What Makes a Good Cup of Chinese Tea?

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Chinese Tea is not only a simple drink, but it’s a drink that is used to substitute for plain water and gives out some various health benefits. But the question is, how to make a good cup of tea?

What are the things that needs to be considered?

How will you know that your Chinese tea leaves is of good quality?

Factors That Make a Good Cup of Tea

Making a good cup of tea is not easy (at first) therefore you need to follow some instructions and do some experiment yourself to get that taste that you have been looking for.

To give you some guide on what makes a good cup of tea, here are some things that you should remember.

  • Huigan or Gan
  • Flavor
  • Smoothness
  • Aroma
  • Color
  • Sheng Jin

The above mentioned factors are in no particular order, your personal preference is the important key. Nobody can tell you that you need to focus on aroma over flavor or vice versa.

Though majority of these factors is not applicable in the Chinese tea that you are brewing, but still you should brew them right to avoid losing one of these attributes.

Chinese Tea Attributes

Bitterness – When you talk about bitterness you somehow conclude that is a bad cup of tea, right?! Well, you are right and wrong at the same time. Chinese divided bitterness into three types, it is difficult to translate it into English but this is my attempt into translating it (please do some corrections in the comment section if you think what I’m saying doesn’t fit).

Plain Bitter – This type of bitterness is the unique taste of some Chinese tea such as Pu’er. Also it is possible that there are too much leaves used in the brewing process. Sometimes it can also cause by over brewing.

Rough Bitter – this type of bitterness is associated with bad over brewing. I would advise you to throw the cup of tea to avoid the Se taste ruining your taste buds.

Minty Bitter – Probably the bitterness that a tea drinker is looking for in a cup of tea. Some Chinese tea drinkers even pay for big amount of money for Hui Gan (in layman terms is a reflection on how sweet tea is).

Chinese Tea Flavours

Flavor has two sides that you should be aware of.

First is, richer against thinner. If you happen to have a great quality Chinese tea leaves yet the tea taste like water, it is because your brew time is not long enough to properly extract the rich flavor of the tea leaves. Take note that richer is always better than thinner.

Secondly, heavier against lighter – Heavier doesn’t always mean that it is a good cup of tea. Less fermented teas have much lighter flavor as compared to fully fermented teas.

Smoothness

Although it is not a major factor to consider for a good cup of tea, but smoothness is one factor that makes Chinese tea expensive.

But there are instances that even though a Chinese tea is expensive, it is not as smooth as you expected it to be. In order to achieve the smoothness that you want, take a careful watch on your water temperature and brew time.

Aroma

One of the factor that tea enthusiast is looking for in a cup of tea. You know you achieve the right aroma if the tea smells fresh before and after the brewing process.

Even if you over brew, the aroma will linger in your nose (unless you have a flu).

Colour

During your tea day, color is something to appreciate to. Choosing right cup to compliment your tea is will help to appreciate the color of the tea.

For instance use a glass for your longjing or dragon well tea and a white cup for your Tie Guan Yin and you will definitely have a great tea day.

Sheng Jin

Sheng in mandarin means “to produce” or “to generate” while Jin means “saliva”.

When talked about Chinese tea, Sheng Jin refers to the after taste of the Chinese tea that stayed in your mouth and keeps your mouth to generate saliva long after you are done drinking your tea.

To achieve this, just don’t over brew your tea and you will feel the wonderful taste of tea even after hours of drinking it.

By | 2017-07-05T16:23:32+00:00 May 26th, 2016|Articles & Guides|