August 04, 2020
How to Brew Nice Oolong Tea (Chinese tea)

There may be few people having brewed oolong tea.

Many of you may not drink oolong tea hot but cold/iced.

Brewing oolong tea takes some work but it tastes nice and warm. Are you interested in brewing oolong tea now?

Taste and flavor of oolong tea

Oolong tea is characterized by its brown color, particular roasting aroma compared to green tea and black tea, and a little bit of bitterness.

With its refreshing aftertaste, it is more likely to be drunk after having heavy meals like Chinese food.

Before brewing oolong tea…

Oolong tea takes some work to brew and requires tools that are not so known.

In this article, we are going to introduce genuine ways to brew oolong tea and tools to use.

Utensils

You need a lot of utensils to brew oolong tea.

If you want to brew in a genuine way, you would need the utensils mentioned below, but, if you just want to brew at home, there would be no problem using your teapot and teacups to brew.

Chaban(Tea tray)

Oolong tea has a process of frequent pouring and dumping hot water.

Chaban is like a small tea tray that receives the dumped / overflowed water.

Chatsubo (Chinese teapot)

Chatsubo is a Chinese teapot designed to brew Chinese tea.

Chinese teapots are usually smaller than Japanese ones.

Also, there are alternate tools to be used such as; “Gaiwan”: a yunomi teacup to directly brew tea in with a lid on to steam, and “Hobyo”: a teapot with no handle that’s also used to brew high-end teas like Gyokuro in Japan.

Chahai (Chinese tea cup)

Chahai is a small Chinese teacup to drink Chinese tea.

As Chinese teas mostly taste strong, they are to enjoy small sips in a small teacup rather than gulps.

Chabune (Small tea tray)

Chabune is a tray to receive hot water when pouring onto the chatsubo (teapot) and chahais (teacups) to warm up.

Chakai (Tea server)

Chakai is a tool to diffuse evenly, which is like a tea server pot for English tea.

Chaka (Teaspoon)

Chaka is used to put tea leaves in a teapot. It is like a teaspoon, and other types of spoons can be used as well.

Chabasami (Tongs)

Chabasami is like tongs used to pick up chahais (tea cups).

For those who want to brew in a more genuine way, we recommend using a tetsubin that’s an iron pot to boil water because the pot makes the water taste smooth as the iron of the pot dissolves in water.

Water and temperature

Black tea and green tea can be affected by the types of water, whereas, oolong tea can hardly be affected by water unlike other teas. Therefore, it doesn’t matter using soft or hard water.

The best water temperature to brew oolong tea is 95-100 degrees celsius. Green tea would taste bitter when brewed at a higher temperature than it should be, while oolong tea can taste more aromatic when brewed at a high temperature.

If you want to know more about the tea temperature, here’s more below;

How to brew oolong tea

First of all, we are going to introduce the genuine way to brew oolong tea.

Warm the tea set

Place a chatsubo (teapot) and chahai (teacups) in the chabune (small tea tray) and pour hot water onto them to warm up.

Transfer to chaban

Transfer the warmed chahais (teacups) to the chaban (tea tray). The chahais will be picked up with the chabasami (tongs), instead of hands, and transferred one by one.

Put tea leaves into chatsubo

Put tea leaves into the chatsubo (teapot) till the bottom is covered.

Rinse tea leaves

Fill up the chatsubo with boiling water and pour in chakai (tea server) immediately.

Then pour the tea out of the chakai (tea server) into the chahais (teacups). Make sure to thoroughly pour the tea out of the chatsubo without leaving a single drop.

Since oolong tea leaves are hard and dry, the rinse softens the tea leaves and makes tea leaves easier to extract ingredients and aromas.

Fill up chatsubo with boiling water

Refill up the chatsubo (teapot) with boiling water. Pour in till it gets overflowed.

Skim off scum

There will be foam (scum) on the surface of the tea in the chatsubo, use its lid to skim off the foam then put the lid on.

Warm up chatsubo (teapot)

Pour the tea that was in the chahais (tea cups) into the chatsubo (teapot) to warm up.

Transfer the tea in chakai (tea server)

After about 1 minute, turn around the chatsubo (teapot) once to drain the water on the bottom and pour the tea in the chakai (tea server) to diffuse evenly.

At that time, make sure to pour the tea out thoroughly to the last drop.

Pour tea

Pour the tea out of the chakai (tea server) into the chahais (teacups) to finish. Enjoy the nice and hot tea.

These are the genuine instructions to brew oolong tea.

If you just want to brew oolong tea with what you have at home, brew with the same water temperature and weight of tea leaves. Pour only on the teapot and teacups to warm up. Then put tea leaves in the warmed teapot and pour boiling water in. Wait for 1 minute after pouring hot water in, then pour the tea in the teacups.

The instructions are pretty much the same as green tea’s, but using boiling water is the important tip to brew oolong tea.