This is the place to look if you're any questions about our website and products along with any other tea-related questions.
SHIPPING & RETURNS
Yes, we ship all over the world.
To date we have shipped to over 60 countries around the world.
Shipping costs will apply, and will be added at checkout. We run discounts and promotions all year, so stay tuned for exclusive deals.
It depends on where you live. Orders processed for delivery within the UK will take 5-7 business days to arrive. Overseas deliveries can take anywhere from 7-16 days. Delivery details will be provided in your confirmation email.
We use all major carriers, and local courier partners. You’ll be asked to select a delivery method at checkout.
The majority of our shipments are sent by UK Royal Mail who work with local partners throughout the world.
More information can be found on our dedicated shipping policy page.
If brewing tea in a large teapot, then a brewing time of 3 - 5 minutes will suit most teas. This will depend on the amount of tea leaves you've allowed per person and the capacity of the teapot.
The strength of the tea will depend on the ratio of tea leaves to water. As with many aspects of tea preparation, it comes down to personal choice and the type of tea.
There are significant differences, for example, between 1st and 2nd flush Darjeeling teas; the former is considerably more tender, therefore care should be taken not to over-brew.
It is also important to remember that smaller leaves will brew more quickly than the larger varieties. Broken leaves will brew even faster again.
Many of the Chinese teas only require 30 seconds for the first infusion. This is because the recommended leaf to water ration is much higher.
Why not read our Tea Brewing Guide for more information about how to brew the teas in our range?
Green tea: 30 - 80 degrees Celsius;
Oolong tea: 65 - 100 degrees Celsius;
Black tea: (including Puerh): 85 -100+ degrees Celsius;
Flower and herbal tisanes: 80 - 95 degrees Celsius.
It is important to remember that water cools quickly once boiled, especially during the winter months. It is best to have your kettle near to where you brew tea
Note: many modern kettles fail to boil all the water to 100 degrees Celsius. This is especially noticeable in tall kettles where the heating element is in the base. The best type of kettles are those with a wider base, so that water can be more evenly boiled. Where possible, never fill the kettle completely. Try and boil just the water you need, which should ensure all the water is boiled evenly.
A vital factor when making tea is how much water to use. This will depend on the tea brewing style and the tea type.
For gongfu tea preparation the proportion of tea leaf to water is high. This means brewing times can be shortened.
For traditional western tea brewing methods, such as large teapots, then less leaf is used in proportion to water. For people who especially like stronger teas, this means that brewing times need to be longer, perhaps 3 - 5 minutes.
If you consider most modern tea cups are around 100 - 150ml, with tea mugs being 250 - 300ml, then you can multiple water and tea quantities by the number of cups/mugs you are preparing.
You should ideally use natural spring or mountain water. This isn't always practical, and most US and European tap water is acceptable. There are benefits to be had from filtering your water; those living in large cities or in places where the water tastes strong and unpleasant -or if the water is especially hard - then filtering it is vital.
When filling your kettle, only use the water you will need for each infusion. A very important factor in preparing a good cup of tea is having oxygenated water. Each time you boil the water the amount of oxygen is reduced. Freshly boiled new water will contain more oxygen and should give you a brighter cup of tea.
Good question! There are a multitude of solutions, from simplest ones through to those that require more time and skill.
At the simplest end of the spectrum you can simply add tea leaves to a (tall) glass or mug and then add the water, boiled to the correct temperature.
At the opposite end of the spectrum you can adopt the Chinese, Japanese and Korean "chayi" or "cha-dao" method, which may take a lifetime to perfect.
In-between there are a number of versatile methods. One of the most common is using a teapot. Teapots are available in a wide range of sizes and materials. Most modern teapots are available with removable filters which make them ideal for preparing a wide range of large and small leaf teas. Glass or ceramic teapots are easy to clean and do not retain any flavour or aroma, so you can use one teapot for whichever tea you want to brew.
Another alternative is to use a coffee press, but retain this press for brewing tea only! Coffee presses are a great method for straining the tea liquor and will allow for multiple infusions.
Here at Wan Ling Tea House, we prefer using the Gong Fu method using a gaiwan or Yixing purple clay teapot. Our Tea Brewing Guide contains step-by-step information on how to brew tea using the Gong Fu method, including the number and duration of infusions and length of infusions,
This is very personal, so if you feel you need sugar for flavour then you can.
We would recommend that teas are drunk without sugar. Most high grade tea leaves are slightly sweet, so tend to be drunk without any additional sugar.
If you wish to sweeten your tea, maybe you could consider adding honey as an alternative to white cane sugar. Honey is a healthy alternative with many subtle favours that enhance the subtle tea flavours.
This is a traditional European way of drinking certain teas, especially Earl Grey Tea. Lemon certainly adds flavour; there is also some research that points to lemon improving the absorption of certain naturally-occuring trace minerals in tea.
If you are from the UK or Australia, then in all likelihood this is how you are used to drinking tea. Most tea bags are purposefullly blended to be drunk with milk and will seem bitter and astringent without.
