Today, more and more consumers of hot drinks have turned to tea. Knowing how to prepare white tea is essential to get the most out of its flavors, without forgetting to respect the brewing time. Drinking tea, hot or iced, is always refreshing. Rich in antioxidants and active substances and low in caffeine, the medicinal properties of green or white tea, with its delicate and varied flavors, offer many benefits for your health. For most of us, whether it's green tea, red tea, black tea, flavored tea, matcha, rooibos, darjeeling or even mint tea or herbal teas, the basics of tea preparation are always the same. To begin, you place the tea in a diffuser or tea ball. You then boil water, cover the tea with simmering water and let it steep. But how do you make a good tea? For tea lovers, white tea is the most prized. This is why this rare and expensive tea deserves its first place in the history of tea and in the art of tea making. Low in theine, Chinese white tea can be prepared at any time of the day. For a moment of sharing and well-being, the ritual of tea preparation takes on its full meaning with family or friends.
How to prepare organic white tea?
Organic white tea is considered the most delicate to prepare and enjoy. Handpicked once a year in the Fujian region of China, the tenderest buds and first leaves are extracted from the Camellia Sinensis plant and dried directly in the sun. No further processing is required. While the handling of white tea from harvest to packaging is relatively minimal, the preparation of the tea for drinking deserves patience and skill. White tea can be prepared in a glass, clay or cast iron teapot, or in a Gaiwan (lidded bowl) commonly called a Zhong. The two preparations are quite identical but deserve to be detailed.How to prepare white tea in the Gaiwan? To prepare white tea according to tradition and directly in a Gaiwan, you need an electric kettle, a bowl and one or more Gaiwans. The Gaiwan is a glass or fine porcelain cup in 3 separate parts:
- The lid (symbol of the sky)
- The body (symbol of water, therefore of life)
- The base (symbol of the earth)
Place a small amount of white tea leaves in the bottom (3g for 30 cl of water). Choose water with low mineral content, spring water or filtered water. Heat the water and pour it into the body of the Gaiwan. The water should not exceed 70°C. White tea is a very fragile tea and could burn. Also, if the water is too hot, the tea will become bitter and astringent. Immediately after pouring the first water, put on the lid that will serve as a filter and empty the water into the bowl reserved for this purpose. This step serves to clean the tea and open the tea so that it can release its aromas and delicate fragrance. Pour hot water back into the body, taking care to slide the tea down the sides and into the lid, and cover again. The first infusion should take between two and three minutes for a light tea, three to four minutes for a stronger tea. The beverage is then ready to be enjoyed, with the lid of the Gaiwan slightly slipped off so that you can strain it, and finally enjoy it.
How to prepare a white tea in the Gong Fu Cha tradition?To prepare white tea in the Gong Fu Cha tradition, you need to have several utensils:
- A traditional openwork bamboo tray with a bottom to hold the water and throw it away at the end of the ritual
- An electric kettle
- A tea pot with a strainer
- A small clay teapot or a cast iron teapot, to keep the heat of the tea longer
- A set of tasting cups
First, pour the hot water into the empty teapot. With the empty teapot, pour some of the water into the teapot and some into the cups. These three passes serve to rinse and warm the dishes. Discard the water from the cups into the tray. Put the dose of tea in the teapot, cover the tea with hot water and discard the water again. We have just cleaned the tea and prepared it to release its flavors. Refill the teapot, put the lid on and pour a little simmering water on the outside of the teapot to keep it warm. Let the white tea steep for at least 8 minutes. Serve the tea first in the tea pot. This helps to homogenize the beverage. Finally, pour the tea into the tea cups. If Chinese white tea masters came to prepare white tea in this pure tradition, you would see that the gestures are repeated 3 times. Again, this is to honor the earth, the spirits (life) and the sky.
Brewing time of white tea
The brewing time of white tea is longer than most teas. Indeed, some teas like black tea develop bitterness if the infusion time is too long, while on the contrary, the longer white tea will infuse, the more it will express its subtle and harmonious aromas. China white tea with Fujian silver needles needs to steep for 8 to 12 minutes to release all its flavors. As for the Yunnan white tea, 8 minutes are enough for the magnificent buds to release all their floral and fruity aromas. It is true that Westerners rarely reuse the same tea. However, brewing white tea several times has many advantages but above all offers an explosion of different flavors with each infusion. On the other hand, it is important to know that a tea brewed more often is less strong in theine. Even if white tea has very little theine, it allows you to enjoy a last cup before going to sleep. You will enjoy maximum relaxation.