How to Brew a White Tea?
How to Brew a Perfectly Delicate White Tea
The secret to a perfect brew is to bear in mind that white tea comes from the young bud/leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. Unlike black tea or green tea, white tea is the youngest offering and therefore is as delicate as they come. Despite its name, white tea doesn’t produce a white liquor; rather, the concoction produces a light-yellow tinge. That means white tea is the lightest liquor in the tea world and comes with a delicate flavor to match.
All the meticulous processing, the handpicking and strict observance of details, means one thing: greater price. You’ll find that white tea is the most expensive of all tea available in the market today. Small wonder why for centuries it was served only to emperors and not to common folks.
For many, the astronomical price can surely give shivers to one’s spine, leaving them reluctant to steeping the brew. Truth be told, your first cup can look like a tall order.
But, there’s a reason you should be wary and on your toes. Unlike other tea types, white tea discourages experimentation. Poor preparation techniques will surely lead to compromised flavors. As subtle as the flavor of white tea is, improper brewing can easily ruin it.
It is important, therefore, that you do things right. That way, you get the best benefits out of white tea and in the process get the most bang for your buck. Listed below are essential steps to follow to steep white tea perfectly:
Step 1: Use the Right Water
The first step is key. For best results, make sure you’re using the right water to brew this pricey tea. A good choice is using filtered water or spring water. If you’re running out of options, tap water is also good so long as it has a neutral flavor. On the other end of the spectrum, stay away from water sourced from deep wells or water that goes through copper pipes that usually are prone to corrosion.
If you want to experience the exquisite tastes of white tea to the full, use the right water. As delicate as white tea’s flavor is, it can easily be overcome by adverse water flavors.
In addition, never pour boiling water on your white tea. Such is a formula for disaster as it will ruin the flavor in the process. Instead, heat the water to temperatures just under boiling, or 170 °F. However, if you don’t have a thermometer, just proceed to boil water and let it cool off for 5 to 8 minutes, and no more.
Step 2: Measure Your Tea
The right amount is essential. For Silver Needle (tea buds), 2 teaspoons should be steeped for every 6 ounces of water. The same holds true for White Peony (tea leaves).
However, sometimes your white tea comes as a combination of both buds and leaves. If that’s the case, use only 1 and ½ teaspoons of the tea for every 6 ounces of temperate water.
Step 3: Steep to Your Preference
Over time, you’ll be able to come up with a most preferable steeping time for you. Towards that end, you need to observe the time elapsed every time so you get a more consistent taste.
To start, you can steep for 1 to 5 minutes. Take note that the longer you steep, the stronger the tea gets. So to arrive at your preferred taste, taste the concoction after one minute. Then, continue sampling it every 30 seconds until you get a suitable taste.
Step 4: Pre-warn Your Tea Cups
Call it a secret formula but this step is vital. By doing this, you ensure that your tea doesn’t change temperature once you pour the heated liquid into the cup.
To pre-warm it, just use a small amount of boiling water and pour it into your teacup. Make sure you toss all that liquid out just before you pour your white tea concoction.