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How to Brew Chinese Tea

Jul 03,2024 | TeaTsy Team

Traditional Chinese tea has become an all-purpose drink that is medicinal and gives a feeling of mindfulness and calmness. For over four millennia, Chinese tea has become a staple for all, inspiring countless drinkers worldwide. However, few people understand the secret of brewing a perfect Chinese tea. 

This article teaches you how to brew Chinese tea and walks you through the step-by-step process of brewing them, including the critical factors you'll need for each type of Chinese tea, ranging from white to the more technical Puerh tea. Let's dive into it. 

What are the Different Types of Chinese Tea 

China, the birthplace of tea, has a wide range of tea varieties each boasting different characteristics. The most exciting part is that every type of Chinese tea comes from one plant source: the Camellia Sinensis plant. So, it's imperative you understand and be mindful of these variants to adopt the correct brewing method for each category. The following are the different types of Chinese tea. 

  • White Tea (bai cha) 

White tea is one of the rarest Chinese teas you rarely encounter. This expensive and delicate tea is only harvested once every year at the dawn of spring. The harvesting process of this type of tea is only done when the Camellia Sinensis leaves are still very young and not opened. Another interesting thing about white tea is that it is not crushed or rolled, and its tea-making process is minimal compared to other types of Chinese tea. The benefit of consuming white tea is enormous. Drinking white tea will reduce many diseases, including dental cavities, insulin resistance, and much more. 

  • Green Tea 

Green tea is the second popular choice among tea enthusiasts. It has been reported that more than 20% of tea drinkers worldwide consume green tea, second only to black tea. Evidence-based research has gone into the impact of drinking green tea. The findings have established that green tea contains a higher level of plant-based antioxidants and tannins than any other tea resulting from its processing. Also, there's established evidence that green tea could help oral health, help manage blood sugar levels, be used to burn excessive fat and, most importantly, improve cognitive functions. 

  • Black Tea

Black tea has been described as the darling of the Western world and takes close to 78% of the total tea consumption in the world. This number of black tea preferences is plausible if we look at the production processes of it. Black tea is made from the new shoot of the tea plant "Camellia Sinensis" and passed through various processing methods, including withering, rolling, crushing and, most significantly, the longer oxidation time before being subjected to firing in the oven. Taking black tea has been established to lower blood cholesterol, promote heart health, reduce blood sugar, and reduce cancer risk. 

black tea

  • Puerh Tea 

To many people, Pu erh tea is a critical subcategory of black tea. This is the only fermented tea with two complicated processes: raw (shengcha) and ripe (shoucha). Puerh is made like every other tea from the Camellia Sinensis tea plant and then processed (dried)  into light green rough tea called "maocha" to prevent them from spoiling. Also included in the processing is pressing before being subjected to final fermentation. Puerh tea is an essential tea with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can be helpful for your overall health and well-being. 

Pu Erh Tea

  • Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is a unique tea that shares the qualities of green and black tea. This is also called the black dragon tea, which offers you the freshness and complexity of green tea. This unique tea is produced through a process that includes withering the tea leaves under the sun and allowing semi-oxidation within a few days. Not only is oolong tea such a refreshing beverage, but it also has some health benefits, such as combating heart diseases, diabetes and various cancers.  

Factors You Should Consider Before Brewing Chinese Tea

The focus of brewing Chinese tea transcends beyond just enjoying the beverage to the aesthetics that come with it. To most people, what they want about Chinese tea is the taste, quality, and details put into its serving. However, we must put into perspective the important factors that you should consider before brewing Chinese tea

  • Tea Quality

It's imperative to note that if care is not taken, you can purchase low-quality tea, which will end up ruining your tea brewing experience. This is a menace that can be attributed to the increasing number of tea manufacturers, which is not commensurate with the number of tea growers over the year. The best way to identify the quality of Chinese tea is by ensuring the tea leaves are as bright as possible. High-quality Chinese tea is supposed to last you for 6-10 brews without losing flavor. 

  • Water Temperature 

Getting the proper water temperature for each specific Chinese tea is as important as the quality of the tea flavour you will get. Getting the appropriate water temperature is essential to breaking down the tea cell structure of tea leaves to release their flavour. The following chart shows the proper water temperature for each category of Chinese tea. 

  • Quality and Type of Teaware 

Your choice of teapot is essential to the feel and exquisiteness you derive from your tea experience. The choice of Chinese teaware is a thrilling debate that every Chinese tea enthusiast always lives to engage in. There is unanimous agreement on the type of teapot, which states that Chinese tea is best brewed in an unglazed clay teapot. High-fired glass teapots are best for green, white, and oolong tea, while low-fired clay teapots are best for Puerh and black tea. You can get any kind of teapot on Teatsy for a better tea brewing experience. 

How to Brew Chinese White Tea 

As you know, Chinese white tea is the hallmark of delicate and subtle sweet taste, so brewing it very well with a glass teapot will bring out the tea's full potential. Here's a guide to get you started on how to brew Chinese white tea. 

Step 1: Get the necessary equipment, such as a Gaiwan, teapot, strainer, kettle, filtered water, and, most importantly, tea. 

Step 2: Preheat the teaware with hot water and make sure the same water is used to rinse it before throwing it away. 

Step 3: Get your Gaiwan and add your pre measured tea leaves. Ensure you follow the standard three teaspoons of white tea leaves for 125ml of Gaiwan. 

