You will likely need to make some adjustments to your standard brewing parameters upon making the switch to my personal water recipe. This post will outline my suggested parameters.
My water recipe is softer than almost any bottled water or tap water out there, which means that you may need to alter the way you brew your tea to get pleasing results with my water. Most readers will probably already be using similar brewing parameters, but a reference needs to be established regardless.
Please keep in mind that these guidelines should only be used as a starting point to adjust from, and that this is a work-in-progress. Some categories of tea are not mentioned here, as they are simply outside the scope of this quick reference. Furthermore, I will not go into the specifics of clay types, because as the brewer, it’s your responsibility to adjust the brewing parameters to match the characteristics of your unglazed clayware. For that reason, assume that these standard parameters only apply to glazed brewing vessels.
Without further ado, here’s how I brew.
Young Sheng Puer
Use a 1:15 leaf-to-water ratio, boiling water, and a brewing vessel with low heat retention.
Aged Sheng Puer
Use a leaf-to-water ratio between 1:15 and 1:18, depending on the type and length of storage the tea has been put through, as well as the tea’s potency.
I strongly recommend taking the time to fine-tune this ratio for each individual aged sheng in your collection. Use boiling water and a brewing vessel with high heat retention.
Use a 1:11 leaf-to-water ratio, boiling water, and a brewing vessel with the highest possible heat retention.
Use a 1:15 leaf-to-water ratio, boiling water, and a brewing vessel with high heat retention.
For fresh/young white teas, use a 1:15 leaf-to-water ratio, a water temperature of ~200F, and a brewing vessel with low heat retention. For aged white teas, use boiling water and a brewing vessel with high heat retention.
- Silver doesn’t play well with water as soft as this, and tends to make the tea basically tasteless.
- I find that vessel size affects the brew significantly, smaller vessels almost always being better, even at the cost of heat retention. I think the ideal vessel size for most teas is around 50-70ml, and cannot recommend a vessel larger than 80ml. Smaller vessels tend to produce a clearer, more detailed taste. There are plenty of small vessels with good heat retention, both glazed and unglazed, so there is really no argument to be made against this as far as I know.
That’s it, now go make some tea.