Tea connoisseur Don Mei tells me how to make the perfect cup of tea:
1. Take a purple clay pot - considered the best material for its high porosity that absorbs the flavour of the tea in the pot itself.
2. Pour hot water over all the cups and tea pot to bring them to a warm temperature.
3. Put loose tea in the pot and fill it with hot water (85C if delicate green or white tea; 100C boiling if red or black tea). Discard the water. This is called "washing the tea". The Chinese do not drink the first infusion. This process opens up the tea - unfurls the dragon. It is a good time to smell the aroma of the tea.
4. Pour in more water. Allow it to steep for 1.5 to 2 minutes.
5. Decant the pot into another vessel so that the tea is of an even strength throughout. Left in the teapot it is weak at the top and strong at the bottom where the leaves sit.