The Water Dragon Steeping Cup makes is easy to enjoy fresh whole tea leaves without a teabag. Basically, you just treat your little ceramic basket like a teabag.
Why whole leaves and steeping cups are better than teabags:
Most teabags are very low quality tea to begin with. People drinking really good tea don't want it to be stale and they don't want to taste paper or have ink and staples floating around in their tea. Of course, glass or pottery is recommended for pure tea flavor; plastic, wood, paper, metal and other materials that add flavor are "boohao"-- no good!
How to use it:
These traditional steeping cups have been used for centuries in China, where top-grade tea is never put into teabags. All you do is:
1) Put tea in the basket. Always use fresh whole organic tea leaves; cheaper teas will usually be stale and less flavorful and often have impurities like pesticides and lead.
2) Add hot water. Use pure hot water... about 170 to 190 degrees is fine. (If you use more tea, steep less time; use a smaller amount, steep longer.)
3) You can easily re-steep just by putting the basket back in and adding more hot water. For decaffeinated tea, pour out the first steeping, which removes up to 50% of the caffeine (in tea it's called theine).
You can steep whole tea leaves 3-5 times, and the second and third steeping are usually considered the best. (Hong jokes "Pour out the first steeping...or give it to someone you don't like.")
More about steeping
See the video