Apr 13, 2010

Brewing Long Jing (dragonwell)

It was a pleasant job packing the pre-ordered tea into parcels to send to people. Just handling the new spring green tea already made me feel caffeinated!

I tried to put together a short "brewing instruction" to include in the package. But still I am not sure if it's an ok instruction. Giving brewing instruction is always complicated and something I always hesitate to do. By doing it, you are instructing people to use an exact amount of leaves, exact volume of water, exact temperature and exact infusion time (although most of my brewing "instructions" lack the exact numbers for these parameters). But how is it possible for all the people to do exactly the same thing? And usually in tea brewing, simultaneous deviation from a few parameters result in smaller disaster than missing just one parameter, whether it's temperature, leaf amount or infusion time.

Chinese green teas are relatively easier to deal with. So I dare to send this to all the people. But still this is only one of the many ways to brew it, and in my eyes, one of the easiest way.

Vessel: A small cup, glass, or liquor glass (about 8 oz.). A mug (about 10 oz.) is good too. (I love glass mugs!)

Water temperature: 185 F to 195 F. Don’t use newly boiled water or water temperature lower than 175 F. To get a suitable temperature, you may bring water to boiling and then let it sit in kettle for 5 minutes. (This method actually minimizes the chance of leaves being scorched even if water temperature is a bit high.)

1.   Pour water to fill about ¼ of the cup (or glass/mug)
2.  Throw tea leaves to let them just cover the surface of water (Maybe a little more. I have relatively light taste on green tea. Many people would add more tea leaves than what I do.)

3.   Gently swirl the cup for 15-30 seconds, to allow leaves get wet on both sides. (Sometimes unnecessary, but it won't hurt.)
4.   Pour in more hot water to fill about ¾ of the cup’s total volume. (It doesn't really matter if you fill the cup to more than 3/4 volume. But I think it looks NICE not having the cup filled all the way to the top.)

5.   Wait for leaves to sink. Start drinking after 1.5 to 3 minutes, when most leaves sink to the bottom of the cup. (If leaves don’t sink, it’s probably due to low water temperature. Wave them away with a fork for the first infusion, and then use hotter water for the second infusion). (I personally don't mind start drinking when there are a few leaves still floating around. If taking smaller sips, usually you won't be eating leaves.)

6.   Drink till there is ¼ to 1/3 cup of liquor, and then pour in more hot water for the next infusion. Repeat to infuse the tea for a few more times. (Because of the leaves, it will be hard to drink all the way to the bottom anyway.)

The above is Da Fo Long Jing, Long Jing cultivar #43. Below is Shi Feng Long Jing (Weng Jia Shan), Long Jing Jiu Keng Group cultivar. 

I have to admit, I am often shamed of myself for messing around with both the photos and the webpages. I don't know how to get them right...

1 comment:

vitreo said...

Perfect explication, thank you very much!!!