Have you ever wondered about tea ceremonies? I love learning about the different ways tea is served around the world. There are Chinese Tea Ceremonies, Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremonies, Japanese Tea Ceremonies, and many more. We will be exploring different tea ceremonies in blog posts, starting with the Chinese Tea Ceremony in this post.
Chinese Tea Ceremony - Gong Fu Tea Ceremony
In the Chinese Tea Ceremony, the Tea Master is considered an artist and practices their unique way of displaying, brewing, and sharing tea. The Tea Master's movements are artful, purposeful, and never rushed. Yi-Xing clay pots and small tea cups are used. Yi-Xing is a special red clay from Yi-Xing, China and is perfect to brew tea in. The teapot takes on the characteristics of the tea, so usually only one type of tea is used in each pot. The teapot and cups are arranged in a circle and the atmosphere is peaceful. A tea bowl or tea tray is also used to discard hot water in and bamboo utensils are used to dispense the tea.
First, hot water is poured in and over the small cups and tea pot to rinse and warm them. The rinse water is discarded into the tea bowl. This helps the tea to remain at a consistent temperature. Then, a generous portion of tea leaves is dispensed into the teapot until it is approximately 1/3 full. Hot water is poured into the pot so leaves can steep. In Gongu Fu style tea ceremonies, the infusion of the tea is quick, about 30 seconds. Then, the tea is poured, a little into each cup, and then the tea master starts again pouring a little into each cup, until they are filled. This ensures that all cups have the same strength of tea. After the tea is consumed and enjoyed, the leaves are re-steeped in the same fashion many times.
The aroma of tea is as important as the tea itself. Filtered water should be used for the best flavor. When using the small cups do not gulp your tea, but rather take small sips through your lips and teeth making a small hissing sound. Drinking and sniffing the tea in a Chinese Tea Ceremony can take over an hour while enjoying friendship and conversation.
I look forward to sharing more tea ceremonies with you in the future and hope you enjoyed learning a little more about our favorite drink: tea!
Raising my cup to you,