The flavour of most high quality, loose leaf teas will become overwhelmed if you add milk. Experiment to find what works for you.
Remember that most high street tea bags are made with CTC (Cut Tear Curl tea), a production line process that produces robust teas that are well-suited to adding milk.
Teas such as Nilgiri, Assam and some Yunnan black teas are a good choice for those who prefer full-bodied flavour and like drinking tea with milk.
Typically you should use between 2 - 8 grams per serving. For many Chinese teas 5 grams is an ideal amount. 2 - 4 grams is sufficient for many Indian teas.
Each tea varies in size and weight, so it is difficult to find an accurate rule to follow.
For measuring out black teas, the traditional tea spoon is still an excellent way to measure out your tea.
On the whole, one tea spoon is sufficient for one cup; if you are making a large pot of tea, then "one spoonful per person and one for the pot" is a good rule of thumb.
A method for measuring out full leaf green teas, though not the most accurate, is to take a pinch, i.e. what you can pick up with a finger and thumb, from the bag. One to two pinches per glass/per person tends to suit many.
As you become more familiar with the teas, you can find your own own optimum quantity for your teapot or preferred brewing vessel.
It is important to remember leaf size has a significant impact on strength. Small leaf teas or smaller-sized tea grades, such as fannings and dust, will infuse much quicker.
The teas in our range are all whole leaf, and we have provided a Tea Brewing Guide to help you measure the quantity required.
These terms have been developed over the centuries and were used by Dutch and British traders grading the sizes of black and oolong teas from India, Africa, Sri Lanka and some other tea producing countries.
These tea grades cover everything from the finest whole leaf, through to broken and small leaf and fannings, and finally dust.
The best grade is FTGFOP, Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe, and the lowest grade is BD or Broken Dust.
Recent competition in the markets, especially in India, has seen S - "Super" or "Special" - being added to SFTGFOP.
There are some variations between countries in the use of certain terms.
In Indian tea markets such as Kolkata and Coimbatore, CTC teas (Cut Tear Curl) have a distinct grading system of their own:
BPS - Broken Pekoe Souchong - which is the largest size grade of Broken CTC;
BOP - Broken Orange Pekoe (large broken);
BOPSM - Broken Orange Pekoe Small/medium (medium);
BP - Broken Pekoe (Smallest Broken);
PF - Pekoe Fannings;
OF - Orange Fannings;
PD - Pekoe Dust;
CD - Churamoni Dust.
These size grades do not directly relate to quality, and refer to the physical appearance of the tea leaf only.
It is possible to get a single estate, single batch high-quality dust size grade. This smallest grade of tea is used for mass sale in tea bag blends.
Puerh teas are easy to prepare. As a general rule of thumb the water should be boiling. Use the first infusion just to rinse the tea and then pour the liquor over the other utensils, such as the cups/pot or gaiwan, to warm them.
A good Puerh tea to start with is a small Puerh Xiao Tuo (the tiny cakes wrapped in white paper) as these are a perfect one-serving size.
Remove the paper and place the mini cake in your chosen tea pot/gaiwan.
If using a large (200 gram or 357 gram) cake, you need to carefully break some of the tea off using a knife before placing the piece in your teapot or brewing vessel.
Judging the weight will mean either using scales to weigh out the tea (5 - 8 grams) or judging it by eye!
The best way to break tea pieces away from your Puerh tea cake is to insert the knife from the side of the cake and lever it upwards. The aim is to separate the leaves from the cake as whole as possible.
For newcomers to Puerh tea, we recommend letting the tea infuse for around 1 to 2 minutes to start with.
It is important that you drain off all the liquor for each infusion to prevent the next infusion becoming stewed or too strong.
All Puerh teas are very good for multiple infusions, subject to your personal preference; they can be infused up to 10 times.
More details about preparing Puerh tea can be found in our Tea Brewing Guide.
Most whole leaf teas can be infused 3 or 4 times.
Chinese teas including Puerh, Tie Guan Yin and many other oolong teas, can be infused up to 10 times.
Teas are best kept:
- out of direct sunlight;
- in a relatively cool and constant temperature;
- away from strong smells;
- in a constant humidity, ideally not too moist, yet not too dry.
In the next couple of FAQs we will explain the best ways to store specific teas.
Follow the advice in our previous 'How best to store tea' FAQ.
Furthermore, for these lightly-oxidised teas, many people like to keep them chilled or frozen. This retains the green and floral notes of the tea and also the leaf colour for longer.
The tea should be in an air-tight container with very little or no moisture inside.
It is vital that you avoid storing tea alongside other foods which have a strong smell. Ideally, place the container in a separate compartment of your fridge/freezer.
Ideal chilling temperatures are around -1 degrees Celsius to -8 degrees Celsius. The temperature should be constant.
It is not imperative to store your lightly-oxidised and green teas in a fridge or freezer; they will not spoil.
