To make a good cup of tea, you need the right brewing technique as well as high-quality tea leaves. Of course, just as personal preference plays a big role in determining how to take one's single-malt whiskey, there is no one right way to make one's tea. We encourage you to start with our brewing recommendations for your first tasting of our tea products and slowly experiment to find your perfect cup of tea.
Mansa's brewing technique
Mansa's brewing technique adapts the traditional gongfu style for our modern tea drinkers who have more one- to two-person tea sessions than a big group ones, rather that be in the office or at home to wind down one's day. At the same time, we find this the best way to truly understand the intricate flavors of single-origin tea by observing the change in flavor over multiple infusions without over-steeping tea.
Items you need
Temperature controlled kettle
Plain white Gaiwan
Tea tray or waste bowl
Serving pitcher (for more than one-person)
Don't have all the items you need? Read our article on how to brew loose leaf tea without all the teaware.
Step 1: Heat water
Heat water to the recommended temperature on your product instructions slip by using a temperature-controlled kettle. Most of our tea products are best brewed at close to, if not at, the boiling temperature (205-212°F) given our collections mostly feature aged pu'er, dark, and white teas.
Step 2: Measure tea leaves
Use a digital scale to measure the recommended amount of tea leaves in a Gaiwan. We recommend about 3g of leaves per 4 fl oz (or 120 mL), which is in between the traditional gongfu method (7g) and the Western brewing (2g). We find that 7g can be too much for a one-person tea session, and 2g requires a longer brew time that may end up over-steeping the tea. Also, a plain white Gaiwan works best for tea tasting as it is easier to observe the leaves and the brew color against its white background
Step 3: Awaken leaves and pre-warm teaware
Once the water is heated, add hot water to the Gaiwan to awaken the tea leaves. Awakening opens up the leaves, especially for aged tea like pu'er. Immediately, decant the water into the serving pitcher and teacups to pre-warm the teaware. Although the serving pitcher is used in the traditional gongfu style, you can skip and pour directly into your tea cup for a one-person occasion. Pour the remaining water into a waste bowl or tea tray.
Step 4: Infuse
Slowly pour the water into the Gaiwan, just below the rim. When you close the lid, the water level should rise slightly above the lid to seal in aromas. Set a timer to steep for the recommended brewing time of 30 to 60 seconds. We encourage you to start with 30 seconds for the first brew, and adjust depending on personal preference and number of brews.
Step 5: Decant and Serve
Tilt the lid slightly to create a small opening. Place your thumb and middle finger on the rim and your index finger on the lid to hold the Gaiwan. Place a tea strainer over the serving pitcher or your tea cup, and decant the brewed tea over the strainer. If using a serving pitcher, pour into individual tea cups.
Step 6: Enjoy multiple infusions
Repeat steps 4 and 5 for subsequent infusions. Remember to keep the water heated at the recommended temperature. We typically increase the brewing time by 3-5 seconds for each subsequent brew. Most of our tea selections should brew 5-9 times. Enjoy the change in flavors over multiple infusions, and let us know which tea you like the best!