong: 80 to 90 С
  • Dark oolong: 90 to 95 С
  • Black tea: 90 to 100 С
  • Pu-erh (shu): 100 C

Quality of tea

One of the factors that influence the quality of tea is the elevation of its growing.  The higher is the location of a tea plantation, the higher is the value of its tea. This dependence is due to the fact that tea grows very slowly in the highlands, which allows its leaves to produce complex chemical substances that ensure the most vibrant and interesting flavor and taste of the future drink.

In Kenya, tea plantations are located at an altitude of up to 3,000 meters above sea level, hence the 'high' taste of Kenyan tea appreciated by many gourmets. In addition, no pesticides are used in the highlands of Kenya, which is why the tea is environmentally friendly.

Loose leaf tea brewing ceremony

In order to hold a tea ceremony at home, you don't need to possess the entire set of Chinese accessories. You can arrange the tea brewing process with the crockery you have. Take the smallest teapot you have (you need just the teapot and the lid, but no strainer). The best if its volume is under 500 ml. Put some tea into it, assuming 2 teaspoons per 200 ml. Now pour in some hot water and pour it out immediately. Once the tea leaves have warmed up, it is time to start our ceremony. Pour the water of the required temperature and leave it in for 10 to 20 seconds, then pour the tea out into another vessel (it is more practical to use a small jar / creamer or something similar) and use a fine strainer to avoid the tea leave pieces getting into the infusion. This is necessary for the tea to blend up and have a homogenous taste. Pour the ready tea into teacups (use small ones, 50 to 100 ml). Repeat the brewing process while the tea keeps its taste.  (*Before brewing tea, you need to warm up all the crockery). This is the way to brew any kind of tea.

If you want to get a stronger and richer cup of tea, add a slice of lemon or some milk to it, then just put a teaspoon of Kenyan black tea into a teapot, pour in 200 ml of boiling water and let it brew for 5 minutes. The vibrant and strong taste of African tea with a beautiful infusion color fits perfectly with any additives and turns ordinary tea drinking into a small celebration.

The secrets of the tea ceremony were shared with you by Natalia Prokhorenko. Teatester, developer with May company. Champion of Russia in Tea blending.

Image © Tastyexpert

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