(Click here for another version from 2021)
In this article you will learn what the "Gong Fu" tea preparation is, what distinguishes it from the western "normal" tea preparation and why it helps you to taste good tea from mediocre tea.
In Germany it is customary for most people to prepare their tea in only one way: In a large ceramic or glass teapot with approx. 2-3 teaspoons of tea and boiling hot water. There is generally nothing wrong with that, but it is by no means the only method of making tea. Also is Western tea preparation is unfortunately not the best method to get the best taste out of good tea.
The higher quality a tea is, the more sensible it is to prepare the tea in the traditional way. Why?
High quality Tea leaves are comparatively sensitive and sensitive. There are many different, interesting taste nuances in them that are waiting to be discovered. However, this is only possible if you make an active effort. The temperature, the amount of tea in relation to the water and the brewing time must all be correct getting the maximum taste out of a tea.
In simple teas there are usually not so many fine flavors, so it makes little sense to drink an English breakfast in the traditional way, for example. Nothing against English breakfast, it's a delicious tea. But not one of the extremely fine types.
So what is this "Gong Fu" tea method?
Has this to do with Kung Fu Panda? Um, no, but the origin is the same.
„Gong Fu ”is Chinese and translates as“ time ”.
This is very appropriate, because this method is a bit slow, almost cumbersome, by European standards. The tea is not just poured over and that's it. There are a few specific steps involvedto prepare the tea first and then to prepare it perfectly. The traditional tea ceremony also uses the Gong Fu style.
This type of tea preparation is and is very old in China, Taiwan, and other parts of Asia, likely for millennia spread.
Some utensils are used to properly celebrate the tea.
What you need for the Gong Fu preparation:
- Gaiwan or Yixing (Red clay teapot) - We're going to be talking about Gaiwan here
- a small tea cup or tea glass (approx. 100 - 150ml)
- hot water
- approx. 8g high quality tea leaves (Green tea, white tea, oolong tea or pu erh tea)
- Gong Dao Bei (small tea vessel with a spout for the brewed tea)
- Tea strainer
- Tea tray
- Wooden tea scoops
- wooden tongs to grip the cups
This is how the Gong Fu tea preparation works:
We recommend that you sit upright at a table or kneel at a low table. The important thing is that you feel comfortable. You should also bring some time with you.
- First you preheat all vessels. To do this, pour hot water (70 ° C - 100 ° C) in the Gaiwan, the Gong Dao Bei and the teacups
- After a few seconds you empty the china again. The dishes are now at the correct temperature.
- Now you put about 6g - 8g tea leaves in the gaiwan (or yixing). Smell it. You will notice that the warm porcelain already has the tea leaves strong to smell brings.
- Now you pour some water over the tea leaves. However, you pour this out again quickly. This 1st infusion is used to clean and "activate" the tea leaves and is usually not drunk. It would hardly be harmful, however.
Now you can smell the porcelain lid of the Gaiwan and you will notice how rich the aroma of your tea is.
- Then you pour hot water into the gaiwan again and put the lid on.
- Now you leave the tea depending on the type of tea Pull for up to 60 seconds. (With green teas usually a little less, with white teas, Pu Erh teas and Oolong a little more)
- Then you pour the tea through a sieve into a glass or cup. If you use a Gong Dao Bei, first pour the tea into it and then distribute it into the cups.
- Now take a few seconds to smell the good tea. Also look at the color of the tea. Now take a sip.
Do you notice all the nuances? Do you taste an interesting cutie on your tongue Do you have a special fragrance in the nose? Isn't the tea beautifully evenly light yellow, green or amber in color?
The tea will taste quite intense. At least compared to conventional preparation in a large teapot. Is the tea a little too weak, then just lengthen the brewing time? The 2nd or 3rd infusion should be a little longer anyway.
Does the tea taste too strong?, then just shorten the brewing time. As I said, with green teas it can easily happen that you feel a certain bitter note. But also bitter taste has a charm in this way: Most of the time, an intense, slightly sweet taste remains on the tongue, which you will remember for many minutes, even hours.
If you have drunk the 2nd infusion you repeat the game. You pour the tea and think of a suitable brewing time.
Benefits of making Gung Fu tea
- You take your time to taste the tea
- The taste nuances are more intense and clear
- You get to know your tea well
- Each new infusion creates interesting, different flavors
- You will come to rest
- If you drink a really good tea, your body will be filled with happiness
So if you've never made the tea in such a special way, then I really recommend you try it out. It is worth it .. Then when you realize that you like yourself the original utensils for the Gongfu tea culture want to grow, then take a look at our tea accessories.
If you enjoy drinking your tea like this, then you may soon no longer want to drink it any other way. But would that really be that bad?
Teas from our shop for which we recommend the Gongfu preparation:
- Mending Gan Lu (Green tea)
- Maojian (Yellow tea)
- Pai Mu Tan (White tea)
- Pu Erh Bai Ya (White tea)
- Yin Zhen Silver Needle (White tea)
- Formosa Dong Ding Oolong (Oolong tea)