Many tea beginners hear about how tea needs room to expand but I’ve been struggling with finding the best way to illustrate that. Both of the shots below were taken in my porcelain gaiwan. It is on the small side, holding about 1/3 of a cup of water. The first picture is the teaspoon of dry oolong leaves and the second is what they looked like after three infusions. You can see that they’ve unfurled and expanded quite a bit. This particular tea wasn’t even that great of an example because I have had teas that expanded a good deal more. As tea steeps the natural flavors and aromas of the leaves are released. Now imagine cramming that same amount of leaves into a teabag or the small compartment of a novelty infuser. Your leaves will never reach their full potential when they are constricted. Let your tea stretch its legs or even try a side by side tasting. You will definitely see a difference.