john-in-siam said 3 months ago
In my experience brewing preferences tend to vary over time, with exposure, so the idea that there is one specific way to brew tea best is probably not a good assumption. The standard temperature range suggestions are a good starting point but people’s opinions about them vary, probably in part related to using different approaches, and also to preferring slightly different results. Vietnamese people tend to prefer their green tea brewed with boiling point water, and like the resulting astringency; are they wrong about that? Of course the main variation is related to proportion of tea to water, with infusion time adjusted to correspond to that, two main factors in the Western and Gongfu style brewing divide.
It starts with using good tea that is suited to personal preference. If any guidance starts based around using a tea bag most tea enthusiasts wouldn’t accept that as valid, but given that subjective preference is the guide post it may not matter that much what most well-informed people tend to think. At the finest level of detail a lot of inputs matter, for example the type of water used (ph and mineral content, and also how it is prepared), and brewing vessel, and so on. Even the level of background noise affects the experience of drinking the tea, so it’s not necessarily simple to cut off the discussion at brewing parameters.
It might be as well to let the “perfect” idea go and brew tea in a way that works for you, and experiment with changes some to develop that further over time.