Gong Fu Tea
Gong fu in terms of tea is the art of preparing tea with skill to maximize the flavor and aromatic potential of the tea leaves being used, and to also maximize the appreciation and enjoyment of the tea. It can also be viewed as "a leisurely yet skillful approach to brewing tea."
The basic components of a gong fu tea session:
- small brewing vessel, usually between 2 oz - 8 oz volume
- high leaf to water ratio
- short infusion times
- small sipping cups
The small amounts brewed and small cups serve two purposes: 1) appreciating the tea more fully; to sip the tea with thought and awareness, and 2) to allow the tea to cool quickly enough to drink before the liquor oxidizes to the point of loosing peak fragrances and flavors. Plus, the idea is to infuse the same leaves repeatedly, sometimes as much as 15 times, with each successive infusion releasing a different layer of the tea. So during a gong fu tea session you will be drinking many small cups, each cup brewed fresh.
This is gong fu tea at its most basic level. When someone really delves into practicing gong fu tea, the practice leads to both a much deeper understanding of the subtleties involved and a deeper appreciation for the tea leaf.
This method of brewing was created alongside oolong tea in the city of ChouZhou in Guandong province. ChouZhou was traditionally at the heart of the oolong trade, Guandong being one of two oolong producing provinces, located in the south eastern portion of China.
The gong fu style of brewing later started to be adapted to puerh tea as puerh became increasingly popular in southern China and Hong Kong, where oolongs and gong fu were already prevalent.
Gong Fu Tea at Mana
At Mana, we offer gong fu tea service at the bar when circumstances permit.
We also provide full gong fu tea sessions by reservation. These sessions will involve up to three of our top shelf teas which are only available for gong fu service.