The brewing methods of International Tea Evaluation Standard is: put 3 grams tea leaves into boiling water for 5 minutes (212 F), then rate in terms of aroma, tea and other strengths, the extraction efficiency, and compatibility of the substance. Figuratively speaking, you put the tea leaves into the “toughest environment” to see which one can stand there longer, which one have more weakness.
How much tea leaves should we put? For our daily tea brewing purpose, we need to provide tea leaves an appropriate and comfortable environment in the teapot. So tea leaves can release their advantages and characterizes at the maximum level. The method is different in responding to the different purpose.
The tea ratio is a crucial factor.
Tea ratio refers to the ratio of the amount of leaves to the volume of the container used to brew tea. Simply put, it means “how much tea leaves to put”. Different containers have different volumes. Therefore, of course, the amounts of tea leaves used are different. Using the same container, the amounts of tea leaves differ based on types of tea.
For example, the tea ratio for green tea and black tea is usually 1 to 25 – using a 100 ml teapot to brew the tea, you should put 4 grams of tea leaves. If you are using a 150 ml teapot, then you should put 6 grams of tea leaves.
The tea ratio for Oolong tea is 1 to 15. Therefore, using the same 100 ml tea pot, 7 grams of tea leaves are required to make the oolong tea.
If you put more tea leaves, the tea will stay for longer time. However, it should not exceed too much over the normal tea ratio. Otherwise, the tea will taste bitter. If you put fewer tea leaves, the time of steeping can be extended. However, if you put too little tea leaves, no matter how long you steep the tea, it will make the tea sharp and weak. The tea will not taste good.
If the container is very big, over 300 ml, the amount of tea leaves can put reached the upper limit. Therefore, the standard tea ratio should not be followed. Instead, the small adjustment should be made based on the standard tea ratio. If there are relatively many tea crumbs, the amount of tea leaves needs to be reduced accordingly. If the tea is either too fresh or too aged, the amount of tea leaves needs to be increased in order to raise the tastes and extend the steeping time of the tea.
However, there are tea leaves do not require such strict tea ratio, such as white tea and “ripe” puer tea. The tea ratio for “raw” puer tea cannot be generalized as for each one, and there might be some small adjustment because the differences in age and degree of crushing.