Compared to green tea, there may not be many people brewing black tea.
Although bagged tea tastes good enough, leaf tea brewed on your own would taste exceptional.
Hope this article will encourage you to have a luxury tea time with good brewed tea.
Taste and flavor of black tea
Compared to green tea and oolong tea, the taste and flavor of black tea are elegant and gentle, and its color is dark red.
There are a variety of tastes of black tea, from unique and strong to light and universal, and the feature is that each taste of black tea is clearly distinguishable.
Before brewing black tea
If you are looking for the easiest way to brew black tea, it would be good enough if you have a tea strainer and a mug. Whereas, those who want to brew in a genuine way would need tools mentioned below;
Now, we are going to introduce each one of the tools to use to brew tea.
There would be no problem using a pot or kettle as long as the water can be boiled.
However, water matters when brewing black tea, as the water with rich oxygen makes black tea taste better.
Using a kettle that boils water quickly is recommended as boiling water in a short time can prevent water from losing oxygen.
Particularly, copper kettles have excellent conduction and are used by many English people when brewing black tea.
The most important step to brew good black tea called “jumping” depends on the teapot.
Jumping is that tea leaves move up and down inside the teapot, which makes tea leaves open and extract the ingredients.
Therefore, we recommend round shaped teapots so that tea leaves can easily move up and down inside.
Hope you’ll find your best teacup from many cute designs.
If you don’t have teacups, using a mug or yunomi teacup would be no problem.
There are teapots with a strainer like kyusu teapots, but if not, you need a tea strainer. Make sure to choose a fine mesh tea strainer.
Let us share “optional but good-to-have” tools for those who want to be more particular.
Tetsubin (Iron Kettle)
Tetsubin (Iron kettle) is a tool to boil water. This is made out of iron and can directly be heated. Then the water would taste smooth as the iron gets dissolved in it.
We recommend tea servers when having 2-3 cups so that the tea doesn’t get too extracted. Particularly, it would look more elegant when serving guests.
Tea measuring spoon
It is literally a spoon to measure tea leaves. It’s also called “teaspoon”, “candy spoon” and “doseur”
If you don’t have a tea measuring spoon, you can use a teaspoon instead. It is about 1 teaspoon of tea leaves to make a cup.
Water and temperature
It is said that black tea can especially be affected by water, compared to other teas.
There are two types of water called “soft water” and “hard water”, and soft water is suitable for black tea. Tap water in japan is mostly soft water and it is specially suitable to brew black tea.
Hard water prevents tannin from extracting in tea, which makes tea taste less bitter. Whereas, soft water can extract the exact ingredients of tea leaves.
Besides, compared to green tea, water at a higher temperature that’s 90-100 degrees celsius is used to brew black tea.
How to brew black tea
We are going to share how to brew good black tea.
Boil water till it gets bubbles.
Warm teapot and teacup
Pour the boiling water in the teapot and teacups to warm, then dump the water.
Put tea leaves in teapot
The weight of tea leaves is about 2.½ - 3g per cup. If you don’t have a tea measuring spoon, you can use a teaspoon that is probably a medium to heaping spoon per cup.
Pour water in
Pour boiling water in the teapot: approximately 150ml per cup. At that time, tea leaves will “jump” up and down, which makes good tea. But no need to pour hot water aggressively in to make tea leaves “jump”. Just pour in properly like you usually do.
Set proper time to steam tea leaves
As the duration varies according to tea leaves, check the duration shown on the package.
Make sure to time properly since inaccurate duration may cause insufficient extraction and/or unpleasant bitterness/astringency.
The duration is approximately 2.½ -3 minutes for small tea leaves and 4-5 minutes for big ones.
Pour tea in
Use a tea strainer to pour tea. Pour in around to make the tea strength evenly.