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Red Blossom Blog

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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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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Why Does Celadon Crackle?

Why Does Celadon Crackle?

Celadon is a type of pottery, broadly defined by the type of glaze used. Traditional celadon colors can vary from jade green to cerulean blue, or can even be pure white. Modern celadon glazes include an even wider range, generally including any color that is translucent once fired. But one thing that is consistent across many styles of celadon glaze are a fine web of crackling in the glaze.

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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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3 Simple Steps to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea

3 Simple Steps to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea

For those new to tea, the brewing process can be intimidating, especially if your first exposure to loose leaf brewing involved a showy sampling in traditional gong fu cha style. The specialized teaware, high tech gadgets, and precise methods of tea connoisseurs can all serve a purpose in the enjoyment and appreciation of tea, but brewing the perfect cup doesn’t have to be complicated. With the three adaptable steps in this article, you will be able to brew great tea in any context, with whatever equipment you have on hand.

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How to Use a Yixing Teapot

How to Use a Yixing Teapot

Unglazed teapots made with clay from Yixing are an iconic part of Chinese tea culture, and have proven their value as tea tools ever since their introduction in the Ming Dynasty. Because they are finished without an outer coat of glassy glaze, the exposed clay remains somewhat porous, and over time it begins to absorb and enhance the aroma and flavor of the tea brewed in it. For devoted tea drinkers, Yixing teapots can become a way of life, but even casual connoisseurs can appreciate their aesthetic and practical appeal. Once you’ve decided to take the plunge, follow these simple steps to ensure your Yixing is always ready and waiting to brew a great pot of tea.

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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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