Steeping White Tea
As is true for black, green, white and yellow tea, steeping white tea in a gaiwan, a small or large teapot, or even in the cup from which you will drink will all yield delicious results as long as the proportion of leaf to water has been considered.
White tea leaves can be steeped again, usually 2 to 3 times, depending on the type of tea and on your flavor preference, at the same or with a slightly hotter water temperature than used for the initial steeping.
- First measure the capacity of your teapot
Fill your teapot to capacity with water and then measure this volume of water in ounces. Divide this munber by 6. Most recommendations for amount of tea to use are based on 6 ounces of water. For example, a 24-ounce teapot would require 4 measures of tea to make a full-strength pot of tea
- Measure of tea:
2 to 3 grams or 1 to 2.5 Tablespoons leaf for every 6 ounces of water.
White tea, such as Bai Mudan and Yue Guang Bai are comprised of very large leaves and large buds. The same 2 to 3 gram measure of one of these white teas will be much bulkier than 2 to 3 grams of Yabao or Yin Zhen. Also, white tea varies quite a bit in bulkiness depending on whether it is a bud-only, leaf style, or a combination of leaf and bud. Experiment to find the right taste for you!
- Water temperature:
Use water that is 160°F – 170°F
Asian description: ‘column of steam steadily rising’ water. That’s when a column of steam begins to rise from the surface. Or boil the water and let it rest for four minutes
- Steeping time: keep the leaf in the water for the appropriate amount of time.
A leafy white tea rarely steeps for longer than 2 minutes at a time (often less), so start with a 2 minute steep,
and taste a tea that is ‘new to you’ every 30 seconds after.
Flavor nuances can be discovered by adjusting the length of time that white tea is steeped.
Try both longer or shorter steeping times to see which you prefer.
More tea steeping information: