Wang Huimin Style Gaiwan Brewing

Works Best With: Tieguanyin, Jasmine, Dancong, Big Red Robe, Black Tea

Start with a gaiwan, a glass pitcher, strainer and small cups.  Bring your filtered water to a boil (Wang Huiming had water delivered every day fresh from the springs of Laoshan).  Pour water into the pitcher to warm it, then pour into the gaiwan and over the cups.  Pour all remaining water out.  Add 5-6g of tea for a 4-5oz gaiwan.  (4g is enough for fluffier teas like Dancong)  Close the gaiwan and shake it.  This primes the leaves and gives an incredible aroma when you lift the lid.  Smell and let your guests enjoy.  Now fill the gaiwan to the top with water and skim off any small pieces of leaf floating on top. Immediately pour out into pitcher, and pour over your favorite tea charms.  Pour boiling water over the rinsed leaves and steep for 2-3 seconds before pouring out.  Increase steep time by 2 seconds each round or to taste.  After about 6 infusions, flip the gaiwan over while holding the lid.  Lift the gaiwan up and balance the tea leaves on the lid.  Let everyone smell the gaiwan.  Replace the leaves with the ones that were on the bottom on the top.  This refreshes the steeping.  Enjoy at least 6 more infusions.

The Story:  Wang Huimin was David’s first instructor on the ways of tea.  To hear the full story about David training under Wang Huiming, watch our recent video.

David’s Notes:  Wang Huimin brews tea with the ultimate goal of treating everyone with respect, keeping them happy, and engaging them with the smells and tastes of the tea.  She lets people smell the gaiwan lid, and the leaves instead of using fragrance cups because she thinks it is more social and engaging.  Her techniques are very classic and traditional otherwise, and a great standard go-to method for brewing just about anything.

Teas Relevant To This Article

Published on by David Duckler

Wang Huiming brews tea with the ultimate goal of treating everyone with respect, keeping them happy, and engaging them with the smells and tastes of the tea...

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Brewing Yunnan White JasmineBrewing Yunnan White Jasmine

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Posted Comments

  1. Jessalyn Bradley

    This is how I would love to do tea tastings with friends. I have the gaiwans, but not the glass pitcher for a “fair cup”. I usually just go back and forth over the gaiwans trying to distribute evenly. I also want to get a tea tray.

    • David Duckler

      Going back and forth over cups as you pour out is actually the more traditional way to brew tea, so nothing wrong with that. The pitcher does make it easier though. If you have a creamer pitcher or gravy pitcher from a China set, those can do in a pinch if you want to try it out.
      Tea trays are great too! You are allowed to be messier because you know that spilled water will be caught.
      Happy Brewing,

  2. Jason Ganes

    I am very excited, my first gaiwan will be arriving tomorrow afternoon so I can begin to enjoy tea in a whole new way! I have been using a makeshift set with just two coffee cups and a strainer but it’s hard to get the measurements correct. Thanks for the informative article!

  3. Drew

    Your spring harvest tieguanyin is my favorite tea ever. I use this method every time

  4. JD

    I have used a method very similar to this for brewing oolongs. Can’t wait to try it with Tieguanyin.

  5. Jim

    I was making Dancong as I found this article. Flipping the leaves really does reinvigorate them.