How to steep Taiwanese High Mountain oolong?


First, let’s define high mountain oolong in a Taiwanese standard.

Definition : High Mountain Oolong is the tea grown above 1,000 meter in altitude, and processed with oolong tea method.  

Taiwanese high mountain oolong is notable for its fragrance.  But, how to steep it to bring out its full aroma & flavor?  Here is the tip.

There are 3 factors, which are measurement, temperature and time, in a steeping.  Master in these and you will have a wonderful cup of tea.

(1) Measurement

  • Measure the volume of your teapot
  • Determine how many steepings you would like to make
  • Determine the amount of tea and water

The golden ratio of tea/ water is 1 gram tea : 50 cc water per steeping.  Say, if you want to make 3 steepings with a 150cc teapot, what you need to do first is to prepare 9 gram tea (3X3=9). 

(2) Temperature

  • Pre-rinse the teapot and cups with 100°C boiling water which is to increase the temperature of teapot first so that water temperature would not drop a lot in the step of steeping.
  • Pouring 100°C hot water into the teapot as swiftly as you can.  This is also to keep the water temperature, and in the meanwhile, the force of flush will make the tea dance and further increase the convection in the teapot.

(3) Time

  • The time of the first steeping should be 70 seconds in order to the ball shaped leaves enough time to absorb water release tea materials out.
  • The time of the second steeping is 35 seconds.
  • The time of the third steeping should be twice as long as which of the second steeping, that will be 70 seconds in our case.

Of course, the above method is only a general guidance.  One should always adjust his steeping approach based on different situations.   Always remember a old Taiwanese saying ” Inspect the tea to decide how to steep” (看茶泡茶) 



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