Chinese tea - water quality The quality of tea is controlled by quality of water. It was said in ancient China that water is mother of tea. There are three categories of water: best is water from a hill, average is water from river, bottom is water from a well. The best water from a hill is on a hilltop; best water from a river is in middle of a river; best water from a well is from a well which is frequently used. It is not easy to get water from a hill. So water from a tap is most common. There are two ways to make best use of tap water when making tea. 1. Leave tap water in a bucket for 24 hours in order to let out chlorine inside. 2. Boil water then open lid for 5 minutes in order to let out chlorine inside. Distilled water is a kind of artificial soft water. It is most hygiene but it would not be ideal water for making tea.
Best water temperature for making tea: 1. Low temperature (70 - 80c) Good for making young shoot green tea such as Long Jing (Dragon Well) or yellow tea (Silver Needle). 2. Medium temperature (80 - 90c) Good for making white tea (Silver Needle White Fur), red tea or Oolong. 3. High temperature (90 - 100c) Good for making tea such as Tie Guan Yin (Iron Guan Yin), Pu'er, Shui Xian (Water Fairy). Low temperature water tends to be more suitable for young tea leaves while high temperature water tends to be more suitable for ripe tea leaves.
Chinese tea - tea leaves Chinese tea used to be categorized by its place of origin or place where it went to. Only till recently that Chinese tea is categorized based on its way of manufacture.
6 types of tea: Green, yellow, black, white, light green and red.
Green tea Green tea has longest history and it can be dated over 3000 years ago. People picked young shoots of leaves and dried it in sun without fermentation.
Examples of green tea: Long Jing Fur Tip Green Spring Snail
Yellow tea Yellow tea is to ferment tea leaves before they are totally dry. A degree of 10% to 20% fermentation would be expected.
Examples of yellow tea: Silver Needle Yellow Soup Big Leaf Green
Black tea Black tea is to ferment tea leaves to a degree of 100%. It is a kind of commonly consumed tea in Mongolia.