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ART OF TEA

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO TRADITIONAL CHINESE TEA BREWING

Welcome to Art of Tea’s introduction to brewing Chinese tea. This step-by-step guide will help you understand the basics of brewing tea using traditional Chinese tools and techniques. Follow along to create a delightful tea experience.

Tools You Will Need:

  • Traditional Tea Tray: Collects water with a liner.
  • Gaiwan: A fine porcelain bowl with a lid, used instead of a teapot.
  • Faircup: A serving vessel.
  • Tea Cups: Cups to savor the tea.
  • Coasters: To place the tea cups.
  • Strainer: To strain the smaller tea leaves.
  • Tea Towel: To absorb any excess liquid
  • Tea Cup Scoop: For scooping the tea cup to serve your guests.
  • Tongs: For picking up cups or to use as a spatula.
  • Tea Scoop: To scoop tea leaves if needed.
  • Thermo Kettle: For hot water.
  • Waste Bowl: To dispose of used leaves.

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STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

1. Setting Up Your Space:

  • Place the gaiwan, fair cup, and tea cups on the tea tray. Arrange them in a way that is both convenient for use and aesthetically pleasing.

2. Warming Up Your Utensils:

  • Rinse the gaiwan, fair cup, and tea cups with hot water to warm them up. This helps to maintain the temperature of the tea during brewing.

3. Preparing the Tea Leaves:

  • Use the tea scoop or pour in the tea from the canister into the gaiwan. Quickly rinse the tea leaves by adding hot water and then pouring it out immediately. This step ‘wakes up’ the tea leaves and allow them to open up.

4. Brewing the Tea:

  • Add hot water to the rinsed tea leaves in the gaiwan. Pour the water in a circular motion to ensure leaves brew evenly. The brewing time will depend on the type of tea you are using. (please refer to the tea menu guide)

5. Pouring the Tea:

  • Once the tea has brewed, pour the tea from the gaiwan into the fair cup through the strainer to catch any leaves. Ensure that all the liquid is emptied from the gaiwan. 
  • (For how to properly handle a gaiwan, refer to the instructions on the following page)

6. Serving the Tea:

  • Serve the brewed tea into the tea cups. Use the tea cup scoop to handle the cups if needed.

7. Enjoying the Tea:

  • Savor the tea in a minimum of two sips to fully appreciate its flavor.

8. Repeat:

  • Repeat steps 4 to 7 for subsequent brews. Adjust the brewing time based on how the previous brew tasted. If it was too strong, decrease the brewing time; if too weak, increase it.

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TIPS TO HANDLE A GAIWAN

Grip: Hold the gaiwan by pinching the rim with your thumb and middle finger of the bowl and stabilize the lid with your index finger.

Pouring: Leave a small gap between the lid and bowl, tilt the gaiwan slightly to pour out the tea, following the direction of the index finger.

By following these steps and tips, you will be able to brew tea using the traditional Chinese method, creating a serene and authentic tea experience. Enjoy the process and the delightful flavors of your tea! Remember - Practice makes it perfect.