Tea Brewing Instructions

Gong fu traditional tea brewing

We offer basic tea brewing instructions on some of our more unique teas. Please check out our Events Calendar for more in-depth information on upcoming classes, tastings, and workshops.

Remember, it’s all about tea, time, and temperature to get the best brew! If you’ve had bitter tea, it’s most likely because the leaves were brewed too long or with water that was too hot for the type of tea.

For all teas, we start by warming the brewing vessel by pouring a bit of hot water into it, then dumping it out.

PU-ER TEA

We serve our cake, brick, nest, and bamboo “pressed” pu-ers Gong Fu style, which means lots of tea and short 30 second (or less) multiple steepings. This brewing method allows the drinker to experience the tea’s true essence.

A variety of strainers to strain your pu-er

Gaiwan

  1. Break off a chunk (about 2 tablespoons per cup of water) of the pressed pu-er using a pu-er pick, or any “letter opener” type tool.
  2. Place tea in strainer or brewing vessel. We use gaiwans, but you can use a deep strainer that sits on top of a cup. Or you could place tea directly in a cup and then strain it into another cup.
  3. Pour boiling water over the tea to rinse it – discard the water from this first steeping.
  4. Pour a second steeping, and let the pu-er steep for 30 seconds or less.
  5. Strain it into your cup, or remove the steeping strainer from your mug. We always strain our pu-ers – and highly recommend you do as well.
  6. Repeat, increasing or decreasing the brewing time as needed, as the pu-er will open up and can create some very dark steeps and a variety of flavors! You can easily get 8-12 steepings from the same pressed leaves!

GREEN TEA

  1. Strainer for top of mug

    The general rule for green tea is to use cooler water ranging from 140 – 185ºF. More delicate teas like Gyokuro require only 140ºF.

  2. Add the recommended amount of tea noted on the tea packet to your brewing vessel or strainer.
  3. Boil the water and let it cool to the desired temperature, usually 3-5 minutes, or use a thermometer.
  4. Pour the water over your tea, let it steep 1 minute, then remove the water from the leaves completely. DO NOT let the leaves sit in water or they will become bitter.
  5. You can get 3-4 steepings from our whole leaf green teas. Add 30 seconds to each re-steeping.  For Japanese green teas, brew first cup for 1 minute, second cup for 30 seconds, third cup for 45 seconds, and the fourth cup back up to 1 minute.

(Brew Yellow Tea just like Green Tea)

SPECIALTIES

BLACK TEA

Ceramic mug and strainer

Brewing black tea is quite simple – steep 3 minutes with boiling water! There are some varieties we carry like Jin Zhen and our Korean Black Tea which are done Gong Fu style similar to Pu-er. Check your packet for brewing temps and times on each of these.

OOLONG TEA

Oolong teas have the greatest range of flavors from green and floral to dark and smoky.

  1. Generally, rolled oolongs don’t present their flavor til the 2nd steeping as the leaves take time to unfurl.
  2. The temperature for oolongs is generally 194ºF which is just under boiling. For subsequent steepings, you can use boiling water.
  3. Place your tea in the strainer or vessel and pour 194ºF water over the tea.
  4. Let it steep for 1.5 – 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the leaves from the water and voila!
  6. Add 30 seconds to each subsequent steeping.
  7. You can get 4-6 steepings.

WHITE TEA

This most delicate of teas has flavor ranges from piney or nutty to crisp and clear.

  1. Place tea in strainer or gaiwan.
  2. Boil water then let it sit for 5 or so minutes – ideal temperature of the water should be 176ºF.
  3. Pour the cooler water over the tea leaves and steep for 1 minute.
  4. Strain and enjoy.
  5. Add 30 seconds to each subsequent steeping.
  6. You can get 3-5 steepings.

HERBAL TEAS

All herbals we steep with boiled water for a minimum of 4 minutes. If a blend, like Sereni-Tea, Immuni-Tea or one of Tamim’s Mushroom teas, we steep it 5 minutes or longer.