Bubble Tea Brewing Guide

 

bubble tea brewing guide

 

The main types of tea used to make bubble tea are Green Tea, Oolong Tea and Black Tea.  It’s important to remember that all types of tea (except for herbal tea) come from the same tea plant, Camellia sinensis.  It is how the tea is processed that will turn it into a specific type of tea.

Green Tea, is very lightly processed so it retains its green color while Black Tea is heavily oxidized and processed giving it the black color.  Oolong Tea is right in the middle of Green and Black Tea, it is lightly processed and oxidized.

Because each tea type is different, you want to make sure that you are brewing them differently for your bubble tea.

 

How to Brew Bubble Tea:

 

Green Tea:
*9 grams of tea to 1 liter of water
*Ideal temperature is 170-175* F (77-80* C)
*Brewing time 6 minutes

Green Bubble Tea

Oolong Tea:
*10 grams of tea to 1 liter of water
*Ideal temperature is 175-180* F (80-82* C)
*Brewing time 6 minutes

Oolong Bubble Tea
 
Assam Black Tea:
*12 grams of tea to 1 liter of water
*Ideal temperature is 200* F or 95* C
*Brewing time 8 minutes

Black Bubble Tea
 
Ceylon Black Tea:
*10 grams of tea to 1 liter of water
*Ideal temperature is 200* F or 95* C
*Brewing Time 8 Minutes

 

Different Types of Tea:  Green Tea, Black Tea, Oolong, Earl Grey and White Tea

There are 100s of different types of teas.  This guide will introduce the main ones and hopefully give you a better understanding of the similarities and differences between them.   Green Tea, Black Tea, Oolong, Earl Grey and White Tea are the most popular varieties and will be focused on here.

All tea is from the same plant, Camellia sinensis.  The different varieties of tea are due to the different processing techniques used as well as the level of fermentation the tea leaves undergo.

 

bubble tea leaf camellia sinensis

camellia sinensis

 

Green Tea

Green Tea is by far the most popular type of tea and has become synonymous with good health and antioxidants in the past decade.  Green tea is produced mostly in Taiwan, China and Japan, with each region having a slightly different method of production.  First tea leaves are picked, dried and then heated to halt the fermentation process.  In China the leaves are typically roasted which will produce a more green/yellow tea with a toasted taste.  Japanese green tea is usually steamed, this produces a darker green and more of a “grassy” taste.

Jasmine flowers are sometimes added to the tea to sweeten the taste resulting in Jasmine Green Tea or 茉莉綠茶 mōlì lǜchá。

Black Tea

Black tea is one of the most popular teas in the world.  It is called 紅茶 hong cha in Mandarin Chinese which means red tea, not black tea.  Black tea, like all the other major varieties, is made from Camellia sinensis.  Black tea is more oxidized than green, white and oolong tea which generally gives it a stronger flavor.  The oxidation process gives the leaves their black color and stronger flavor which allows the tea to retain its taste long after other teas.  This made black tea very popular for trade because it could survive the long transit times in the early days of trading.  Some of the most popular varieties of black tea are Assam, Ceylon and Darjeeling.

Oolong Tea

Oolong Tea (Wulong Tea) is a semi-fermented tea that is baked under natural sunlight.  This allows it to be partially oxidizes but not as much so as black tea.  Oolong tea is sometimes considered a mix between green and black tea.  Oolong tea originated in the Fu Jian province of China and some popular varieties include Alishan High Mountain Tea, Baozhong Tea and Oriental Beauty.

Earl Grey Tea

Earl Grey Tea is a tea blend with a “smokey” flavor.  It contains oil extracts from the rinds of bergamot oranges.  The Earl Grey blend was made famous in England and may have started out as a ploy to imitate more expensive teas by infusing black tea leaves with the bergamot extracts.  The “London Frog” is a popular drink made by mixing Earl Grey with steamed milk and vanilla syrup.

White Tea

White tea is often referred to as the purest form of the major teas due to its minimal processing.  White tea comes from the leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant and is set to wither in natural sunlight before drying.

It’s called white tea due to the fine white hairs on the buds of the plant.  The bud selection process for white tea is very stringent and only young buds with many fine white hairs can produce quality white tea.

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