Gong Fu Brewing vs Western Brewing
Of course, it is totally fine to brew your tea the good old way that we are all used to, by putting tea in a teapot and letting it steep for a few minutes (make sure not to over brew!). By brewing tea in a large vessel, we allow for the tea to open up all at once, giving us all it has in one go. You may not recognize all the subtleties from opening up the tea’s taste gradually, but you will get a cup of delicious tea with a nice aroma nonetheless.
On the other hand, if you choose to make Gong Fu tea for yourself or for friends it becomes more of an experience.
Gong Fu differs from the Western way of brewing tea in that it allows tea to open to its full potential gradually.
While ‘Gong Fu’ or the Chinese tea ceremony may look complicated and tedious for the first timers, in reality, it is not as difficult as it seems. Anyone can learn how to brew tea Gong Fu style and you do not have to be a tea master to do it. It’s very likely that after trying it once for yourself, it might just become a habit!
Preheat the teapot by first pouring hot water inside. Then empty the vessel, place the tea inside and let it warm up for a minute. You will notice the change in the aroma as the tea starts slowly opening up. Then start brewing your tea. Decant all the tea, each time, after only 10 seconds or so of steeping. Look at the color of the liquid, inhale the aroma, sip slowly, and you will feel how the tea is gradually changing. With each infusion the flavor transforms - some more robust, some sweeter, some delicate.
This is a journey filled with tranquility. Let yourself meditate together with the tea. Let it show you its origins. Drinking a Milk Oolong you might find yourself in the Alishan mountains of Taiwan. Or maybe a Da Hong Pao will transport you to the vast tea farms of the Wuyi mountains in China…
By brewing Gong Fu style we get the most out of our tea. 5-10 infusions from most teas; others even more than that. It doesn’t have to be every day. Even if you find just one day a week to enjoy Gong Fu tea, it is well worth the effort.