文 By: 許玉蓮 Hooi Yoke Lien
Freshness and purity are the distinguished features of the young sprouts of Long Jing Tea. While drinking the tea, our mouth and tongue will sense its pleasant taste which is soothing and lasting. As mouth-watering and moistening as it is, we will also feel comfortable when drinking the tea. While observing the fresh and light-coloured Long Jing sprouts swaying in the green tea, it is as if resembling the countryside's natural scene during a drizzle in spring. In a prompt manner, our life is as if a sentimental poem.
With quality tea at hands, we mustn't ignore the need to acquire tea-brewing skills so as to bring out the taste of Long Jing Tea's containing substances. Therefore, we have to be meticulous about the details when brewing Long Jing Tea.
Firstly, avoid brewing tea with boiling water. Avoid using just-boiled water whose temperature is as high as 100°c, for it makes the tea unsmooth. A water temperature of 75°c to 85°c is ideal for brewing tea, for it brings out the lovely taste of Long Jing Tea. But how we are to adjust water temperature? We certainly don't need a thermometre; a tea pitcher would be sufficient instead.
The steps of brewing Long Jing Tea are as follows:
I. Our tea utensils can be made of porcelain, glass, or pottery. Select the utensils' shape as we like – lidded cup, teapot, mug, or strainer mug.
II. Pour the hot water onto the tea pitcher which we have prepared earlier. Leave it for a while so that the water temperature decreases slightly before we brew tea.
III. Insert tea leaves to fill up one quarter of the tea pot.
IV. Uplift the tea pitcher and pour the hot water – which has cooled off a bit – into the pot to soak the tea leaves.
V. Soak the tea leaves for about 40 seconds, then pour the tea onto the tea pitcher – which we used for cooling off the hot water.
VI. Uplift the tea pitcher and pour the tea into tea cups.
VII. Finally, serve and drink tea.
VIII. Hold the cup and appreciate the tea – which is green and translucent and charming. Sip and taste the tea slowly in our mouth, and we will enjoy the fresh and fragrant taste diffused by the young sprouts.
IX. The same pot of tea can be brewed and served as many as four times.