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Mansa Tea is a handcrafted aged tea company that specializes in aged teas, tea experiences, and education for modern connoisseurs. We aim to elevate tea experiences at Michelin-starred restaurants and luxury hotels so that tea enthusiasts can taste aged tea at its peak as part of their fine dining experience.
This article is just one part of the Mansa Tea Education blog series. Subscribe to our newsletter to become a tea connoisseur.
Don't have all the teaware you need?
We love the ritual of steeping loose leaf tea: the boiling of the water, the measuring of tea leaves, the still, silent, serene, patience that comes with enjoying the tea over multiple infusions. It’s a sublime experience—but one that’s, admittedly, not easy to replicate outside the kitchen.
And, if you’re in an office setting or anywhere else without the proper teaware, it can pose quite a challenge. However, like many things in life, if there’s a will, there’s a way. We’ve compiled a list of creative get-arounds on how to brew loose leaf tea, sans much of the usually needed supplies.
A gaiwan is the best way to brew loose leaf tea, but here are some other alternative to make the process even easier.
Without a Gaiwan
Use a small cup, about the size of an English teacup, with a big empty tea bag or a brew basket. Have a small cup or a plate nearby so that you can rebrew your tea multiple times.
Loose leaf pu'er is best enjoyed with higher leaf to water ratio and shorter steeping times. This also means that if you use your favorite gigantic mug, you will need that much more loose leaf to avoid over-steeping your tea that extracts bitterness.
Aim for the size of a gaiwan, so roughly 4 fluid-ounces.
Without a Kettle
Get the hottest water possible! You might have a hot water dispenser in the office, but, odds are, you have a microwave somewhere in there. Also, if you feel as if the hot water coming from the dispenser isn’t hot enough, don’t be afraid to pop it in the microwave for 30-second intervals. (Every hot water dispenser is different, and the poured water temperatures might differ from each.)
For pu'er, you want the water to be as close to the boiling temperature as possible. If this is not the case, you can extend your brewing time than what is recommended to compensate.
Without a Scale
This is where you can break-out your spatial reasoning skills, in lieu of a scale.
We recommend 3 grams of pu'er per session, but just exactly how much is 3 grams? This really depends on a litany of factors, from the tea itself to how tightly it’s packed. But, generally speaking, 3 grams of tea measures-out about a tablespoon-and-a-half. Don’t have a measuring spoon around? Two tablespoons of loose-leaf tea will occupy about a third of your palm when placed in the middle.
Other teaware needs, such as tea tray and serving pitcher are nice to have for a proper tea session. But you can at least get your loose-leaf brewing without fancy teaware. For our detailed brewing guide on how to brew the perfect cup, with the said supplies, click here.
Try these methods with our loose leaf aged teas
Now that you learned a few ways to brew loose leaf teas without all the teaware, why not try brewing some today? Mansa Tea offers a range of high-quality aged teas in a loose tea format: aged white tea, raw pu'er tea, ripe pu'er tea, and dark brick tea. Our aged teas are handcrafted from start to finish and aged in a carefully controlled environment for our modern connoisseurs to enjoy the peak of flavors. Explore our bestsellers to find the perfect aged tea for you to try!