How is hook tea made?
To make crocheted tea, the tea leaves must first be picked by the “one shrimp, two leaves” method. Only the youngest tea bud and the next two young leaves are picked. The purpose of picking “one two-leaf shrimp” is to let the dried tea wings after processing have small wings like fishing hooks. In addition, young tea leaves always have more “quality” than old tea leaves. “Quality” or “taste” or umami as the Japanese call it. Umami is the most important and must-have taste of good green tea. Besides the flavor of nuggets, bitter taste, or greasy, the “quality” is the main factor that makes the popularity of hook tea.
Tea leaves after picking, if exposed to the air for a long time, will ferment or oxidize. To prevent this process from happening, tea makers must “kill yeast” immediately after harvesting. About 300-400g of fresh tea leaves are put in a pan and stirred at 150-160°C for 6 to 7 minutes. Tea makers will often stir the tea by hand to ensure that the tea leaves do not clump as well as feel the temperature.
The purpose of this step is to reduce the humidity as well as the temperature of the tea leaves after killing the yeast. The hot tea leaves are spread evenly on the pot, the tea maker will stir and gently squirt the tea leaves so that the steam evaporates and the temperature drops quickly. Without this step, the finished tea leaves are usually yellow and have a burnt smell. This process usually takes place within 10 minutes.
Wringing and shaking:
This is a very important step in making tea. Crushing and shaking will greatly determine the flavor and shape of the finished tea. When the clear tea leaves have cooled down, the tea maker will pick up a handful of tea and crush it into lumps. This process creates “wounds” on the tea leaves that help the tea sap to flow out and form a plastic layer that covers the leaf surface. At the drying stage, this plastic layer is white, also known as “mold”. After the gas is crushed, the tea maker continues to use his hands to break the tea leaves so that the leaves can continue to be exposed to the air.
Then the tea leaves are put back into the pan so that the tea maker continues to pick up handfuls of tea leaves to rub between his hands in a circle. This is also the stage where the “hook” shape of the tea leaves is formed. After this process, the amount of water in the tea leaves is about 80%, the yellow leaves and stems will also be picked up at this time.
The main purpose of this step is to dry the tea. After being crushed, the tea leaves will be placed in a dry pan and left at 80°C so that the moisture content in the tea leaves drops below 6%. During this stage, the tea maker continues to gently rub the tea leaves to curl and wrap more firmly. This process usually takes about 20-30 minutes.
Generic name: Viet Thien hook tea (70g/pack – block of 6 packs)
Convenient small pack for one-time brewing.
Vietnamese style Pha
Most Vietnamese people make tea with pots and porcelain cups like Western countries. The ratio of tea and water should be about 1g of tea to 50ml of water. If the porcelain pot usually has a capacity of 250ml, it is recommended to use 5g of tea. Water for making tea should be about 80°C. If you do not have a thermometer, there is a trick that after boiling the water, you only need to leave it on the stove for about 5 minutes to have water about 80°C. After the tea is put into the kettle, pour water over the tea and then pour it out immediately. Then add hot water and soak for about 30 seconds to be able to use. You should add 10 seconds to the following water turns to make sure the tea flavor is as uniform as possible.
Tea brewed according to elaborate tea methods often use a cup of Khai or a teapot. The ratio of tea and water should be about 1g tea to 20ml water, or 1g to 40ml if you are new to green tea. Water for tea should also be used at about 80°C. Many elaborate tea users use 100°C boiling water for all types of tea, but according to the writer’s own experience, 80°C water for hook tea is the best because it helps reduce bitterness and astringency compared to normal. . After the tea is put into the kettle, pour water over the tea and then pour it out immediately. Then continue to add hot water to the kettle and soak for about 10 seconds to be able to use it. You should add 5 seconds to the following water turns to ensure the most uniform taste possible.
Brewing cold tea is a great way to both enjoy tea and cool off on hot days. The ratio of tea and water is 1g of tea per 100ml of water. For cold brewing, you should use Korean-style plastic water bottles that are widely available in supermarkets (should use a filter at the mouth of the bottle). Cold brewing is very easy, you just need to put tea and boiling water to cool in a bottle, then keep it in the fridge overnight (about 8 hours) to be able to use it.
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