Brewing Rock Tea


Step One: Enlist some tea loving friends.


Step Two: Add 7g of leaf to a 100 ml gaiwan (preheated). Replace lid. Allow your guests to appreciate the fragrance of the dry leaves in the hot gaiwan by smelling the edge of the lid, then replacing the lid and passing to the next guest.


Step Three: Pour boiling water to the top of the gaiwan. Use the lid to remove the bubbles that form on the surface of the tea in a single, horizontal scraping motion.


Step Four: Quickly, but without breaking anything valuable, use your kettle to pour a stream of water onto the lid washing away the bubbles into your waste water bowl or tea tray.


Step Five: Replace the lid and decant the tea into your faircup. If you have two pitchers or a large cup, use one to save this rinse for later. Otherwise, discard it and move on to the first infusion.


Step Six: Refill the gaiwan with water just off a boil, decant after 10 to 20 seconds according to taste. Serve your guests this first brew, and also allow them to smell the wet leaf aroma in the gaiwan. This is quite distinct from the dry leaf smell in Step Two.


Step Seven: Continue infusing, adding 5 to 10 seconds to the steeping time each round for as long as you are enjoying the tea. Good Wuyi tea will give five or more infusions with a rich body, and taper off - still, providing a chance at many more floral steepings.


If you saved the rinse, it can be enjoyed alongside the last infusion. Your tea pals may be surprised when contrasting the two points along your Wuyi journey.