How to make Chinese tea in the traditional way.

 

A good Kungfu approach to preparing your favourite tea requires some basic tea-ware and a good quality tea of your choice.
  • A tea-pot (Yixing/ Purple Clay or porcelain)
  • A matching tea-cups (presentation purpose)
  • Tea tray for dispensing water
  • Tea picker ( washing cups )
  • Tea chopsticks (clearing of tea spout)
  • Tea warmer and sieve
Step 1

Basic concepts are observed during the Kungfu approach. However, personal preference and tea quality plays an important role in preparation of a good cup of tea. Practice makes perfect of course! Before we begin, a good quality Westlake Longgin (Green Tea) is used. Just a gentle reminder, tea-connoisseurs used a different tea pot for each classes of tea. The idea is to ‘grow’ the teapot. Remember, the next time you wash the tea pot, just simply rinse it and not wash it with detergent.
Step 2

It is important that your tea does not come into contact with foreign agents. Sunlight, alien smell (durian for example) and even grease, the result of natural secretion from your hand can all affect the quality of your tea.

Here, we used a dry bamboo tea spoon to scoop the recommended amount from the canister into the teapot. Notice, we have used an additional bamboo tea ring which we placed on the tea-pot. It is to prevent tea-leaves from spilling.

Step 3

Now, add hot water at the recommended temperature (usually 80 – 85 degrees for green teas) into the teapot. Notice that different classes of tea require different temperature to whip up a good brew.

In the case of fine and delicate green teas, if the water is too hot, it would damage and reduce the good nutrients that are found in green teas. Simply, those anti-oxidizing agents are greatly reduced! Fill it to half the tea-pot. Twirl the tea-pot slightly to ‘wake’ the tea up.

Step 4

Immediately, dispense the water from the teapot into the tea-cups. The rationale is 1) wash away the tea dust from the good quality tea leaves 2) warm the tea-cups at the same time.

Note that those unwanted tea dust are usually found in tea-bags. As a consumer, you decide!

Step 5

The tea-picker is used to empty the tea-cups. The cups are usually too hot to handle, so to all tea-lovers, check out our tea-ware column. With this step, the tea-cups are now rousing with the strong aroma and ready to use.
Step 6

Fill the teapot to the brim with the right temperature water. While covering the lid, you can skim away the foam on the surface. Now, pour hot water on the outside of the teapot as well. This step ensures the same temperature is maintain from the inside and outside of the pot to bring out the essence of the tea.
Step 7

This step is where personal preference plays a crucial role in the infusion time. You can refer to the recommended infusion time and fine tune it along the way.

A good infusion brings out the best the tea leaves have to offer. Unlike the English tea style, never leave the water in the pot for a longer than optimum time suggested. The tea become ‘corrupt’ and taste bitter.

Otherwise, adjust the infusion timing according to your preference within the time-frame. Varying infusion time again for different classes of tea.

Step 8

This step is optional. Some tea-connoisseurs prefer to use a sieve and tea warmer to dispense the tea from the pot. The sieve serve to prevent any tiny tea leaves from getting into the way of your tea appreciation. Sometimes, the tea leaves might be stuck at the spout. Use the tea-chopsticks to clear the passage.
Step 9

Place the tea-cups beside one-another. Dispensing the tea from the tea warmer must be done in a circular motion. The tea is usually more concentrated at the bottom of the teapot. The even distribution ensures every cup is of equal strength and enjoyment. If not, one cup might have less body than another and your good tea-mate might get upset!
Step 10

Finally, a good cup of Longgin is ready. Some tea-drinkers might want to use the smelling cup (taller white cups), this is the normal practice for Oolong, before sipping into the tea. Cheers and enjoy your cup of Koko tea for many years to come!