As many of you know, I’ve been working in a teahouse in Berkeley since April. Every day I’m at the shop, I attempt to teach people small cup brewing. Please note my precise language here. I'm not kidding myself that I am teaching them Gongfu Cha, which is a discipline. Gongfu Cha, as I have come to more deeply understand, is not simply brewing tea “with a small gaiwan” or “with a small clay pot.” So for the purpose of this piece, I will use the term “small cup brewing.”Read More
I've had a few people ask how I've learned how to brew tea. Do I have a rule of thumb? Guidelines for tea styles? In this post, I will share my basic process for brewing tea by myself.
Before we begin, I will readily admit that brewing tea well is something that comes with experience-- and I still have so much to learn. You really do need to practice often and take note of how you like the results to improve. Even with the guidelines I provide in this post, there is no "hack" or "shortcut" to go from looking at a gaiwan for the first time to extracting the exact flavor elements you are looking for in your tea.Read More
The dizzying world of teaware can put a dent in your wallet quickly. Beautiful teapots, gaiwans, kettles, water pitchers, and tea utensils of all kinds are enticing objects of form and function. The colors, textures, shapes, and combinations of teaware can add a lot to your tea practice. They can be a beautiful expression of your values and your sense of style. They can also really break the bank or disappoint you if you're not careful.Read More