Hei Cha preparation
Hei Cha’s preparation is relatively simple and less delicate in comparation to some other teas:
- Water: use 100oC freshly boiled water.
- Tea leaves: about 1/2 tea spoon (5g) of the tea leaves per cup or 2 tea spoon (15-20g) per small tea pot. (The strength of the tea could be adjusted to personal preference by adjusting the amount of the tea leaves put in.)
- Tea rinsing: add hot water to the tea vessel with the tea leaves in and dispose the water after 8 seconds for a loose tea or 30 seconds for a compressed tea.
- First infusion: add hot water to the brewing vessel and serve after around 20 seconds.
- Repeat infusion: Hei Cha can be repeatedly infused for up to 15 times by simply topping up with hot water, with each infusion increasing brewing time for up to 10 seconds.
- Cooking Hei Cha: unique to Hei Cha, they are also suitable for cooking/deep steeping. 1/ Use a clay or cast iron teapot with thick wall, boil the water on a stove before adding the tea leaves in and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the teapot from the stove, put the lid on and allow to steep for 3-5 minutes. 2/ Use a designed electrical tea cooker.
Hei Cha storage
Unlike teas from other categories, Hei Cha is believed to develop/oxidize within its environment with time.
- Store teas in its original packaging, should it be bamboo basket or wrapping paper.
- Avoid the following elements during their long term storage: 1/ direct sun light 2/ lack of ventilation 3/ foreign odors.
- When Hei Cha is stored under the condition of humidity over 55%, there is a chance certain tea insects will occur and grow within the tea. It is believed these tea insects are not only harmless, but enhancing the tea quality (part of the tea's environment for development) – they like good quality teas and often discovered in good quality teas.