What's your favorite way to brew tea?
Hey guys, I was looking at the tea stash thread and thought it might be fun to share what your go to method of brewing is. Whenever I can I sit down and enjoy gong fu brewing with my chinese teas. If I’m making western teas I use a cast iron teapot that my parents got me as a gift. Here’s a picture of my little gong fu set :) http://www.flickr.com/photos/87738073@N05/8031988227/in/photostream
I just bought a beautiful Chinese tea set complete with tray, two cups, teapot, and tea spoon. I haven’t even taken it out of the shop bag yet because we haven’t figured out where to put it where the cats won’t try to push the cups off onto the floor. :-( It’s so beautiful I want to display and use it. Alas, I use an infuser in a mug.
Cats hate cups. I’ve lived with cats that would specifically go around at night tipping over all the cups in the house. It only took a few glasses off the counter for us to learn. I love my cats but I also wish I could display some of my things. We gave up on flowers years ago.
At home I go with traditional Gong fu with either yixing pot or gaiwan. I’ve gotten used to the Gong Fu method and I find I make the most of my tea.
So I try to translate it using my ‘Fuguang’ at work http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/product.php?id_product=1886 and it works most teas (particles do end up in your cup). And I received Adagio’s version in that offer they had a while ago ActiviTea (feels like a slighter cheaper version).
Very nice set. I’ve been meaning to buy a set of my own but haven’t gotten around to it yet. That picture is really starting to motivate me again. Where did you get your gong fu set?
Kettle ➔ infuser-in-mug.
You go girl!
Not a girl, but I appreciate the support of my simple ways. :D
Oops! Embarrassed apologies. Tiny avatar, old dude eyes… How do you make the arrow symbol?
No worries! Are you on a Mac? If so, it’s incredibly simple:
- press option-command-T or click Edit > Special Characters
- in the Character Viewer’s sidebar, select the Arrows category
- double-click your favourite arrow to enter it in your text, wherever the cursor is currently
I came into tea originally via the Teavana route where I bought a steeper called the Perfectea Maker. Adagio and David’s sell something similar. With it, you put the tea into the clear chamber of the steeper, pour hot water over the leaves, let it steep as desired, then place the steeper on top of your cup where a valve opens to allow the tea to come out. I can brew tea just like I can in a Gaiwan since it allows the leaves to fully expand. I can see the tea leaves as they brew which is nice. By the way, it is BPA free. I find this method to be very convenient and I like that I can follow either Western or Gong fu style brewing directions with it. I bought 2, so that if I want to save leaves for later in the day, I can keep them in the steeper and still have another steeper to use. I love this device! It is the best purchase I ever made from Teavana. I do like some of their teas too, but have since gone more to ordering tea from online companies that I discovered through Steepster.
My Breville One-Touch is my favorite way to brew. I’m afraid I have never really got in to the whole ceremony thing, unless someone else is conducting it. I guess I don’t have a lot of patience for that sort of thing… I love that I can add the tea and water to my Breville, push a couple of buttons and in a few minutes, I have tea. I don’t have to worry about setting a timer (which I usually forget to do), and I don’t have to wait for it to finish brewing. I can just go off and do something else and when I come back, the tea is usually done.
I’ve been considering a Breville but was wondering if they are difficult to clean?
Well, most of the time, I just need to rinse everything out, always checking to make sure there is no residual odors, and rinsing out the tea basket really well, of course. Once a day, I do give it a good scrubbing to keep it shiny … I’m not about to say it’s “easy” to clean, it’s not a simple thing to clean, but, it isn’t difficult either. Every other day or so, I run it through an empty run … where I brew “water” through the whole cycle just to give it a really good “clean” rinse, and about once a week I will run a cycle with the lemon rind and the juice of one lemon to keep it odor free and clean.
Mandala Tea sells this product which is supposed to be also good for cleaning it, I haven’t yet tried it but plan on getting some soon: http://shopmandalatea.com/tea-wares/water-heaters/zojirushi-water-heater-cleaner-descaler.html
Awesome, thank you for the info LiberTEAS!
I’m still waiting on my gaiwan to arrive but I do a semi-gongfu most of the time. I have three porcelain mugs from Teavana (used to work there and got a fair few things free when customers or co-workers would drop a lid). Two are part of a set with ladies riding horses on them they are both 8oz, one for myself and one for my husband, they are pretty straight and cylndrical. The second is 10oz with a rounder bottom, a flared lip and cherry blossoms painted on them. All came with ceramic infusers but we don’t use them (holes are too big and they displace too much water). What I do is put my tea leaves in the bottom of the 10oz mug and fill it with water a little under half way, basicaly just filling the round “belly” of the mug. I then place the lid from my 8oz mug on top of the 10oz mug (it rests nicely at the top of the neck and tilts with the touch of a finger). I then create a small slit between the lid and the lip and pour the contents into the 8oz mug. So the 10oz mug is my brewing vessel and the 8oz mug is basically my sharing pitcher as I rarely drink out of it, instead pouring into tiny bone china crane cups. It works pretty well but I will be glad when I have the gaiwan.
Kettle – Bodum French Press – 12oz mug. Not fancy but the tea tastes good.
You’re the only person (thus far) I’ve seen say they use a French Press for tea. That’s usually used for coffee, no? Did you decide to use it because you already had it, or did you buy it specifically for tea? (If you already blogged this, I’d be happy with a link to go read about your experience. I already subscribe to the blog’s feed but have only read the past couple of weeks’ reviews.)
I brew one mug at a time. Used various tea balls for a while. Bought the press at Starbucks specifically for tea and have never looked back. Works excellent and clean up is easy. If you use it with leaf that expands to giant proportions just don’t push the plunger all the way down. In fact with some full leaf teas I don’t even bother with the lid. I use just enough water so I can completely drain the press each time. I even leave the drained leaf overnight for next day’s use. I also use a Finum basket at home with fine leaf. It works great but I generally prefer the press.
Thanks for the reply!
Me too! Well, at least when I’m making more than a single serving to go (since my french press is 1L, I use it when I’m filling my BIG thermos, on days where I’m going to be at the barn all day, or to take to work at night).
I’ve pondered getting a french press recently (I found them for a good price at HomeGoods) but, decided it was just another tea gadget that I didn’t really need, especially since I do have my Breville. But I’ve often wondered how much different the tea would taste when brewed with a French Press compared to other methods.