Gongfu in Chinese means “to do things with skill and care” and everything during the gongfu cha or kungfu cha is prepared in detail with small and delicate items, focusing on the elegance of brewing Tea. Each step is designed to get the best possible flavour, enphasising the taste and smell of each cup of Tea and how one Tea taste compares with the previous ones.
Gongfu cha originated in China but it is also very popular in Taiwan.It is mainly used to prepare Oolong and Puerh Tea but it may also be used for other kinds of Tea.
The Gongfu cha method can be put in practice for private enjoyment, to welcome guests or as a commercial show in Tea shops and markets so that the client can taste various kinds of Tea. It requires a large space, ideally a peaceful and surronding environment, with a big table to hold all the necessary equipment.
In order to perform a gonfu cha you will need: a yixing clay teapot or a gaiwan; small Tea cups for tasting; fresh spring water and an electric kettle, and a dip Tea tray (which is very important as a lot of water is wasted during the process). Some other tools are optional such as a vessel and strainer to serve, a Tea scoop (for scooping loose tea), a Tea brush to clean and Tea pincers to handle the hot small cups.
This video shows a Gongfu chinese Tea ceremony:
Gongfu is only one of the many Chinese Tea ceremonies. In China, Tea is used as a sign of respect, to apologise, for family gatherings and even during weddings.
Happy Tea Break.