If you wish to brew your loose leaf Chinese tea the right way, then do it the Gong Fu Way! Gong Fu translates as 'right effort.' Gong Fu Cha is putting forth our best effort to get the best flavor from the tea leaves. You may compare the resulting cup of tea to an espresso. By contrast, western tea brewing methods create something like an americano — a big cup of coffee.
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. With superior teas, it can even be up to 13 times. 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.
Gong Deng is one of the classical Yixing Teapots shapes, and it is also one of the most popular shapes due to its elegancy and practicality. The shape reminds of a lantern, and Gong Deng (宫灯) means "palace lamp". Today, this shape has different variations, and our teapot is of the classical one.
The clay for this Yixing Zisha pot is ZhuNi, Xiao Mei Yao (小煤窯朱泥). Xiao Mei Yao Zhu Ni clay is a high-quality, 100% pure Zhu Ni ore from the Yellow Dragon Mountain (Huang Long Shan). It was discovered in the 90s and quickly won recognition and high regard. Teas that should retain their aromatic qualities and high notes, like Dan Cong or Taiwanese Oolongs, will benefit from this high in iron clay with low porosity.
The raw clay has good plasticity. Like most Zhuni clays, it is hard to fire due to the high shrinkage rate (about 9%). Working with this clay requires good craftsmanship. Xiao Mei Yao Zhu Ni is usually fired at around 1130-1140ºC. The fired clay looks purple-red and is often called "purple zhuni". The surface feels soft and smooth.
The artist, Zheng Fengxiang, was born and raised in Ding Shu town, the center of Yixing pottery. From a very early age, he was fascinated by pottery and influenced by ZiSha culture. Like many ZiSha artists, he is fond of calligraphy and painting, systematically studying traditional arts, theory of design, and craft techniques. Today, master Zheng Fengxiang has over 30 years of experience making Yixing teapots.
Aroma cups are an essential part of enjoying the 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 with 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 aroma cups: Pour tea from the Cha Hai into the aroma cup. Cover the aroma cup with the tasting cup. Slightly pressing both cups together with the thumb and index fingers of one hand, flip the cups over so that the aroma cup is now on top. Slowly lift the aroma cup. Enjoy its smell before taking a sip of the delicious tea.
What is in the set:
- Handmade "Gong Deng" ZiSha ZhuNi Teapot by master Zheng Fengxiang (120ml)
- 2 sets of ZiSha ZhuNi Aroma Tea Cups (20ml)
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.
NOTE: This teapot is handcrafted. It makes each piece unique and one of a kind. Thus the teapot that you will receive may slightly differ from the one in the photos.