How To Brew Loose Leaf Tea

Brewing loose leaf tea can be fun and rewarding

When you’re just starting out though, it isn’t always obvious how to get the best results from your tea.

We’ve created three distinct methods for brewing tea, starting with the easiest and increasing in skill, and outlined them for you below.

These three methods are methods that we use ourselves, almost daily.

There’s no better or worse method per se, just methods that suit different teas and situations. There are ways to improve and refine each method, which we will also teach you.

What are the 3 Methods?

Let’s look at the three ways you can brew your tea, starting from the easiest and fastest and working up.

Reminder: These three methods are not ‘official’ or exclusive. I created the framework myself, based on my experience of brewing tea, to give you the tools to learn about preparing tea yourself.

Method 1: ‘Leaves in’

This is the fastest & easiest method to brew high quality tea. Works best for White, Green & Black tea, but not Oolong.

Ideal for a busy morning cup, or when you’re drinking at work. This is also the method for ‘bowl tea’, which is perfect for meditation.

All you need is tea leaves, a cup or a bowl, and water.

Learn 'Leaves In' Method

Method 2: Filter Tea

Filter tea takes about as much time and effort as it takes to make filter coffee at home.

It’s suitable for all teas. It offers more control over the strength of the tea, and is the perfect learning platform to develop your tea-brewing skills.

I use this method almost every day, especially when I travel, and don’t have time for a full ‘Gong fu’ set up.

You’ll need some kind of ‘filter’ equipment such as a teapot, metal strainer, french press or tea flask, plus a cup to drink from.

Learn Filter Tea Method

Method 3: Gongfu Tea

Kung fu tea or ‘gong fu cha’ is the ancient Chinese high-art of preparing tea, in a way that maximises fragrance, aroma and enjoyment of the leaf. It literally translates as ‘preparing tea with great skill’. It can be complex for the beginner, but relatively easy to learn.

Less of a method, more a set of guiding principles, an art and a lifestyle (and for many, part of a deep, spiritual practise) where the equipment starts to cost money and the lifetime’s obsession and never-ending process of refinement begins!

Start here when you are ready to get the absolute maximum results from your leaves.

Learn Gong fu Tea

Which method for which tea?

Technically, all methods work for all tea – so don’t be afraid to experiment and test things out for yourself.

Tea is as simple as leaves in water.

Having said that, there are differences in the way the tea comes out, and particularly in how much of the potential of the tea is uncovered or lost, depending on which method you use (and several other factors, which I touch on in the guides above).

The punchline is that Oolong tea doesn’t really work well with Method 1, and all other combinations of method and tea are OK.

Oolong tea has more subtle high-end notes and fragrance which are most easily lost when you brew ‘leaves in’ method.

So choose a method, choose a tea and dive on in! And please, report back to us with your experiences, as we have an insatiable appetite for good tea and good tea conversation!

Want to talk more about brewing better tea?

Join our private email list and talk with us one on one! We love to share tips and answer questions directly.
Plus – we run a competition giving away FREE tea each month to a random list member. Sign up to win!

(We also offer members-only pricing, access to secret teas not on site and one-time, list-only offers!)