Gong Fu Tea Brewing vs Western Brewing

We often receive the following question: Why Gong Fu? 

In this article, we will examine the benefits of drinking tea both gong fu style and one-time brewing (Western tea) and discuss why we prefer the Chinese way of brewing tea. 

Of course, it is totally fine to brew your tea the good old way that we are all used to, by pouring the tea leaves in a brewing vessel and letting them steep for a few minutes.

By brewing tea in a large vessel, we allow for it to open up all at once, giving us all it has in one go. You may not recognize all the subtleties we receive from opening up the tea’s taste gradually, but you will get a cup of delicious tea with a nice aroma nonetheless. One time brewing loose tea leaves beats tea bags any day!

how to make loose leaf tea

How To Brew Tea Western Style

 

  1. Prepare a teapot or any brewing vessel of choice.

  2. Place the appropriate amount of tea leaves inside.

  3. Brew the tea using the perfect water temperature.

  4. After the right amount of time has passed, remove the tea leaves to prevent over-brewing (For this purpose we recommend using a teapot with a strainer).

  5. Pour the tea into your teacups and enjoy!

 

Video on how to brew tea Western-style 

 

 

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 in that it allows for the 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!

 

gong fu brewing vs western tea

 

How To Make Gong Fu Tea 

 

  1. Preheat the teapot by first pouring hot water inside.

  2. Empty the vessel, place the tea leaves inside and let them warm up for a minute. (Amount of tea used will differ depending on the tea type).
    You will notice the change in the aroma as the tea leaves start slowly opening up.

  3. Quickly rinse the tea first before brewing.

  4. Start brewing your tea: decant all the tea, each time, after only 10 seconds or so of steeping. (Brew times will differ depending on the tea type).
    Look at the color of the liquid, inhale the aroma, sip slowly, and you will feel how the tea is gradually changing.

  5. With each infusion the flavor transforms - some more robust, some sweeter, some delicate.

Video on how to brew tea Gong Fu style

 

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…

chinese tea ceremony set

 

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 Cha, it is well worth the effort.


Gong Fu Vs Western Tea. Conclusion.

 

Certain high-quality teas when brewed Gong Fu style can offer us over 15 infusions. Of course, that means that the whole tea ceremony can go on for hours on end! This is an exceptional practice to enjoy, especially when we have the time for it or when we are in the company of friends. For those times, and for the times when we wish to connect to the tea truly — we go with Gong Fu Cha.

However, for the moments when we are slightly more pressed for time, or perhaps at work or on the go, yet still want a delicious and flavorful tea  — then we turn to Western-style tea brewing. We genuinely believe there is no right or wrong here, and it all boils down to personal preferences and the situation at hand.