Gongfu Tea Ceremony

A Short Introduction

The historic artwork of the Chinese tea ceremony is known to be a ceremony of the highest esteem that a host can present a visitor. While the Chinese tea ceremony is remarkably less complicated compared to the Japanese edition, (the Japanese version tends to be far more rigid and pays a lot of notice on the composition of the setting whilst the Chinese tea ceremony pays far more consideration on attaining the perfect brew) there are set techniques to be followed as very well.

Although there are quite a few variations of the Chinese tea ceremony, the just one that is thought of the most sophisticated between all is the Gongfu tea ceremony. It is assumed to originate from either Guangdong or Fujian. This tea ceremony satisfies oolong teas very best and is often applied for pu’er tea as perfectly. There are 6 factors to choose into thing to consider when executing a tea ceremony:

1. Mind-set

The host should be cheerful still quiet to generate a comforting ambiance.

2. Tea Variety

Apart from obtaining a fantastic taste, condition and fragrance, it need to have an sophisticated track record (i.e. title and tale) as effectively.

3. Drinking water assortment

Hard and distilled h2o should never ever be applied to boil tea. Distilled water offers the tea a “flat” taste although tricky h2o makes it flavor negative. Optimally, cleanse and clear spring water must be utilized.

4. Tea ware choice

Accurate, lacquered tea ware appears gorgeous but the pots that brings out the greatest in fermented teas are the Yixing teapots, which do not glaze, remaining porous even after being fired in the kiln. 1 pot must be made use of to brew only just one type of tea, as the pot absorbs some tea and the flavour of the tea will be increased as time goes by.

5. Ambience

The tea ceremony space will have to be cleanse and roomy ample to not truly feel cramped. Preferably, it ought to be peaceful as well. Incense, tunes or artworks are in some cases employed to boost the natural environment, although it may possibly not be essential since a tea ceremony can be done outdoor.

6. Method

The host must have a swish way even though carrying out the tea ceremony which can be found as a result of the hand actions and facial expressions.

This timeless ceremony blends the three teachings that have shaped China. The Buddhism’s Center Way, the Confucian Golden Suggest and the Taoism’s Way of the Tao. It demands a single to have a tranquil demeanour, superior ethics in aspects this kind of as tea serving and respectful conversation among the a single yet another. A tea ceremony fosters very good relations amongst a single yet another as perfectly as bringing a sense of serenity by reminding mankind of their romance with nature.

Procedure of a usual Gongfu Tea Ceremony

Items wanted:

  • Wen Xiang Bei – Slim snifter cup employed to enjoy the tea’s scent. Tea is not drunk from these cups.
  • Pin Ming Bei – Chinese teacups.
  • Cha Tuo- A modest saucer for the teacup (from time to time lesser than what is pictured remaining just sufficient to maintain the teacup)
  • Zi sha hu – A teapot produced from the famed Yixing purple clay, acknowledged for its flavour absorbent homes.
  • Cha pan – A h2o catching tray for the tea ceremony. A basin can be applied as properly.
  • Gong dao bei – Tea from the teapot will be poured into this pitcher right before serving to make certain an even taste.
  • Cha dao zu – A established of utensils for measuring out tea leaves together with tongs to choose up hot products.
  • Cha he – A shallow dish that is utilised for appreciating the scent and appearance of tea.

The Process

Under are the ways in a normal Gongfu tea ceremony. Each stage has a common four character title.

*Consider observe that the teapot’s spout need to not be pointing at any one at all occasions as this is regarded as rude.

1. Wen hu tang bei – “warm the pot and heat the cups”

Boiling water is poured into the teapot and then poured into the teacups. This is to assure that the utensils are warmed and prepped for the tea savouring process, which enhances the tea’s fragrance.

2. Jian shang jia ming – “Take pleasure in great tea”

The tea is put in the Cha He and handed around attendees for it to be appreciated. The company really should complement the overall look and fragrance of the tea.

3. Wu Extended Ru Gong – “The black dragon enters the palace”

The “black dragon” refers to the colour of Oolong tea, which is generally a dim burnt brown with subtle hues of other colours relying on the variety of tea. The sum of tea desired relies upon on quite a few elements this sort of as form of tea and the dimension of the teapot but the total of tea leaves used usually fills ½ to 2/3 of the pot. Set the leaves in the tea strainer if your pot does not have an inbuilt strainer.

4. Xuan Hu Gao Chong – “rinsing from an elevated pot”

Water heated in a kettle to the ideal brewing temperature for the tea is poured at about the top of the pourer’s shoulder to a slight overflow in the teapot to rinse the tea leaves.

