As is true for green and white tea, steeping yellow tea in a gaiwan, a small or large teapot, or even in the cup from which you will drink will all yield delicious results as long as the proportion of leaf-to-water has been considered.
- First measure the capacity of your teapot.
Fill your teapot to capacity with water and then measure this volume of water in ounces. Divide this munber by 6. Most recommendations for amount of tea to use are based on 6 ounces of water. For example, a 24-ounce teapot would require 4 measures of tea to make a full-strength pot of tea.
- Measure of tea:
2 to 3 grams of leaf per 6 ounces of water
Yellow tea is primarily manufactured into either a compact ‘bird’s beak’ shape or a bulky ‘bud and two leaves’ pluck. The volume-to-weight of these different leaf styles requires a teaspoon of the former and two heaping tablespoons of the latter.
- Water temperature:
Use water that is 160°F to 170°F
Asian description: ‘column of steam steadily rising’ water. That’s when a column of steam begins to rise from the surface. Or boil the water and let it rest for three to four minutes
- Steeping time: keep the leaf in the water for the appropriate amount of time.
Yellow tea is best steeped for 2 minutes at a time (often less), so start with a 2 minute steep, and taste a tea that is ‘new to you’ every 30 seconds after.
Yellow tea can always be steeped again, usually 2 to 3 times, depending on the type of tea and on your flavor preference, at the same or with a slightly hotter water temperature than used for the initial steeping.
Flavor nuances can be discovered by adjusting the length of time yellow tea steeps. Try longer or shorter steeping times and see which you prefer.
More tea steeping information: