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What do you have to pay attention to when preparing Oolong Tea?

Here at friends of tea, you’ll learn how to get the most out of your Oolong tea! For a delicious tea, three things are essential: the tea leaves, the water and most importantly, yourself! Because for your perfect tea you have to keep an eye on quantity, brewing time and of course also the water temperature.

Oolong tea tea harendong indonesia oolong tea
Our organically grown Harendong Oolong from the island of Java

The classic preparation of Oolong tea

Oolong tea can be prepared either in the Western way or in the traditional Chinese Gong Fu Cha method. How exactly you prepare your tea in the traditional way, we will explain below! First of all, let us look at the classic method of preparation, as most people in Europe know it. For the amount of tea leaves, the rule of thumb for the “Western” tea preparation can be applied as a rule of thumb:

  • 12 g Leaves on a litter of water for a stronger tea
  • 10 g Tea leaves on a litre of water for a more balanced tea
  • 8 g Tea on a litre of water for a lighter tea.

The degree of hardness of the water used also play a major role in the dosing quantity. In the case of hard water, which has a high lime content, one should use more tea leaves. The lime covers some of the flavours from the tea and the drink can quickly taste bland. It is best to use filtered or soft water for the preparation of tea!

The ideal drawing time

Especially rolled oolong tea should give you a little more time during the preparation. We recommend a full 3 minutes for the first infusion, so that the tightly rolled leaves open. For each additional infusion we recommend another 4 minutes. During the waiting time you can watch the beautiful tea leaves rise! Many oolong teas have pretty, large and whole leaves, which reveal their true splendour only in the poured state. It is always a great pleasure for us to watch the tea leaves slowly rise! 🙂

The right temperature

You have the choice! Would you like to highlight the floral, sweet and fresh nuances from your oolong or would you like to give yourself the full oolong experience? For a flowery and sweet tea we recommend a water temperature of about 85 degrees. If you also want to tickle the more vegetative and complex notes from your tea, then it is best to use a temperature of 95 degrees!

Suitable utensils for preparation

From permanent filters to tea eggs and the self-fillable paper filter – you can brew your tea in a variety of ways. But one is particularly important: tea needs space to be able to develop. We therefore advise against a tea egg, because most of them are too small and do not make a good tea. A large sieve or a permanent filter is a better alternative!

However, the two-can method works best! For these you need (who would have thought it?) two jugs and a filter. In a jug you loose your leaves and pour them normally. Once the tea is ready, simply pour the tea over a sieve into the other jug! The tea thus has a lot of space in the one container. This guarantees a delicious tea.

A tea field for tea growing in Asia
A tea field for tea growing in Taiwan

The traditional preparation of Oolong tea

Particularly high-quality and noble oolong teas are ideal for traditional tea making, also called Gong Fu Cha. The traditional preparation of tea is very different from the “Western” preparation of tea as we know it. In China and Taiwan, tea is brewed in smaller vessels. This is done because especially high-quality teas can be poured quite often. In some cases up to 15 times! In order not to sink in a sea of tea, you just pour a higher amount of tea leaves with less water. The drawing time of the traditional infusion method is also shortened. Depending on the variety, it is 15 to 60 seconds per infusion. The water temperature should be 85-95 degrees.

For the dosage you should use about 3.5 g of tea per 100 ml of water. We also used the same parameters on the image below! It is important that not too much and not too little tea is used! As with everything in life, tea must also be found in the golden middle.

Oolong Tea Preparation Information Shan Lin Xi Oolong
Our delicious Shan Lin XI Oolong

For the Gong Fu Cha, de tea can be poured in a small clay or a vessel called Gaiwan. A Gaiwan (pictured at the top of the picture is simply a bowl with a lid. The tea is poured in the Gaiwan and when the right time has come, put the lid on and drain the tea. As here:

Gaiwan Tea Preparation How To

With the Gong Fu Cha brewing method, you can tickle completely different and much deeper flavor nuances from the tea than the conventional method. Due to the higher density of leaves, the taste is much more intense and more nuanced. Due to the short drawing time, the tea is nevertheless less bitter and much rounder. In addition, it is worth pouring several times, especially with more expensive teas, as you need fewer leaves in relation to a large jug and also get even more finished tea from them!

Did you feel like having a delicious cup of tea? In our
shop
you will find charming oolong teas from Taiwan and Indonesia, which are excellent for both classic and traditional preparation. We look forward to your visit and hope that our contribution could help you on your way to the perfect cup of tea!