Making tea with skill
The following is a living guide to making tea with the Manual Tea Maker Nº1
Tea Maker Nº1 is a modern interpretation of the gaiwan—a traditional Chinese tea steeping vessel for the “gongfu” tea ceremony, which translates to “making tea with skill.” Intended for use with whole leaf teas, the small volume is ideal for making multiple short infusions, each one highlighting different flavor characteristics. The double walled glass design keeps the steep temperature stable and the outside cool to the touch. No strainer is needed: one finger simply pulls back the lid and—with a flick of the wrist—the tea is poured out of the small opening into the tea bowl. When you choose to slow down to prepare a cup of tea manually, you step away from the myriad of distractions that surround you to solely focus on “making tea with skill.”
Lid — porcelain cover and strainer for full-leaf teas
Brewer — made from borosilicate, a heat resistant glass that— when constructed with a “double wall”—can remain cool to the touch
Bowl - porcelain cup with an oversized opening to highlight both scent and flavor
Tea towel — contain the errant drips of process (Manual Utility Towel)
Kettle — Until manual releases our own kettle, we like this one.
Thermometer — heat water to exact temperatures. (We use this)
Scale — accurately measure the amount of tea used each time (This one is inexpensive and small)
Pitcher — stack multiple infusions (Manual All-purpose Carafe)
CONTROLLING THE VARIABLES OF TEA PREPARATION
Western-style: Fewer steeps with less leaves and more water & time. Yields more avor intensity and a larger serving. Average water temperature is lower due to longer steep time.
Gongfu Style: Multiple short steeps with more leaves and less water & time. Yields more complexity, nuance and aroma that evolve with each steep. Water temperature is higher due to shorter steep time.
- Place a tea towel on counter, arrange components in an aesthetically pleasing manner
- Add loose leaf tea (typically around 5g)
- Add hot water
- (170º-210º F depending on style of tea)
- Place the lid on top and steep.
(60 seconds is a good starting point)
- Slide the lid back until it is ush with the side of the brewer, revealing an opening large enough to allow liquids through, but small enough to retain tea leaves
- In one quick motion, turn the brewer upside down—while holding lid—to decant the tea into the bowl
THIS SKILL TAKES PRACTICE TO MASTER — PLEASE USE CAUTION WITH HOT LIQUIDS
Once the tea has fully drained, place the brewer back on the tea towel
Inhale, sip and enjoy
Repeat this process with the leaves as many times as tastes good to you. Quality teas will yield many immersions before they are spent
STACKED INFUSION TECHNIQUE:
Repeat the process, decanting multiple short infusions into a small pitcher to create a larger quantity of tea
First time users of a traditional gaiwan often struggle to learn the method of gripping without burning one’s hand. The effort is worth the reward.
Tea Maker Nº1 is made of double walled glass, so the brewer will rarely be too hot to handle—but the lid is made of porcelain and can get quite warm if used repeatedly, at high temperatures, or for longer steeps.
Please use caution when handling the Tea Maker, as spills can burn you—or others around you. Never use Tea Maker Nº1 when small children or pets are “under foot.”
A little common sense and careful practice will keep you safe and happy, and will eventually lead to mastery of “making tea with skill.”
Hand wash the glass brewer—never put it in the dishwasher. The ceramic parts are dishwasher safe, but we recommend hand-washing to better remove tea stains.
Once clean & dry, you can nest the brewer and cup for storage. For extra stability, ip the lid upside down in the mouth of the brewer.
Fragile parts sometimes break—use only genuine Manual replacement parts, available on our website.