We recommend brewing our loose-leaf oolong tea Gong Fu style with a small earthenware teapot. The oolong tea is poured into a serving vessel and from there served in small tea cups, and the same oolong tea leaves can be brewed many times.
Water for making oolong tea should be just below the boiling point - about 85 - 95 degrees Celsius or 185 - 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Rather than measuring the temperature, try removing it from the heat when the large bubbles are just starting to form.
When the water has reached the correct temperature, a small amount is used to rinse the teapot and cups. The Oolong tea leaves are then measured into the teapot. Use enough to cover the bottom of the vessel, to allow for expansion.
The teapot is filled about half-way with hot water. This first infusion is not for drinking - it allows the oolong leaves to "awaken" and start to unfurl. It also removes excess dust from the tea leaves. Pour this first infusion after about 10 seconds, then fill the pot again for the first drinking infusion.
The first steep is quite short - 30 to 50 seconds depending on the type and quality of the oolong. Making oolong tea is a delicate art and finding the appropriate balance between volume, temperature, and steeping time requires knowledge of the tea leaves. If the first steep is too strong or too weak, you can adjust the brewing time for subsequent steeps.
After pouring the oolong the teapot can be immediately filled with hot water for the subsequent brew. Each brewing time can be slightly longer than the previous.
With a good quality tea, you can expect to get 5 to 8 brews before the tea starts to lose its flavor.