Brewing loose leaf tea can sometimes seem intimidating, especially if you aren’t using a special tea service like a gaiwan or a dedicated yixing clay teapot.  While you can always enjoy gong fu style tea with objects you have around you own home, sometimes you’re just in the mood for a nice mug of tea!

If that’s the case, a tea lover’s best friend is a Brew Basket.  Versatile, easy to clean and easy to use, this handy brewing device works well for making both mugs and full pots of tea. If you keep in mind a few simple guidelines, you can enjoy multiple steepings of your favorite fine loose leaf teas with just a brew basket, a mug or a tea cup, and boiled water!

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Step One: Use about 4 grams of Loose Leaf Tea

When you brew tea with a brew basket, you’ll want to use about 4 grams of your favorite tea for every 6 oz of water.  If your mug or cup holds 8oz of water, then you’ll use about 5-6g of tea.  If you do not have a kitchen scale at home, you can always estimate this amount.

For rolled or compressed teas like Tieguanyin or Pu’er, you’ll use about 1 heaped tablespoon of loose tea.

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Pictured above: 4 grams of Master Han’s Shu Pu’er and
4 grams of Hand Picked Spring Tieguanyin

Curled or medium density teas (probably the most common type) like Laoshan Green or Laoshan Black take up about 1 tablespoon and 1 generously heaped teaspoon.

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Pictured above: 4g of Summer Harvest Laoshan Green Tea


For fluffier teas, like strip style Wuyi Oolongs or our Yunnan White Jasmine, Bai Mu Dan or Zhu Rong Yunnan Black, you’ll end up using at least two heaped tablespoons.

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Pictured above: 4g of Yunnan White Jasmine

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Pictured above: 4g of Wuyi Mountain Big Red Robe

Step Two: Use Filtered, Freshly Boiled Water

No matter how you’re brewing your tea, we recommend using filtered or spring water whenever possible to make the best tasting brew.  Overly hard water or over-boiled water can make tea that tastes flat, or water with too much calcium can develop oily scum and residue on the surface of your tea.

For darker, oxidized teas, we generally recommend using water that’s just under boiling: about 205 degrees.  For more delicate teas like green tea, we recommend cooler water at about 175 or 180 degrees.  If you don’t have a thermometer handy and you’d like to brew with cooler water, simply wait a minute for the water to cool down before brewing, or pour your water into a glass pitcher to cool it down more quickly.

Step Three: Steep Your Tea for 30 seconds

Place your brew basket with 4g of tea in 6oz of water or cup.  Brew for 30 seconds, then remove the basket and place it on it’s cover-stand.

QUICK TIP: when brewing green teas, do not cover your brew basket with it’s top while your tea is steeping.  Uncovered green tea is less likely to overheat and scald, making for a much cleaner and sweeter brew.

brew basket in mug

Step Four: Resteep  // Adjust to Taste

Once you’ve finished your first mug, feel free to resteep your tea!  You can always resteep your tea stronger or lighter according to your own personal preference.  In general, you will add about 10-15 seconds for each resteeping.  Some teas, especially pu’er and oolong, can resteep over ten times, so have fun with it!

wet leaves mug of tea