Preparing to brew bowl style
Sometimes things just come together. I had been thinking about my time in Taiwan and experiences with bowl-style brewing (also sometimes called "Grandpa" style, at least in the US). Shiuwen of Floating Leaves had recommended bowl-style for the Hong Shui (red water) tea I had been drinking. Then I received some tea from Global Tea Hut that also recommended bowl-style brewing!
Today I had the opportunity to share tea with friends and tried out this style of brewing again. It's fun and straight-forward. However, I learned an important lesson. Use LESS tea than you would if brewing gong fu style. I overdid it on our second tea and we had quite robust brews.
Some tips for brewing this style:
* Prewarm the bowls by pouring in hot water and then pouring off.
* Have a waste water bowl (any large bowl will do) nearby for the pouring off.
* Use less tea than you think you might need! A trial run in the bowls you plan to use will help with this! I got it half right. I had done a trial, but in different bowls. I had the proportions way off.
* Engage all your senses. This type of brewing is very intimate with the tea.
Here's more on this topic from those who know far more than I:
Floating Leaves (blog)
A Tea Addict's Journal (blog)
Global Tea Hut (video; Please note that the brewer, Wu De, has brewed thousands of bowls of tea. Use this as a general guide and don't compare yourself.)
"Big Bowl Tea" pictures and a bit of history (news article)
Let me know if you give this style of brewing a try. I'd love to hear about it!