While brewing tea requires little more than leaves, clean water, and patience, there are many techniques that can change your experience with tea. Below, you will find descriptions of some of these techniques and suggestions for steeping. Please read these as merely suggestions, as each tea and each of your tastes, are unique.
Western Style Brewing
The most common way to brew tea in western cultures, this method involves using less tea, more water, and a teapot, mug or thermos that usually holds around 16oz of liquid, give or take depending on size. Often, our loose leaf teas may be steeped 2-3 times using this method. Herbal Tisanes steep once, with a longer steep time.
Making chai at home can be very rewarding as it fills the home with wonderful aromas of the Far East as it becomes an extraordinary flavor experience. It is very simple to prepare and can be stored in the refrigerator for reheating over the course of a week. We recommend serving your chai tea base with milk of your choice and a little (or a lot) of Cinnamon Honey.
Cold Brew Iced Tea
Starting tea leaves in cold water and steeping them 8 hours (overnight) is a good and gentle way to extract the aromatics of the tea, without pulling out the tannin. For Herbal Tisanes, we recommend starting half the amount of hot water, steeping for 15 minutes, and then covering with cool water to steep refrigerated overnight.
Gongfu Method With Gaiwan
The Gongfu method of brewing tea is a more traditional and ceremonial method of tea preparation. It involves brewing tea in a smaller vessel than a western teapot, usually a vessel similar to a gaiwan. A gaiwan is a small lidded bowl in which your tea leaves and water are placed. Less water and shorter steep times are used in the gongfu method. Brewing more tea in less water over a shorter steeping time allows you to have a more nuanced experience of tasting the different flavor expressions of the tea leaves as they are steeped over multiple infusions (resteeps). The chemical components in the tea leaves will diffuse differently over each steep, and allow the taster to see the full breadth of flavors the same leaves can offer.
Gongfu Method With Yixing Pot
Yixing teapots are small teapots made from red or brown yixing clay found in Jiangsu Province, China. They are traditionally used for more oxidized oolong, black, and pu erh teas. Over many steeps, the yixing pot will slowly absorb subtle flavors, aromatics, and oils from the teas that have been brewed in it. Some people choose to only steep one type of tea in a yixing pot, while others will switch it up in order to develop a desired flavor. Similarly to the gongfu style of brewing with a gaiwan, tea is brewed in a yixing pot using more leaves, less water, and shorter steep times.