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Red Blossom Blog

Teaware Pairing: The Perfect Pot for Every Tea

Teaware Pairing: The Perfect Pot for Every Tea

With so many different tea styles and culturally distinct brewing customs from around the world, it can be difficult to know what equipment is best suited for making your favorite teas. In truth, most pots are capable of brewing almost any tea. But just as geographic isolation has led to the development of many different tea styles, it has also created parallel developments in teaware. Many teas are complemented by the teaware from nearby regions, where local tastes have refined teaware designs to best suit their most common teas.

Now that modern globalization has made these local specialties available around the world, the connections between tea and teaware are more obscure. Most important distinctions between brewing vessels can be boiled down to the size, material, and strainer type. With these factors in mind, here are our top teaware recommendations for each category of tea.

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5 Reasons to Brew Tea in a Gaiwan

5 Reasons to Brew Tea in a Gaiwan

Though the first gaiwans were developed in the Ming Dynasty, around the same time as the first teapots, the “lidded bowl” never caught on worldwide with the same fervor. Today, the close association between gaiwans and Chinese teas gives them an exotic reputation that can be intimidating for new brewers, but they’re actually a highly practical tool for both everyday brewing and serious tasting. We use gaiwans on a daily basis for tastings in our shop, and recommend them often for newcomers to gong fu cha. Here are five reasons why we love them, and think you will too!

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Brewing Tips: Balancing Time & Temperature

Brewing Tips: Balancing Time & Temperature

Whether you’re an experienced tea drinker or just getting started, you’ve probably heard some advice about controlling the temperature of your water. But recommended steeping instructions often vary, with differences between styles, vendors, and even individual teas. How can you be sure you’re getting the best flavor in every brew?

A variable temperature kettle is one way to ensure you’re always using the right temperature for the tea you’re brewing, but these complex appliances can be an expensive investment, and don’t pack easily for travel. They’re also a very modern invention - countless generations of tea drinkers have learned to brew tea well without the aid of precise temperature control, and you can too!

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Picking the Perfect Teapot: Cast Iron vs. Ceramic

Picking the Perfect Teapot: Cast Iron vs. Ceramic

Picking the right teapot can be difficult, whether it’s for your first brewing set or just a new addition to your growing collection. Finding a single pot with the right combination of size, pour, and heat retention is critical, since these factors can directly impact the flavor of your brew. Add aesthetics to the mix, and the perfect pot can seem elusive, if not imaginary. One way to narrow the search is to consider the material the pot is made of.

Cast iron teapots, for instance, have gained great popularity in modern times, and are commonly used to serve tea in cafes or restaurants. In contrast, most tea connoisseurs opt for small pots, often made of unglazed clay, for their daily brewing sessions. What is the difference, and which material is the best choice for your next brewing vessel?

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How to Brew All-Natural Kombucha with Honey

How to Brew All-Natural Kombucha with Honey

Kombucha is the fermented, tea-based beverage currently taking the world by storm. Flavorful and mildly sweet, this carbonated beverage makes an amazing low-sugar alternative to soda, with the added benefits of healthy probiotics and enzymes. While bottled versions at the store can cost upwards of $3-$4 each, this unique beverage is easy to make at home with your favorite tea. If you’ve never tried kombucha before, get ready for a refreshing revelation, just in time for summer!

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4 Reasons Why Chinese Teapots Are So Small

4 Reasons Why Chinese Teapots Are So Small

You may know that Chinese culture considers tea an appropriate beverage for any moment of every day. So it may seem counterintuitive that despite the vast quantities of tea consumed in China, traditional teapots (like those from Yixing) rarely hold more than eight ounces of water. To those of us familiar with western traditions, the small size of Chinese teapots can seem unusual, if not downright impractical. But in fact, there are several very logical reasons to use small teaware, even if you’re not Chinese.

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How To Host A Tea Tasting for Any Occasion

How To Host A Tea Tasting for Any Occasion

In China, tea is brewed for even the slightest social occasion. Family, friends, and business partners are all welcomed with a small cup of tea, which will be sipped and refilled throughout the conversation with multiple infusions from a single small pot, packed full of tea leaves. In a similar way, tea took on a central role in social lives in Europe as an alternative to alcohol, and an acceptable social beverage for women. Afternoon tea quickly became a cultural institution designed to facilitate social gathering. If you’re looking for new ways to bring people together, tea has a proven track record.

Today, the incredible array of tea available from across the world means there is no end to tasting opportunities, but solo analysis often falls flat. Even a single tasting companion with different flavor associations can expand your understanding of any given tea. If you’ve recently fallen in love with tea, sharing your new passion with friends can unlock a whole new appreciation. No matter what the context of your tea tasting, these general guidelines will give you an idea of what to plan for.

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3 Reasons to Try Brewing Gong Fu Tea

3 Reasons to Try Brewing Gong Fu Tea

Small brewing vessels and tasting cups are an iconic part of the Chinese method of brewing tea called gong fu cha. For devotees of traditional Chinese teas, the process of brewing and tasting several infusions in small cups can be a personal moment to refresh, or a way to showcase and share the tea they love with others. But for tea drinkers familiar with western traditions, the diminutive scale and elaborate-looking process of gong fu cha often seem impractical.

If you’ve never tried your hand at the Chinese method, rest assured that it does not need to be complicated. Reduce gong fu cha to its simplest form by using only a pot and single cup of matching size. Add tea leaves to the pot, followed by hot water, and decant your brew into the cup. Despite the lack of ceremony, this minimal process will help you brew and appreciate a better cup of tea in the following three ways:

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