An ingenious invention that has been in use in China at least since the earliest days of the Ming dynasty—circa 1350—is the simplest, most satisfying way to enjoy loose-leaf tea.
James Norwood Pratt explains the use of the traditional guywan here.
I had the unique and very interesting pleasure of meeting Mr. Pratt at a seminar he taught in San Francisco. He knows his craft well and his enthusiasm is infectious. The most important lesson I took from my interaction with him was the fact that details matter.
The derivation and production of the tea leaves matters.
The quality and temperature of the water and vessels used to consume the tea matters.
Even the company with whom the tea is enjoyed matters.
He demonstrates, in the wonderful CHOW series, "Obsessives," here ...