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How To Brew Chinese Teas

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Drinking tea in China is a culture, custom and a basic necessity for life. Chinese drink tea throughout the day and special methods are applied in brewing Chinese teas to retain its taste and medicinal qualities. Although it sounds silly to discuss about a simple process like brewing tea, knowing how to brew Chinese tea can make you realize the importance of brewing Chinese tea the right way.



Chaou Brewing

Chaou brewing technique is an informal way of brewing Chinese tea, applied where the quality of tea is being tasted for the purpose of buying or selling. Chaou is a set of saucer, cup and lid. Chaou is a small cup that allows having a look at the brewing leaves and to get a sniff of the smell. This method of brewing Chinese tea is best for mild oxidized Chinese teas, though all form of tea can be brewed in this style. Gaiwan brewing is a new name for Chaou Brewing.


  • Boil water.
  • Rinse teaware with hot water to heat.
  • To the bottom of the cup add tea leaves.
  • Clean tea leaves by rinsing and drain excess water.
  • Pour boiled water into the chaou from the side.
  • Fill the chaou to 2/3 capacity.
  • Keep it for approximately 30 seconds before serving.


Gongfu Brewing
This is a formal way of brewing Chinese tea used for serving at ceremonies and treating guests at home. A teapot with a capacity of 100-150 ml is used. This method of brewing tea is most suitable for Oolong tea, the most popular Chinese tea. 


  • Boil Water.
  • Rinse teapot with boiling water.
  • Fill one third of the teapot with tea leaves.
  • Pour hot water to rinse leaves and drain out excess water. Water should be drained out immediately to retain the tea's flavor.
  • Keep the teapot on a larger bowl and pour hot water into and onto the teapot. Formation of bubbles in the teapot should be allowed.
  • The concoction should be poured out into cups immediately, maximum of 30 seconds is allowed for this.
  • Move the kettle continuously to fill cups. Use a drip tray to take care of the spillage.
  • Keep a separate teapot for poring out excess concoction.
  • Use the same leaves for another 4-5 rounds of concoction. The subsequent concoctions can have a higher infusion time of about 5-10 seconds.


The beauty of Gongfu style of brewing Chinese tea is that all cups of tea will have same strength of flavor. So, sip a cup of tea and feel the taste.


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How To Brew Chinese Teas