Although mesmerising, tea ceremonies can be a little overwhelming at times. The simple delight of cozying up with a large cup of warm tea — Grandpa Style — seems perfect for such days!

The first reference of this style of taking tea came about when Marshal N wrote about the way his grandfather would take his tea. It was only a matter of time before tea lovers around the world caught on to the term and tried it out. And it caught on quite well.

Grandpa style means the brewing of tea in a large cup, with no filters or teaballs or bags or anything else in it, with water constantly refilled without much regard for infusion time or temperature. The only three things necessary for grandpa style brewing are tea leaves, water, and cup, preferably a large one. I named this grandpa style, because this is how my grandfather drinks his tea, and is one of the first memory I have of people drinking tea.
- Marshal N

It didn’t take long for puerh tea lovers around the world to catch up to this trend. Unlike the elaborate ceremony that the puerh is known for, using the Gongfu (which is actually really awesome in itself if you ask me), Grandpa style tea is more of the ‘on-the-go’ style tea brew which provide a lot of flavour without the test of patience.

Youtuber Natasha Nesic has been drinking Yunnan teas for years and did her own test of the Grandpa style tea.

“Since you are drinking straight from the cup, without removing the leaves, you get all the flavour — and all the caffeine. You might want to keep that in mind if you are caffeine-sensitive like me.”

Like other tea lovers who tried this style of tea drinking , she was particularly fascinated by the way the tea leaves reacted to the hot water over time. She remarks about spotting the leaves turning red — a sign of a sweet cup as the leaves are adding natural sugars into the brew.

“Granddaddy was right!”

Apart from being incredibly simple to make, Marshal N also points out that this is, in fact, the most common way that the Chinese take their tea.

“This is really the way that most Chinese drink their tea, most of the time, in most places. Relatively few people actually know how to brew tea gongfu style, much less practice it on a daily basis. Most just throw in some leaves every morning/afternoon/evening, pour hot water into their cup/thermos, and drink. The key to grandpa style is that you use a relatively low amount of tea leaves, pour hot water in, and refill water from time to time,” he writes.

We absolutely agree! Not only Grandpa Style tea a celebration of the simple joys that tea encompasses, it is also a wise man’s cue to slow down and sip on each moment.


Choose your preferred tea leaves
(Oolong , green or black)
Choose your favorite large mug
Add tea to the mug
Pour hot water over the leaves
Let it stand for 5 minutes

The best part, you can keep adding hot water to your cup when you get to the bottom of the brew. If the tea becomes too light, add some more tea leaves. Repeated continued steeps allow you to extract maximum flavor. It is perfect for those long meeting you need to attend, or for extended moments of introspection in the garden.

Grandpa Style Tea is truly the wise friend to keep at hand.

This process of brewing tea differs from the more celebratory Gongfu Style in certain ways. The obvious difference is that the tea leaves are steeped directly in the mug instead of being being brewed in a gongfu or a teapot.

One of the biggest differences between the two styles of taking tea is how you feel about the tea. While the traditional gongfu style is more formal, Grandpa Style tea is all about following your taste. Adding water or tea leaves, as your tastebuds desire and refilling as you like, its a true celebration of your taste.

A tea lover writes, “No infuser ball, filters or bags are used. Leaves aren’t strained, but left into the mug while drinking. When it gets bitter, you simply adds more water. If you do want to strain the leaves, you could get a tea infuser mug. When it gets light, add a few more leaves without removing the old leaves.”

Here are a few friendly pointers for first-timers, although, it is quite tough to go wrong with this style of a brew.

  • Don’t have more than 2/3 of your cup filled. When tea gets bitter, there’s still space to add water.
  • Don’t finish the last 1/3 of your tea or the flavour might become too light when you refill.
  • Use more hot water and isolate the heat with a lid, when the taste of the tea becomes too light.
  • Pour water with a fast speed, so the old tea and the new tea will mixed better together.
  • Don’t use too much leaves. The taste could become too strong too fast.

Susmita Mukherjee


Vahdam Teas

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