As you know, I was on the prowl for Yixing Teaware, that fortunately ended in a purchase of multiple teapots. This all began from my quest to understand different brewing techniques. Over and over again, my search directed me to Gongfu or Kungfu cha brewing. Thus my search for Yixing Teaware. Backed by a successful purchase – guided by Jo of YaYa House of Excellent Teas and Jason, author of Bearsblog – I am now on the hunt for a recommended Gongfu or Kungfu cha Brewing Technique.
First, I believe a little history is important. There should always be purpose and understanding behind our actions.
According to Wikipedia, Gongfu or Kungfu cha is a tradition of the Minnan and Chaozhou or Chaoshan people. Kungfu cha teapot brewing, also know as Kungfu cha ceremony uses small Yixing Teapots of about 4 or 5 fluid ounces to enhance the aesthetics, and more importantly “round out” the taste of the tea being brewed. Yixing teapot brewing leans towards the formal, but is used for private enjoyment of the tea as well as for welcoming guests.
Now on to the actual brewing technique. The following steps are one popular way to brew tea in a form considered to be a kind of art.
Brewing Technique #1
- Boil water.
- Rinse the teapot with hot water.
- Fill the teapot with tea leaves up to one third of the height of the pot.
- Rinse the tea leaves by filling the pot with hot water up to half full and draining the water immediately leaving only tea leaves behind. (This step, and all subsequent steps involving pouring water, should be performed in a large bowl to catch any overflow.)
- Pour more hot water into the teapot and pour water over the teapot in the large bowl. Bubbles should not be permitted to be formed in the teapot. The infusion should not be steeped for too long: 30 seconds is an appropriate maximum.
- Pour the first infusion into small serving cups within a minute by continuously moving the teapot around over the cups. Each cup of tea is expected to have the same flavour, aroma and colour. The nature of this procedure almost mandates the use of some form of drip tray to catch further spillage.
- Pour excess tea from the first infusion, and all tea from further infusions, into a second teapot after steeping. It is possible to draw five or six good infusions from a single pot of tea, but subsequent infusions must be extended somewhat in duration to extract maximum flavour: the second infusion extended by approximately ten seconds to 40 seconds, the third extended to 45, etc.
Later today, I will publish the second technique found during my reaserch. My purpose… to find the best Gongfu or Kungfu cha Brewing Technique.
This is a call to experienced Gongfu or Kungfu cha Brewers. After reading this and subsequent posted techniques, which do you prefer. If neither, please submit your preferred Gongfu or Kungfu cha Brewing Technique either as a comment to this post or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until Then… Happy Tea Drinking!