GO NG FU CHA
THE ORIGIN OF GONGFU CHA
QUALITY OF THE TEA
GONGFU CHA CEREMONY
BREWING GONGFU CHA
THE ORIGIN OF //GONGFU CHA Around five thousand years ago, The Chinese Emperor Shen Nung AKA , Divine Healer, Divine Husbandman, Emperor of the Five Grains, and also known as God of Chinese Herbal Medicine, revered as a great teacher of agriculture and herbal medicine; He took pride in teaching his people the value of cultivating the land and the wisdom in boiling water to make it safer to drink and believed that it also increased longevity. One day, while working in his own garden, Shen Nung was enjoying a cup of steaming water when he noticed that a few leaves of a nearby camellia-like bush had blown into the imperial cup. Sipping the concoction he discovered a drink that was refreshing, relaxing yet exhilarating and increased his sense of well-being. And so tea was born. Shen Nung, the legendary second emperor of China and culture hero of Chinese mythology, has been traditionally given credit for various accomplishments, such as teaching the ancient Chinese people for their practices of agriculture, inventions of farm implements, discoveries of modern crops, use of herbal drugs, identifying and classifying hundreds of medical (and poisonous) herbs, and other traditional Chinese healing practices.
//QUALITY OF THE TEA there are 3 reasons for selecting the best grade of tea you can find. It tastes better, lasts longer and is more cost-effective in the long run. High grade tea will last 6 – 10 brews with consistent flavour depending on how strong you like your tea. Poor quality tea may taste good on the first or second brew but after that there is little taste left, so you just end up using more tea. The better tea shops will always make a tea for you before you buy. Make sure to taste the fourth or fifth brew to really see what you are getting and pay attention to how it is being made. You can even ask them to follow the same brew times you use. Try to get a sample or buy the smallest quantity you can for a new tea. A wonderful characteristic of high grade tea that is not found in low grade tea is a unique sensation of sweetness in the mouth either during or sometimes many minutes after drinking, depending on the type of tea and how it is prepared. The Chinese term for this sensation is called “gum” and there is no equivalent term for it in the English language. It can only be described as a sensation as it subtly “overlays” and compliments the flavour of the tea one is drinking, be it grassy, flowery, bitter or earthy. Experiencing this sweetness is a very prized aspect of tea tasting and the Gong Fu Cha method of tea-making is the best way to create it. Tea plants have fine delicate hairs that grow on the underside of the leaves. For the best quality tea, look for tea made from whole leaves and the fine hairs floating on the surface of the tea. The more hairs you see, the higher the grade of the tea.
Sheng Pu-Erh [Raw]
Tieh Kwan Yin
Shou Pu-Erh [Cooked]
GONGFU CHA //CERAMONY ostensibly, gongfu cha, simply means “tea made with skill.” In practice, the term refers to a Chinese style of brewing tea using small brewing vessels and cups and short steeping times, resulting in a rich, dynamic flavor that changes over the course of many steepings.Gongfu brewing is almost always practiced with Chinese or Taiwanese teas, in particular oolongs and pu’er, and less frequently with green or black teas. Gongfu cha is sometimes referred to as the “Chinese tea ceremony,” but this is in fact a misnomer, possibly stemming from confusion with chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony. Chanoyu, also called chado, is in fact a formal ceremony with codes of conduct and rules that hosts and guests are expected to know and follow. For centuries, chanoyu has also fulfilled the role of enforcing social hierarchy, since only those who could afford to build a tea room and hire a tea master could invite guests to participate. However, gongfu is not a formal ceremony but rather a style of brewing and serving tea, even though the elaborate setup may suggest otherwise to non-Chinese. Although there are many steps in the gong fu tea ceremony, they are easy to master and they rarely take more than ten minutes to perform. Guests usually number two to four.
GONGFU CHA, SIMPLY MEANS TEA MADE WITH SKILL.
//BREWING GONGFU-STYLE tea is brewed in a variety of ways across the globe. Among these methods, gongfu style requires among the highest attention to detail. Specific techniques are used to ensure that the tea is brewed at the right temperature for the proper amount of time. As gongfu disseminates, these techniques are less frequently considered rigid procedure and more often taken as guidelines to discovering the best way to enjoy a tea in gongfu style. According to John Blofeld, auther of â€œThe Chinese Art of Tea,â€? gongfu tea is served in the following fashion: 1
The empty teapot is scalded with hot water to heat it up and prevent it from cooling too rapidly during subsequent infusions. The hot water in the teapot is then discarded.
Tea is ladled into the teapot to fill about half of its volume with dry leaf.
Hot water is poured into the teapot, then immediately poured out, in order to rinse the leaves.
The pot is refilled with hot water, then the teacups are heated with hot water and immediately drained. By the time this is done, the tea will have steeped for thirty seconds. The first infusion is decanted into cups for drinking, while leftover tea is discarded to prevent it from continuing to steep and become bitter. Subsequent infusions should only be ten seconds long rather than thirty.
My Legendary Dad, Bill Tsang DESIGNED BY
Andrew Tsang FONT SET IN
Whitman, Din Next Lt Pro
CREDITS INDIVIDUAL TEXT
www.thechineseteashop.com www.cas.colorado.edu PRINTED IN
Digital Output Centre
Andrew Tsang © 2014