If you want to brew your Chinese tea the right way, then do it the way of Gong Fu Cha. Gong Fu translates as 'right effort'. Thus, Gong Fu Cha refers to the effort to get the best flavor from a tea. In many ways, the resulting cup is like an espresso. By contrast, western brewing methods create something like a big cup of coffee, or as they call it in Europe – 'americano'.
Using a small teapot, tea is brewed in concentrated amounts. This way, we can extract the full spectrum of the tea's properties. We can add hot water to the same tea leaves multiple times before the tea will lose flavor. Taste each tea brew independently to discern the changes in flavor. Tea drinkers can appreciate the evolving stages of tea. This method also maximizes the quantity of brewed tea from each serving of tea leaves.
The most famous among ZiSha, Zi Ni clay from the delta of the Yangtze River, Yixing, has excellent porosity and heat-retaining properties that significantly improve tea taste compared to tea made in glass, porcelain, or glazed teapots. The clay is made of a mixture of kaolin, quartz, and mica, with a high iron oxide content. The texture is somewhat sandy. The steps to prepare the clay are lengthy and traditionally regarded as a trade secret.
The body of this ZiSha Yixing Clay Teapot resembles the full round face of a girl. The spout looks like a mouth, gentle and graceful. The teapot's handle looks like a lady's elegant hair bun. For these reasons, this teapot is called 'Xi Shi' – the name of one of ancient China's great beauties.
Because of its good heat preservation qualities, this teapot is excellent for brewing teas that need higher water temperature, such as black (red) teas, pu-erh, and oolong.
Aroma cups are essential to enjoying tea, especially oolong tea. As its name suggests, it is used for smelling the fragrance of the tea before drinking it. Unlike the tasting cup, the aroma cup is tall and slender. Make sure the cups match your yixing teapot or gaiwan in material and color. Made from renowned yixing zisha clay, these cups will perfectly complement your tea.
How to use: Pour tea from the Cha Hai into the aroma cup. Cover the aroma cup with the tasting cup. Slightly pressing both cups with one hand's thumb and index fingers, flip the cups over so that the aroma cup is now on top. Slowly lift the aroma cup, and enjoy its smell before taking a sip of the delicious tea.
What is in the set:
- ZiSha Purple Clay Xi Shi Teapot (Zi Ni) (140ml)
- 2 sets of ZiSha Aroma Tea Cups (Zi Ni) (20ml)
- 2 wooden saucers
For the full Gong Fu Cha experience, make sure to have the following items:
- Cha Hai / Gong Dao Bei – 'bowl of impartiality'
- Tea Filter – helps to get a cup of clear and bright tea
NOTE: Avoid using detergents when cleaning.