Tuesday, May 06, 2014

More on Bowl-Style Brewing

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!


Marilyn Miller said...

I guess I am not really familiar with this form of brewing, but sounds fascinating. Your bowls are also very beautiful and would be wonderful to sip tea from.

Angela McRae said...

This is a new style of brewing for me -- so thanks for sharing!