How to Steep Oolong Tea in Asian and Western Style
Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese beverage that is highly treasured for its complex taste, aroma, and health benefits. Rich and velvety, oolong tea can be steeped in either the traditional Asian or Western style. Read on to learn about the two methods for brewing perfect cups of oolong tea.
The Asian approach to steeping oolong is artistic and efficient, with precise calculations that yield the most flavor. Follow these steps to steep a superior cup of oolong in the traditional Asian way:
- Warm the Teaware: Put your teapot or cup on the stovetop, pour in a touch of hot water, then swirl it around and discard.
- Measure the Tea Leaves: Gently scoop the oolong tea into the teapot and measure six tablespoons of oolong tea leaves per 500 milliliters of water.
- Boil the Water: Bring filtered water to a boil and then lower the heat until the water is just before boiling.
- Prepare the Tea Leaves: Gently shake the teapot from side to side and up and down to evenly distribute the tea leaves.
- Pour the Water: Pour the hot water over the tea leaves in the teapot. To make the most flavorful cup of tea, fill the teapot about three quarters full.
- Steep the Tea: Allow the oolong tea to steep for three to five minutes before serving. Do not oversteep or the tea will become bitter.
The Western approach to steeping oolong is simpler than the Asian method, and it allows a bit more room for personal preference. Here are the steps for making oolong tea in the Western style:
- Warm the Teaware: Fill the teapot or cup with hot water to warm it up and then pour it out.
- Measure the Tea Leaves: Place three tablespoons of oolong tea leaves into the teapot for every eight ounces of water.
- Boil the Water: Start the water heating in a teakettle.
- Pour the Water: When the water is just under boiling, pour it into the teapot.
- Adjust for Taste: Cover the teapot and allow the oolong tea to steep for three to five minutes. Adjust the brewing time to obtain your desired strength.
Enjoy a Perfect Cup of Oolong Tea!
Whether you choose the traditional Asian or the simpler Western methods, when done right, oolong tea can offer a complex, unique flavor and a host of health benefits. Take the time to enjoy a steaming cup of oolong and savor the flavor!