The "agony of the leaf " is the term for the slow unfurling of a tea leaf in hot water. It is the process by which the leaf softens and begins to express its flavor, color and strength-- it’s essence-- into the water. It is beautiful and mesmerizing to watch.
While teabags offer convenience, they simply cannot offer the enchanting experience or depth of flavor of a loose-leaf tea that has been given the freedom to unfurl completely, unencumbered by strainers, baskets, tea balls or filter bags.
We call this Open Vessel Steeping: The act of simply placing leaves in an open pitcher or pot and adding hot water. When steeping is complete, the tea is poured from the teapot into a cup and enjoyed until it is time to add more water and reveal a new layer of flavor. A long handled strainer can be placed on top of the cup to catch any renegade leaves.
We have designed and developed the Firepot Tea Steeping Boards for restaurants and cafes that serve our teas and Firepot Teapot and Firepot Teacups for open vessel steeping at home. Watch our video on The Agony of the Leaf below to watch the process unfold: