In you are using tap water, it is necessary to use a water filter that consists of activated carbon filter. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the authentic taste of tea. If using a commercial mineral water, it is important to choose the natural mineral water.
Never use distilled water or reversed osmosis processed water. These water lack of mineral content and thus the taste of tea is too soft and a little plain.
Soft water is better than hard water. Brewing tea with hard water makes taste bitter while soft water makes taste gentle and sweet. The softness of water is written on the mineral water bottle as TDS: total dissolved solid. You need to choose the water that TDS is below 200mg/liter.
Use fresh water which has not boiled before. Bring the cold water to boil and cool down until required temperature. This is to evaporate some chlorine from the water.
Beforehand, it is important to warm the glass well by rinsing it out with boiled water. This should be done just before adding the tea leaves, so that leaves benefit from a gentle humid heat.
It is important to maintain the water temperature when brewing for efficacious extraction of substances from leaf.
The method of brewing Taiping Houkui is named as "Down-Tossing Infiltration Brewing". This method suits tea which is loose and unfold. The leaf of Taiping Houkui is large and easily suspended on water surface.
Besides, its flat shape makes it more buoyant and it is difficult to sink when brewed. With this brewing method, the leaf is brewed "twice": firstly, the leaf is moistened with a small quantity of water and let it unfold, followed by addition of more water to make up a cup of tea.
The details of preparing Taiping Houkui following Down-Tossing Infiltration Brewing method is described as below:
There is another way to enjoy Taiping Houkui.
When the liquor of previous brewing is left to about 1/3 in the glass, pour in another 100 ml of boiled water (at 85-90 degree C). Brew for 5 minutes and it is ready.
In such a way, the taste is not diluted too much for subsequent brewing up to 4 times.
If tea is not served at once, tea leaves must be filtered well and kept without water. Place a tea strainer on top of the cup before pouring the tea into the cup.
This is to avoid the liquor becoming bitter and stewed. Besides, it prevents tea leaves from being over cooked.
In addition, tea after filtration will be ready for second brewing.