How To Make Tea

  1. Heat good-tasting water.
  2. Add tea to brewing vessel.
  3. Infuse to taste.
  4. Strain and enjoy!
  5. Re-infuse the leaves.
  6. Water

Start with water that tastes good to you, such as spring or filtered. Avoid straight tap water; it may contain chemicals which will affect the taste of the tea.

Vessel

Choose a teapot, gaiwan, or yixing pot, and preheat with hot water. If there is not a way to hold back the leaves—either with a perforated spout or lid—use a wide infuser basket inside the vessel or a strainer as you pour to prevent leaf particles from entering the cup.

Tea

Brew teas as unconstrained as possible, not in a small tea ball; this allows the leaves to circulate freely, hydrate and release their fullest flavor. Whole leaf teas vary in density, so weight is the most accurate measurement for dosage (see Brewing Charts below).

Temperature

White or green teas, well below boiling (170°–185° F)—these leaves are less processed, so the lower temperature helps avoid astringency and maintain their inherent sweetness. Oolongs (185°–210° F). Black teas, just off a boil. Pu-erhs, full rolling boil (212° F) for shu; slightly off the boil (~200° F) for sheng. 

Time

Until you are familiar with a particular tea, steep it for a minute or so, then try a sip. Pay attention to the flavor, rather than the liquor color. When the tea tastes right to you, decant the entire vessel or remove the infuser to avoid oversteeping. Many teas are meant to be infused several times; try increasing steeping time for subsequent infusions. 

Experiment

Feel free to play with water temperature, brewing times, and proportion of tea to water. Watch the leaves unfurl and savor the aroma. Remember, our guidelines are just that. Enjoy!

 

Western Style Brewing

for single serving (8 oz) to larger pots (16 oz)
type tea temp time
White 3–4 g 180º F 2–3 mins
Green 3–5 g 170–185º F 2–3 mins
Oolong 3–5 g 180–210º F 2–3 mins, 5 sec rinse before infusing
Black 3–4 g 210º F 3 mins
Pu-erh 3–5 g 200–210º F 3 mins, 5 sec rinse before infusing
Herbal 3–4 g 210º F 5 mins
 

Gaiwan Brewing

type tea temp time
White 1/3 full 180º F 1 min
Green 1/3 full 170–185º F 1 min
Ball-shaped Oolong 1/4–1/3 full 210º F 10–30 sec, 5 sec rinse before infusing
Twisted-leaf Oolong 1/2–3/4 full, with the exception of Phoenix oolong which is best 1/4 full 180–210º F 10–30 sec, 5 sec rinse before infusing
Black 1/4 full 210º F 30 sec – 1 min
Pu-erh 1/3 full 195–210º F 10–30 sec, 5 sec rinse before infusing
Herbal 1/3 full 210º F 1 min
 

Yixing Pot Brewing

type tea temp time
Ball-shaped Oolong 1/4–1/3 full 210º F 10–30 sec, 5 sec rinse before infusing
Twisted-leaf Oolong 1/2–3/4 full, with the exception of Phoenix oolong which is best 1/4 full 180–210º F 10–30 sec, 5 sec rinse before infusing
Black 1/4 full 210º F 30 sec – 1 min
Pu-erh 1/3 full 195–210º F 10–30 sec, 5 sec rinse before infusing

How To Make Iced Tea

We have iced tea instructions for those refreshing moments.


How To Store Tea

Think of tea as you would a spice in your kitchen pantry: it will not go bad as long as it's kept dry, but its peak taste and aroma are within six months to a year of production.

We pack our teas in high-quality resealable bags. These protect the leaves from degradation by light, moisture, odors and oxidation, and have a low impact on the environment. Feel free to decant into any other airtight container with similar properties.

Even when properly stored, however, the freshness and flavor of good tea will naturally decrease over time (with pu-erh and other intentionally aged teas a notable exception). The best solution is to purchase fresh teas, in reasonable amounts, from a reputable source.