How to Make Tea in a Teapot
In this guide, we'll show you how to brew oolong tea in a clay teapot using Oriental Beauty oolong, which has a twisted leaf shape. Clay teapots are great for retaining heat, and with time, they absorb the tea's flavor, enhancing your future brews.
Twisted leaf tea (e.g., Oriental Beauty or Jade Rouge) steeps faster than rolled leaf tea (e.g., Frozen Summit), so the brewing time should be closer to 1 minute instead of 2. With the ratio we provided (6 grams of tea and 8 oz of water), we suggest 3 steepings using the same tea leaves, but feel free to adjust according to your preference. We recommend completing all your steepings within the day.
Step 1: Weigh Tea Leaves
Weigh out 6 grams of oolong tea. Using a scale ensures you have the right amount of tea, regardless of the shape and size of the leaves.
Step 2: Rinse and Preheat Clay Teapot
Use hot water (195, 200, or 212 °F) to rinse your teapot. This is the same temperature you will use to brew the tea. Heating the teapot to your intended brewing temperature allows for more precise brewing. Please refer to individual tea pages for suggested brewing temperature by tea.
Step 3: Add Tea to the Teapot
Pour out the water from the teapot and add the loose-leaf oolong tea to your teapot. The preheated teapot will help the tea leaves release their aroma and flavor more effectively.
Step 4: Rinse the Tea
A quick rinse of the tea leaves with hot water removes lingering dust and helps maintain the brew's temperature throughout the steeping process.
Step 5: Add Water
Pour the water around the rim, this will swirl the tea leaves and make sure the tea leaves are wet evenly; You can also gently swirl your teapot if necessary. Generally, the water should be lower (~195 °F) for twisted tea leaves and higher (~212 °F) for tightly rolled tea leaves. Different temperatures help extract optimal flavors from the leaves.
Step 6: Let the Tea Brew
Let the tea brew for 1 minute. For tightly rolled tea leaves, we prefer a longer steeping time of 2 minutes. This allows the leaves to unfurl and release their unique flavors.
Step 7: Pour into a Pitcher
When the steeping time is up, pour the tea into a pitcher or a mug. Make sure all the liquid is drained from the teapot. That way, the tea doesn't over-brew and become bitter when you go back for subsequent steepings. To ensure there is no tea residue in your brew, consider using a fine mesh tea strainer.
Step 8: Fill a Teacup and Enjoy
Pour your tea and enjoy your freshly brewed oolong tea!
Step 9: Re-steep the Tea
Re-steep the tea as many times as you fancy. We recommend three in total for this tea-to-water ratio. To re-steep, simply add more water. The second steep's suggested brewing time is the same as the first, and the third should be 1-2 minutes longer. Each steep will reveal subtle changes in flavor, allowing you to appreciate the depth and complexity of the tea.
FAQ – How to Make Tea in a Teapot
What kind of tea do you use for clay teapots?
We recommend brewing roasted and aged teas in clay teapots. Clay teapots are known to enhance the flavor of the tea due to their porous nature, which helps retain the tea's aroma. Avoid brewing teas with a strong scent because it might impart flavor into the teapot.
Should I use separate clay pots for separate teas?
Most serious tea drinkers, us included, recommend that if you brew drastically different teas you might benefit from using different clay teapots. As an example, you might choose to you a clay teapot for oolong tea, another for green tea, and so forth.
Do you have to season a clay teapot?
Seasoning a brand-new clay teapot is optional. The teapot over time, after some wear and tear, will absorb the tea aroma on its own. If you want to know more about this we made a guide on how to care for a clay teapot here.