Collection: Black Tea

General Brewing Instructions for Chinese Black Tea:

  1. Water Quality: Start with fresh, cold water. The quality of water greatly affects the tea's flavor. Preferably use filtered or spring water.

  2. Heating Water: Heat water to just below boiling, typically around 90°C to 95°C (194°F to 203°F). For more delicate teas like Jiu Qu Hong Mei, slightly lower temperatures are recommended to prevent bitterness.

  3. Tea Quantity: Use about 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per cup (200-250 ml) of water. This can be adjusted based on personal preference for strength.

  4. Steeping Time: Steep the tea for 2 to 3 minutes. Longer steeping will extract more flavor but can also make the tea bitter. Adjust according to taste.

  5. Vessel: A ceramic or porcelain teapot is recommended. Pre-warm the teapot by swirling a bit of hot water in it before discarding that water.

Specific Instructions for Different Teas:

Jiu Qu Hong Mei:

  • This tea is known for its delicate leaves. Use slightly cooler water (around 85°C to 90°C) and steep for 2 to 3 minutes. Enjoy its sweet and smooth flavor with a lingering aftertaste.

Souchong (Including Lapsang Souchong):

  • This is a more robust tea. Use water close to boiling and steep for 3 to 4 minutes. Souchong often has a smoky flavor, especially if it's a traditional Lapsang Souchong.

Yunnan Dian Hong:

  • Dian Hong can handle near-boiling water. Steep for 2 to 3 minutes. This tea typically has a malty, slightly peppery flavor and a rich, red color.

Li Zhi Hong Cha (Lychee Black Tea):

  • Use water around 90°C. Steep for 3 minutes to fully enjoy its unique lychee-infused flavor.

Tips for Enjoyment:

  • First Infusion: The first infusion is about awakening the leaves. Some prefer to discard this infusion, while others enjoy its subtle flavor.
  • Multiple Infusions: Many high-quality Chinese black teas can be steeped multiple times. Each infusion will reveal different nuances of the tea's flavor.
  • Observation: Pay attention to the color and aroma of the tea. This enhances the tasting experience.
  • Storage: Store tea in a cool, dry place away from strong odors and light to preserve its quality.

Optional Additions:

  • While traditional Chinese tea drinking focuses on the pure flavor of the tea, some may enjoy adding a bit of honey or a slice of lemon, especially with more robust teas like Dian Hong.

Remember, the perfect cup of tea is subjective, so feel free to adjust these guidelines to suit your personal taste preferences. Enjoy the journey of discovering the unique characteristics of each type of Chinese black tea!

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