Preparing a Good Tea (Now in English!) in our Cafes Couleurs Thes distinct way!
“WHAT’S THE BOTTLE, WHY THEY HAVE THE FLASH!”
(A. de Musset)
In this case, the drunkenness of the senses provided by a good tea can only be achieved if we respect the “four paths of happiness”: the quality and the right temperature of the water, the dosage, the duration of ‘infusion…
NUMEROUS UTENSILS ALLOW THEM TO PREPARE TEA:
Large or small, glazed or “porous”, porcelain or ceramic, glass, cast iron (but avoid bare metal, except for traditional mint tea).
Receptacles with a porous internal wall called memory, such as Yixing earth, must always be used for the same type of tea, especially Pu Er and Wulong.
A built-in filter is very practical, but if it is metallic it can eventually corrupt the taste of the tea. It is best to pass the tea after the infusion time or put the leaves in a small disposable, non-chlorinated sachet.
The teaspoon is only suitable for broken or small leaf teas, with large leaves having room to express themselves.
Mug, tea, bowl, zhong (small cup on a saucer and with a lid, also called Gaiwan), GongFu Cha tray and why not a simple glass plus a hand strainer!
For one person and especially if we want to proceed by successive infusions, the tasting set used by the professionals is really very practical.
Naturally, one should not forget the preparation in samovar, used in Russia but also, among other countries, in Central Asia, Iran and Turkey
In any case it is necessary to warm the container before use and especially to avoid any abrasive or detergent to clean it. Between two uses leave the teapots open.
WATER MUST NOT DENATURATE TEA:
The water used must be mineralized and pH close to neutrality, especially for delicate teas. Since no source water is available, commercial mineralized water (most of the so-called source water) or water filtered by a cartridge can be used. If it is correct, the tap water can also be suitable as long as it is pulled tens of minutes before the chlorine dissipates.
THE DOSAGE IS BUSINESS OF TASTE:
It is the dosage and not the duration of infusion that determines whether the tea is more or less strong, but each tea has its optimum dosage.
For a western preparation (one infusion), the recommended amount of tea is on average 2 g / 10 cl, a little less for tea in crushed leaves, a little more for some white or green teas. Of 50 cl, the dose of tea per 10 cl must be less. Attention, according to the teas, the size of the leaves and the density are very variable, so “a spoon” does not mean anything.
In preparation for Asian (in several successive infusions shorter) the dose is higher, according to the teas.
THE TEMPERATURE OF WATER MUST BE ADAPTED TO THE NATURE OF TEA:
95 ° C for Oolong and PuEr, which require hot water (water that starts to boil with large bubbles)
90 ° C to 95 ° C for black teas (red teas)
75 to 85 ° for green or white tea (small bubbles)
Or even from 60 ° for large gardens and some Japanese teas.
Too high temperature “kills” the tea. In addition, the age of the tea comes in, including for black teas: the more recent the crop, the lower the temperature, including the black teas, whereas a slightly aged tea needs a Water warmer to express its qualities.
RESPECT FOR THE OPTIMAL INFUSION TIME IS ESSENTIAL, WHATEVER THE PREPARATION METHOD:
To the western one (one infusion, large enough or large container)
1mn30 to 3 mn for green teas (or even less for the big teas of Japan)
2mn30 to 3mn30 for the teas of Darjeeling first harvest,
3 to 4 mn for other Darjeeling whole leaf and black teas with broken leaves
4 to 5 mn for whole leaf black teas
4 to 5 mn for the Oolong
5 to 10 minutes for white teas.
3 minutes for Pu Er (not recommended, prefer Asian preparation)
For flavored teas, consider basic tea, green or black
To the Asian (several infusions, small container of 0.2 to 0.4 cl)
In China green tea is daily drunk in two to three successive “calls”, with shorter infusion times, about a minute, in a Zhong or a simple glass.
A method inspired by the Chinese tea ceremony (Gong Fu Cha) can also be adapted for Wulong teas.
It consists of making several successive short calls of approximately 30 to 40 seconds in a small teapot, which is emptied of its water between each call (for example by putting it to be drained downwards in a receptacle acting as a support) . The dosage is then higher (3 to 4 g / 10 cl), the water must be be very warm at 95). The same can be done for Pu Er: dosing only 2 g for 10 cl;
With warm water to 95 ° make one to two rinsing waters “to throw in the movement”, then a first infusion of 20 sec (in small teapot of 30 cl) to 1 mn (big teapot). It is then possible to repeat 5 to 10 successive infusions, by increasing the duration of infusion.
The same tea leaves can be kept all day. This method is most suitable for this type of tea.
LAST ADVICE: Avoid putting sugar or lemon in your tea so as not to mask and distort the taste (in the strictest sense: citrus zest to infuse in the water of preparation). Certainly, the teas of Assam, Ceylon and Darjeeling as well as green teas can quickly become more or less bitter, which is part to some extent of their characteristics. Rather than sweeten it can be gradually used either by decreasing initially the duration of infusion, or add a little hot water (in the cup, not in the teapot). Try also the Wulong or Pu ER, rarely bitter and poor poor in theine. What about milk? This typically western tradition, the famous “cloud of milk”, can possibly be conceived with certain powerful black teas of Assam or Ceylon, in particular of the broken or fanning type, at the breakfast for example or the “five o’clock” “. It is then necessary to put the milk in the cup first and pour the tea on it. To be avoided with all the other teas, especially the big ones.