The Chinese identify the proper brewing temperature is established by the measurement of the bubbles shaped when boiling. They use creatures’ eyes as a guideline bubbles the size of fish eyes for black tea, crab eyes for oolong and prawn eyes for environmentally friendly tea. (Though eco-friendly tea is not utilized in a Gongfu tea ceremony)

5. Chun Feng Fu Mian – “The spring wind brushes the floor”

Any froth or floating tea leaves are carefully brushed absent with the tea pot’s address. This helps make a crystal clear tea.

6. Chong Xi Xian Yan – “Bathing the immortal two times”

To guarantee the temperature on the outdoors and inside of the pot continues to be the similar, sizzling water is poured onto the included teapot.This also allows to remedy the clay in addition to creating a seal that assures all the tea flavour remains in the pot. At this place, some will steep the tea for a brief although (about 10-30 seconds) or pour out the tea promptly to the tea pitcher.

7. Cling Yun Liu Shui – “A row of clouds, working water”

This means that the very first brew is not meant to be drunk. The tea is poured from the pitcher into the teacups.

8. Long Feng Cheng Xiang – “the dragon and phoenix in auspicious union”

The tea cups are positioned upside down on leading of the snifters and supplied to the guests, a symbol of prosperity and contentment the host needs on the guests.

9. Li Yu Fan Shen – ‘the carp turns over’

The visitor accepts both of those the cups and turns them 180°.

10. Jing Feng Xiang Ming – “Worship the fragrance”

The snifter is lifted from the tea cup. This tea is then emptied into a bowl or into the tea tray.

11.Hui xuan di zhen / Zai zhu qing xuan – “pouring yet again from a reduced height” / ‘direct once again the pure spring’

Sizzling water is poured at a reduced peak from action 4, usually at a a bit greater top than the rim of the teapot. It follows a theory identified as Gao Chong Di Zhen – “superior to rinse, very low to pour”. Previously, pouring from a height produces a pressure to cleanse the leaves but water is now poured from a very low peak so that the flavour can be unveiled bit by bit.

12. Gua Mo Lin Gai

The leaves are steeped at this place. Depending on the kind of tea and preference of the tea ceremony master, it requires wherever between 30 seconds to 10 minutes.

13.Guan Gong Xun Cheng – “Guan Gong patrols the metropolis”

The teacups are arranged in a row and poured into the tea snifters. This is performed even though going the hand left and right gracefully. Guan Gong is a popular armed forces typical in the A few Kingdoms interval. This move is akin to him marching up and down to guard the town.

14. Han Xin Dian Bing- “Han Xin calls the troopers”

The previous drops are poured in an stylish movement. This transfer is likened to Han Xin, a renowned Han basic commanding his soldiers to combat.

15. Ou Bei Mu Lin- “bathing the snifter cup”

The full contents of the teapot is poured into the tea pitcher and poured into the snifters. A teacup is put upside down on leading like step 7.

16. You Shan Wan Shui – “stroll in the mountains and engage in in the river”

Any remaining drinking water in the teapot is emptied into the basin or tea tray.

17. Prolonged Feng Cheng Xiang- “The dragon and phoenix in auspicious union”

A further prayer for the guests’ pleasure and overall health is available with the supplying of the snifter cup with an inverted teacup on best of it. This is the very same as phase 8.

18. Li Yu Supporter Shen – “the carp turns in excess of”

The visitor accepts both equally the cups and turns people 180°.

19. Jing Feng Xiang Ming – “respectfully acquire the fragrant tea”

At this level, the guest will elevate up the snifter cup and enable the tea flow into the teacup. The lingering aroma of the tea in the snifter is to be smelt and savoured by the guest before consuming the tea.

20. This phase includes the etiquette to consume the tea. The teacup is either picked up with the finger pads of both arms or with the thumb and index finger applying the center finger to support the teacup. The latter system is applied as effectively when a cha tuo is included. The tea really should be drunk in 3 sips the first sip is for taste allowing it settle on your tongue and to respect the complexity of the tea flavour, reminiscent of a wine tasting system the second sip, is a even larger sip, also identified as the major sip and the ultimate sip is to vacant the cup and to take in the aftertaste.

21. The identical tea leaves can be brewed for a couple moments until eventually they no for a longer time produce the same flavour. With every single subsequent brew, the tea need to be left to steep for a longer time. The leaves will be taken out of the teapot with tongs and set into a basin to be proven to the friends. The visitors must enhance the tea’s excellent. With this, the tea ceremony is finished.

Alicia D. Walker

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