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Red Blossom Blog

7 Tips to Brew Better Tasting Tea

7 Tips to Brew Better Tasting Tea

For better or for worse, the flavor in a cup of tea is dependent on more than just the leaves. A brew may taste different in the store than when brewed at home, or at work, or on vacation. When a tea that doesn’t live up to expectations, it might be easy to write off the whole batch and toss a spoonful of sugar into each cup, or simply let it languish in the back of the cupboard. Before abandoning hope, try these tips to ensure you’re seeing the best side of your tea leaves.

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How to Make Tea: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Loose Leaves

How to Make Tea: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Loose Leaves

Brewing tea is easy - combine tea leaves and water, and then separate them. But in the long history of tea leaves, this process has been adapted into countless methods, using anything from basic rice bowls to specialized tools like teapots or infuser baskets.

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3 Easy Steps to Start Drinking Tea Without Sugar

3 Easy Steps to Start Drinking Tea Without Sugar

Cutting sugar from everyday beverages like tea can have a host of benefits, but what if your favorite brew just doesn’t taste right without it? Luckily, skipping sweeteners doesn’t need to be a sacrifice. We’ve got three simple steps to make sure every cup tastes great, without any added sugars.

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5 Reasons to Drink Tea Without Sugar

5 Reasons to Drink Tea Without Sugar

We understand the urge to drop a teaspoon or two of sugar into your breakfast blend. Not all teas can live up to the lofty flavor ideals of traditional tea crafters, and modern palates are trained to expect sweetness. Nevertheless, we think tea deserves a chance to be appreciated without sugar, and today we’ve got five good reasons to give it a try.

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What is Dry Brewing?

What is Dry Brewing?

Despite a reputation as a formalized ‘tea ceremony’, there are many variations of the traditional gong fu cha brewing method. Most demonstrations utilize showy displays of rinsing and pouring to create drama, using a large tray to capture excess water during the brewing process. The elaborate setup, however, necessitating several pieces of teaware and a specialized tray, can be a barrier for beginners hoping to brew this way at home.

Find step-by-step instructions for brewing gong fu cha >>

The current trend, however, is a modern interpretation called ‘dry brewing’, which minimizes the amount of spillage as much as possible, and usually replaces the draining tray with a large bowl to collect excess rinse water. At first sight, this method may seem more approachable, but brewing with such precision actually requires more skill and specialized equipment.

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3 Ways to Brew Tea For A Group

3 Ways to Brew Tea For A Group

Drinking great tea is one of our favorite things, but sharing great tea is even better. We love to help others appreciate their tea experience, and if you love tea as much as we do, you probably do too. Yet making sure everyone gets the perfect cup can be a challenge, especially when brewing for a group. Today we’re breaking down the best brewing methods for serving a crowd, whether you’re hosting a serious tasting, pairing tea with a meal, or preparing refreshments for a party.

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Brewing Tips: To Rinse or Not To Rinse?

Brewing Tips: To Rinse or Not To Rinse?

Many guides to traditional brewing methods recommend a 5-10 second rinse of the tea leaves before beginning the brewing process, but we typically omit this step from our instructions. Though there are a few contexts in which it is acceptable, we do consider it optional for most teas, and downright wasteful for others. More importantly, many of the reasons commonly cited for this practice are purely mythical. Today, we’ll separate the truth from the myth to clarify when to rinse, and when not to.

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What is a Chinese Tea Ceremony?

What is a Chinese Tea Ceremony?

Among tea enthusiasts, much has been said about the “right” way to brew tea. Beyond the general consideration of leaf quantity, time, and temperature, many people believe the proper methods have been codified in a set of techniques to create a ceremonial presentation of Chinese tea.

However, this idea erroneously conflates common brewing techniques with the highly specific traditions of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, and leads to the misconception that brewing tea is somehow very difficult, or must be studied extensively to perform successfully. In fact, the process most people call the Chinese Tea Ceremony is better named as gong fu cha, which translates most directly as “tea with effort”. In contrast to the strict, long-standing traditions of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, the so-called “rules” of gong fu cha are best thought of as guidelines to help achieve the best tasting brew and get the most flavor out of every tea leaf.

Check out our step-by-step guide to brewing gong fu cha >>

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Picking the Perfect Teapot: Functional vs. Decorative

Picking the Perfect Teapot: Functional vs. Decorative

Since teapots were first invented (probably during the Ming Dynasty), the classic form has been adapted and reimagined in every corner of the world. From the Brown Betty in England to the ornate metal pots used in Morocco, cultures around the world have created their own teapots to suit their own unique tea habits. Over time, teapots have become more than just a functional vessel for brewing tea, and have taken on a new role as collectible pieces of art.

Learn more about the history and use of teapots >>

While decorative details don’t negate a pot’s usefulness, it can be helpful to distinguish between those that are meant for everyday use and those that are designed for display. Regardless of aesthetic value, there are a few functional details that are important to pay attention to when buying a pot to brew tea in.

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