Brewing tea, in essence, is simply a process of extraction; compounds in the tea leaves are extracted in the water. Even so, there is a reason why people have been perfecting this art for thousands of years: this seemingly simple process can be extremely nuanced and complex. Even the smallest tweaks in the process can translate to noticeable differences in the tea’s flavor and texture. As such, brewing tea is not simply about the leaves and the water — it is also about the self.
To brew tea, three things are needed: tea leaves, water, and the self. The brewer greatly affects the brewed tea (also called the tea liquor); we are active components in this process. Because of this, there is no “fixed formula” to brewing tea, nor can it be reduced into a standardized process. Brewing tea is, ultimately, an expression of the brewer’s preferences and a reflection of the brewer’s disposition, combined with the natural flavors present in the leaves and in the water.