How to brew loose leaf white tea properlyWhite tea may be the most delicate type of tea, but it can handle high water temperature very well. In fact, you will get the best cup of white tea if you steep the leaves using very hot water (but not boiling) for only a couple of seconds. For example, green tea is often more complicated for brewing and won’t be able to handle high temperatures like white tea. You can re-steep the same leaves at least 3-5 times. If brewed properly, white tea will rarely be bitter. Interestingly, loose leaf tea will have a completely different flavor than white tea bags. Regular white tea bags usually contain lower grades of dust and stronger teas, and never pure buds. Color can range from completely translucent to dark yellowish. It should never taste moldy, with intense straw notes or unpleasant. Some teas like Shou Mei may have a light straw note, but they should be light nevertheless.
Tips to get the best cup of white tea
Choose the best water
Use clean suitable teaware
Preheat your teapot
Use enough leaves
Avoid old strainers and small infusers
Drink it while it’s still hot
Look at your tea
How long should I brew?Proper brewing will not only extract the right amount of nutrients and caffeine, but it will also bring out the best flavor of white tea. Unless the instructions on the packaging say differently, white tea should generally be brewed with around 194 °F for about 30-60 seconds if you are using multiple-steeping technique, and with around 176-185 °F for about 2 minutes If you are using western technique. It is advisable to use about 2-3 grams of tea leaves for both techniques. Some teas may even tolerate longer steeping time, even more than 5 minutes. Test different approaches to find which one suits your palate the best. To get the best cup of flavored white tea, always use a western brewing technique and steep for at least 2 minutes. Unlike the common belief, white tea may have a lot of caffeine – even more than many green or black teas. If you are looking for teas with less caffeine, pick those from later harvests and fewer buds. To reduce the amount even further, use shorter steeping time with water of around 80 degrees Celsius.
White Peone or Pai Mu Tan white tea
How to cold brew white teaWhite tea may not be the best type for cold brewing, as it already has a more delicate flavor than other tea types. However, it’s possible to get great results with flavored white teas and stronger and darker types like Shou Mei or even Pai Mu Tan. Cold-brewing Silver Needle would be a shame, unless it’s scented with flowers such as jasmine, rose or osmanthus. To cold brew white tea:
- Choose a big glass teapot or a pitcher.
- Add 1-2 spoons of tea leaves (2 spoons if you are brewing White Peony tea).
- Add lukewarm or cold water.
- Cover with a lid to protect from odors.
- Put in a fridge for at least 5 hours.
- Drink within 24 hours.