Step 4: Fill the teaware with hot water up to one-third of the surface. Ensure you don't pour the water directly onto the tea leaves; instead, you slant the teaware and run the water through the inside surface to avoid ruining the tea's appearance. 

Step 5: Shake the teaware slowly to ensure the water is well circulated and reaches all the parts of the tea for better infusion. 

Step 6: Let the tea steep for about 5-6 minutes. When you use a Gaiwan, you can sequence the number of times you want to steep the tea. You can steep your tea for about 1 minute per step and increase the time by 10 seconds in intervals for subsequent brewing. 

Step 7: once the sterling is complete, strain your tea off the leaves and pour it into a cup for optimal enjoyment. 

How to Brew Chinese Black Tea 

Chinese black tea offers an extensive range of flavor options that are rich and refreshing to taste. To unlock the full potential of Chinese black tea, follow these steps to brew. 

How to Brew Chinese Black Tea 

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Step 1: Get essentials like a teapot (porcelain or Yixin clay), a lidded bowl (Gaiwan), fresh spring water, and most importantly, the tea (loose leaf) most preferably. 

Step 2: Warm up your teaware with hot water and discard the water after use. Preheating your teaware is important to help maintain optimal steeping temperature. 

Step 2: Measure your tea leaves by following the loose tea measurement of 1-2 teaspoons of tea leaves for 6 ounces of water. This is not a static measurement, so you can adjust the tea measurement based on how strong or weaker you want. 

Step 3: Boil your water to about 90 to 98 degrees Celsius, and if you have an arbitrary hot water, let it cool to the same temperature. Any water temperature below this range will give you a bitter taste. 

Step 4: Once the water is cooled to the above temperature, pour it on top of the tea leaves and let it steep for about 2 to 3 minutes. You can experiment with different steeping times to get your beloved sweet spot. 

Step 5: After steeping, pour the tea into a fairness pitcher or cup to avoid overstepping of the tea. 

How to Brew Chinese Puerh Tea

This is a Chinese tea like no other. Puerh tea is a fermented Chinese tea with an earthy flavor profile and comes in various forms, such as a cake, brick, or loose leaf. You can brew your Puerh tea by following these steps. 

Step 1: Choose between the Sheng (raw) and Shou (ripe) types of Puerh tea together with your teawares (infuser, strainer, cup, and others). 

Step 2: Rinse and preheat your Gaiwan or teapot with hot water and throw it out afterward. 

Step 3: Prepare the tea by cutting them into slices with a knife if they come as bricks or cake. If they are loose-leaf, measure 1 to 2 teaspoons of tea per 6 ounces of water. 

Step 4: After measurement, add the tea leaves into your teapot or Gaiwan and pour the hot water by the measurement to steep. The exciting thing about Puerh tea is that you can re-steep several times. 

Step 5: Pour the tea into a cup and enjoy it with honey or milk. You can also add milk for a creamier experience. 

How to Brew Chinese Green Tea 

Chinese green tea is known for its delicate flavour and vibrant colour. Brewing them is a thrilling experience that will unlock its full potential and turn them into delightful beverages. The following is the step-by-step process to help you brew Chinese green tea. 

brew chinese green tea("Nomad" handmade portable tea set with protective case. Suitable for Green Tea, Black Tea, Longjing Tea etc $34.99.)

Step 1: Preheat your teaware with warm water and discard the water after use. This is helpful to ensure the teaware is ready for the steeping process and that the green tea leaves are not shocked by the temperature change. 

Step 2: Measure your tea leaves by following the ratio of 1 gram of tea leaves for every 50 ml of water. You can also adjust the measurement based on your preference. 

Step 3: Pour cool water of about 79 degrees Celsius or 85 degrees Celsius into your teaware. 

Step 4: Now pour the cool or hot water into the tea leaves in the preheated teapot to steep for about 1-3 minutes. Ensure you cover the Gaiwan or Teapot to ensure the tea aroma does not escape into the atmosphere. 

How to Brew Chinese Oolong Tea 

Oolong blends green and black tea with such a fantastic bust of complex flavours. To get the best of this type of tea, it is recommended that you brew it with clay teapot and Gaiwan. For a more detailed look into how to brew Chinese oolong tea, follow these simple Gongfu brewing styles. 

Step 1: Gather your essentials such as the loose leaf oolong tea, filtered water, clay or porcelain teapot, Gaiwan or mug. 

Step 2: Pour hot water into the teapot or Gaiwan, swirl it for easier circulation, and then pour it away. 

Step 3: Place the loose-leaf oolong tea into the preheated teapot. Ensure you follow the recommended 1g loose-leaf tea every 20 to 30 ml of water. 

Step 4: Pour the hot water over the leaves inside the preheated teapot and cover the pot with a lid to trap the aroma from flying out. You can let the tea steep for about 1 to 3 minutes for lighter oolong tea, while a darker version should take 3 to 5 minutes. 

Step 5: Once steeped, use a small strainer to separate the leaves from the tea and pour into a cup for an exceptional tea experience. 


By understanding the key factors and processes of brewing Chinese tea, you can unlock the secrets to a world of exceptional tea profiles and taste for every unique tea variety. On this note, with a bit of practice and experimentation, you can brew an outstanding cup of Chinese tea with savoury notes that will make you appreciate the rituals of these sacred traditions. So grab your favourite teaware from Teatsy and get into the journey of creating your delightful Chinese tea.