Some prefer not to chill these teas, and instead allow them to mature. This may mean losing some of the more floral notes, but the tea develops in flavour and it becomes more rounded.
Whether you use cold storage or not, put the tea in an air-tight tin or non-transparent container. Avoid glass or clear plastic which will light and heat in.
Follow the guidance in our previous 'How best to store tea' FAQ .
Good storage vessels for these oxidised teas are porcelain or Zisha (purple clay) jars. These are not 100% air tight and allow the tea to 'breath' slightly. If you live somewhere humid, place a sheet of newspaper or tissue paper over the opening before replacing the lid on the container. This acts as a membrane. By allowing the teas to receive a little air, the tea will age and mature slowly. Older teas tend to be more mellow and the flavours are more balanced.
If you want to ensure your tea changes as little as possible from the time of purchase, you can follow our guide to storing lightly-oxidised and green teas.
There are many different styles of Tie Guan Yin oolong tea, which all come from various parts of Anxi in Fujian province.
Here we look to explain some differences between the traditional Tie Guan Yin teas, which are more oxidised, and the modern Tie Guan Yin teas, which are lighter.
Jade Tie Guan Yin is a name given to the more modern style of Qing Xiang Tie Guan Yin. "Qing Xiang" means light and fragrant. Within this category there are grades with prices to match. The top grades are called Guan Yin Wang or King of Tie Guan Yin / Tie Guan Yin Emperor.
Qing Xiang (Jade) Tie Guan Yin is very light and floral. Floral tastes include orchid notes and hints of fruit. These teas also have a delightful aroma.
Zhong Huo Tie Guan Yin is a traditional style of Tie Guan Yin. These teas are oxidised for longer, so are darker in colour and fuller in taste. These teas are ideally suited to ageing and, when stored correctly, can be kept for decades. However, they are also great for drinking in the year of harvest.
The primary difference between Zhong Huo Tie Guan Yin and Qing Xiang (Jade) Tie Guan Yin is the baking time; much longer for the former than for the latter.
TEA WARE QUESTIONS
That's a difficult question to answer, mainly because it is largely down to personal preference. There is no right or wrong, but here are a some guidelines:
Key points to consider:
Colour / Clay type
Size / Capacity
Shape and size of tea leaf
From our experience, it is best to consider the type of tea you wish to brew in the teapot; a dark-coloured tea liquor will complement a darker-coloured clay, whilst lighter liquors are suitable for any clay.
Green teas and flower tisanes are traditionally prepared in larger tea pots, for example 300ml+.
Many places in Fujian province use 100ml - 150ml tea pots for brewing their oolong teas.
There are regional preferences in China.
Will you be making teas for yourself or for groups of friends? This may determine the size of teapot you choose.
A popular size for Gong Fu style tea preparation is 150ml - 250ml. This vessel will serve between two to six people, depending on the size of the cups you are using.
Consider the size and shape of the teapot's opening/lid. Large leaf teas like oolong require a larger opening to remove the wet leaves after brewing, and to make cleaning easier.
You should choose a teapot that you like the look of! There are many styles and shapes; once you've bought one, we think you'll soon want to buy more!
Zisha teapots become companions, and are perfect for collectors.
Our glass teapots are dishwasher safe and can be washed with standard household washing up liquid (detergent). If washing by hand, make sure the teapot is thoroughly rinsed with warm water.
For our specialist tea wares, such as the porcelain gaiwans from Jing De Zhen, we highly recommend these are NOT placed in a dishwasher. They should only be washed by hand.
The best way to clean your porcelain teapot or gaiwan is simply to rinse it with boiling water, then wipe with a clean, soft cloth until thoroughly dry.
For Zisha (purple clay) teapots, do NOT use detergents to clean them. These teapots are unglazed, which means the clay is porous and could easily absorb the smell and taste of washing up liquid.
Zisha teapots should have the spent tea leaves removed carefully by hand after brewing, then rinsed thoroughly with boiling water. Dry the teapot fully with a cloth.
For very stubborn stains, use a small amount of toothpaste or baking soda to remove these. Rinse thoroughly with boiling water and dry carefully.
WAN LING TEA HOUSE QUESTIONS
Our UK-based online tea shop sells tea to customers worldwide, including the US, Canada, Europe, CIS and UK. This part of the business is run and operated from the county of Dorset in the UK.
Our physical 'Tea House' is based in central Shanghai.
We don't have a logo from a multinational organisation or company to say our products are fair trade. However, we DO buy our products at a fair price from our suppliers.
We know each of our tea farmers and tea ware artisans very well, and we respect their skill and passion. We aim to provide high quality products that you can value and enjoy using.
We sell products that are produced in limited quantities and the price reflects the time and skill involved in producing them.
We aim for a sustainable relationship with our tea farmers and artisans; we want them to continue in their passion and livelihood, so we pay a fair price.
We select products that we want to use ourselves, from makers we know and enjoy working with.
We hope you like our collection. If you have any questions about the provenance of any of our products, or would like to request us to source a product for you, please get in touch.