Hey there Teacups! Can you believe we’re starting another new month’s worth of Tea Together Tuesdays today! I truly can’t believe we’re in September already but I’m very excited for my birthday at the end of this month and for the rest of autumn / winter.
Today’s Prompt “Your favourite brewing method and why?” was suggest to us by Katie (@tigerwind59) on Instagram. When I saw she had suggest this prompt I knew we had to pick it to be featured as one of Septembers posts and I’m so happy it got to be the first one of this month. I love talking all things tea with you all and something like favourite brewing methods is such a personal thing so I’ve been very excited for today to arrived so I could hear everyones answers.
As you can probably tell by the image above my favourite brewing method is the Gong-Fu Brewing method and its a method I have loved using since the very first time I ever tried it. Gong-Fu simply describes the traditional Chinese method of tea making . From what I’ve read online, it’s a little bit lesser known that the Japanese version, the Chinese tea ceremony is as much about brewing an outstanding cup of tea as it is about ritual. The “Gong-Fu” in “Gong-Fu Cha” means “skill”, or “effort”. Gong-Fu is something to be mastered and it definitely requires a bit more attention and willingness to learn than other methods of tea brewing like grandpa style and western style brewing (not that they aren’t both great as well). But it is definitely worth it and the care and attention pays off in the form of amazing tea experiences and great tasting tea of course.
One of the reasons that I first tried Gong-Fu style brewing is because it’s very easy and relativity in-expensive to get into and if you are preparing tea for just you, you simply only need a Gaiwan (or similarly sized teapot) and a drinking cup. Chinese drinking cups for Gong-Fu are small but with this method you are aiming to savour your tea rather than to hydrate yourself. Although the drinking cups are small using this method you can do multiple steeps and you may even end up drinking a dozen plus small cups with in an hour depending on the tea you use. You’ll use a slightly larger amount of leaves than normal using this method and it results in a strong, rich broth without the bitterness that comes with over steeping tea leaves.
If you are always wanting to be able to pick out notes in teas that other people have been able to find but you’ve never been able to, Gong-Fu is for you and you should definitely give it a try. It will take your appreciation of straight / pure tea to a new level and over time it will become your favourite way to brew tea. It allows you to be able to truly appreciate everything your tea has to offer and highlight each and every aspect of it’s flavour profile even it’s most subtle notes will shine through. Once you’ve mastered the basic form of Gong-Fu style brewing then you can move further into it and buy all of the extra tools, teaware and more that will allow you to enjoy the brewing method in full.
I’ve been using the basic method for a long time now and I’m only just starting to buy all of the different elements slowly to expand my experience a little more. I definitely recommend a tea tray though even if you are doing the basic version as it helps to catch any water sips and keeps everything in one place. It also serves as a great place to put the water you warm your gaiwan and rinse your leaves with. (I’ll do a more in depth post in the future taking through the method step by step as this post will get too long if i go through it all here).
Right now I can’t sit and brew tea using this method too often and it’s definitely not the method I use most of the time but it will always be my favourite. My chronic migraines and the amount of pain i’m in a lot of the time right now may get in the way of me being able to do sessions using this method everyday but it just makes the session I am able to do every now and then like the one I did today even more enjoyable overall. Its the brewing method that taught me to savour tea and to truly appreciate everything that straight/pure teas have to off down to their subtlest notes. I’m so thankful I chose to give this brewing method a try because it gave me the ability to be more mindful, focused and relaxed during tasting sessions that little bit of respite hand in hand with delicious tea is such an incredible experience each and every time and it’s quite nice to almost clear my mind and focus on nothing but tea for a prolonged period of time.
I’m incredibly excited to take my Gong-Fu journey further during late 2020 and all of 2021 and I’ll be sure to share every last little bit of it with you all as I go on. If there is anything specific you want to see me cover when it comes to Gong-Fu Cha let me know and I’ll do my best to try and devote at least a post to it.
After finishing my Gong-Fu tasting session today I went to remove my leaves from my gaiwan to clean it and pack it away and upon lifting the lid I was greeted by this adorable little tea-moji and it made me smile so much. Aside from my health issues I’ve been going through quite a lot in my personal life recently, as sure we all probably have during most of 2020 so this little sign / reminder to smile really did lift my spirits today and I needed that. I guess sometimes the world / the tea just knows you need some sort of a sign and they always show up at the perfect time. Not every Gong-Fu session ends with one but it happens much more than you think it would.
I’m so glad we picked this prompt its helped me remember just how much I love this brewing method a some what re-ignited my passion and want to learn more about this brewing method which I’ll certainly be aiming to do more regularly and hopefully my health will allow me to do sessions more often as their is nothing better for learning than hands on experience. Thank you for sticking around until the end of this post I hope it’s inspired at least one of you who has never used this method to give it a try.
As always if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter/Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll answer them all as soon as I can. Remember to leave your links in the comments as well so I can see all of your no doubt amazing Tea Together Tuesday posts over the next few days.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*The gaiwan in this post was gifted to me to review by Umi Tea Sets a while a go now. I was not asked to featured it in this post. All opinions are my own and haven’t been paid for* (you can find that review here) | *The tea featured in this post was gifted to me by (Adagio) Masters Teas. I was gifted it to review but I was not asked to include it in this post* (I’ll be doing a full review of it soon.)