Chinese Traditional Tea Ceremony Gong Fu Cha

The Gong Fu Tea Ceremony is a Chinese tea ceremony. The term literally means “Making Tea with Skill” or “The Art of Making Tea”. The Gong Fu Tea Ceremony is a traditional way of making tea, which is characterized by a repeated infusion of the same tea in a small teapot: premium tea, exquisite teaware, special atmosphere, music, the beauty of the ritual. The Chinese tea ceremony contains the wisdom of oriental philosophy.

The main actors in the Gong Fu Cha ceremony are semi-fermented teas – Oolongs. The tea ceremony requires preparation of a full set of tea utensils: the Gongfu Tea Table, the Yixing Clay Teapot (a small brewing pot made of purple clay), the Cha Hai pitcher (a “sea of tea” vessel for the tea), aroma or snifter cups (a set of small cups used for smelling the fragrance of the tea), tea cups (a set of tasting cups), a pitcher with tea utensils, a box for displaying the tea, saucers for the tea pairs (cups), a tea pet (usually made from the same clay as a Yixing Teapot), a towel, a spirit lamp and a kettle for boiling water.

The main stages in the ceremony include getting acquainted with the tea, initial rinsing and heating of the teaware with boiling water, pouring the tea, brewing the tea, heating the Cha Hai vessel and the cups with the water left over from rinsing the tea, serving and distribution of the tea (the tea is poured into the Cha Hai pitcher and then poured into narrow aroma cups). The tops of the aroma cups are covered with the tasting cups; after that, both cups are turned over and set onto the saucers. A participant of this tea ceremony holds the snifter cup between a thumb and an index finger and lifts it up to let the infusion pour out into the tasting cup. After this, the infusion’s aromatic qualities are examined and then – the tasting itself is performed.


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