There are many different ways to brew your own loose leaf tea at home, work, or wherever your may want to enjoy some tea! Certain teas better lend themselves to specific brewing styles, but it all comes down to personal preference. Below you will find some of the most common ways we like to brew our teas at roji. We have broken then down step-by-step to make the process easier to understand. Feel free to ask us any brewing related questions at the shop if you are uncertain about how to steep your own tea!
Brewing Styles and General Brewing Information
Most of our teas are great when brewed western style, but we recommend using the Gong Fu Cha method for our higher end Chinese and Taiwanese teas, as this method allows these teas to shine! More information can be found below. Our Japanese Teas are best enjoyed when brewed with Japanese teapots, which are available for purchase in our teashop. Specific brewing instructions for these teas can be found on our Japanese tea packages! Specific loose leaf amounts and water temperature can be found on each tea package.
Western Style brewing is one of the most common brew styles. This style used a lower leaf to water ratio, resulting in a lighter, more neutral brew. Western style uses a larger teapot with 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of leaf. The leaf is then steeped for a 3-5 minutes and can usually only be steeped once. Each tea package will list the loose leaf tea amount needed, as well as the proper water temperature and suggested steep time.
Step 1: Place proper measurement of tea into teapot
Step 2: Pour in proper temperature water
Step 3: Brew for desired amount of time
Step 4: Pour and enjoy!
Some teas can be re-brewed a second time, but they will be much lighter in taste.
Gong Fu Cha
This method of tea brewing is a bit more complicated. It requires smaller teapots or a vessel called a gaiwan (lidded bowl). A high leaf to water ratio is used. Teas are often flash brewed and re-steeped many times. This style of brewing draws a deeper focus toward the specific tea and accentuates a tea’s quality. Use roughly 4-7 grams of tea per vessel – we list suggested amounts on each tea package. This is our recommended brewing method many of our high quality Chinese and Taiwanese teas.
Step 1: Preheat your brewing vessel and all cups / pitchers being used
Step 2: Place proper measurement of tea into brewing vessel (teapot of gaiwan)
Refer to tea package for proper loose leaf tea amount
Step 3: Pour in proper temperature water and RINSE LEAVES
Discard initial rinse after 10 seconds. This opens the tea leaves and prepares them for optimal brewing.
Step 4: Pour in proper temperature water
Refer to tea package for proper water temperature
Step 5: Brew for desired amount of time
In Gong Fu Cha, flash steeps of 10-25 seconds are recommend for most teas. Experiment! You can learn a lot about each tea by how you brew it, for how long or short you brew it, and by how many times you re-brew it.
Step 6: Pour and enjoy!
Step 7: Re-brew the tea!
Teas that are brewed in this style change in flavor each time they are brewed. Have fun, take notes, enjoy the simple and subtle changes!
Japanese Style Brewing
This method of tea brewing uses a side handled Japanese teapot called a kyusu. These are not necessary to brew Japanese tea, but are highly recommended, as they are designed to allow the tea leaf to properly open.
Step 1: Place proper amount of tea leaf in Kyusu
Each tea requires a specific amount of tea leaf to be used – this which will be listed on the tea package.
Step 2: Fill Kyusu with proper temperature water, time brew
Refer to tea package for water temperature and suggesting brew duration
Step 3: Pour into large cup or sharing pitcher and enjoy!
The beauty of tea is that it is subjective. If you prefer a lighter cup or a stronger cup, just modify our suggestions to suit your needs! Have fun experimenting and relaxing 🙂