Brewing Tips: Gong Fu Brewing
About Gong Fu Brewing
Gong Fu style involves brewing small amounts of concentrated tea for short intervals that are repeated several times. Brewing the tea in small amounts for short intervals allows the leaves to be brewed in succession, capturing the subtle essences of flavor and aroma as they are released from the tea leaves.
The Chinese term "Gong Fu Cha" refers to the traditional method of brewing Oolong tea that requires knowledge and skill. In addition to a small Gong Fu teapot, pitcher and cups, a bowl or vessel that is big enough to hold the brewed tea leaves as well as the discarded rinse water before and after brewing, are all necessary.
Begin by rinsing and warming the teaware with boiled water, and discarding the rinse water.
The amount of tea leaves to be used is typically measured in proportion to the size of the teapot. For smaller pots, filling the pot to 1/5 capacity with dry leaves is a general rule of thumb for tightly rolled oolong tea. Leaves that are not tightly rolled should be measured differently. Proportionally less tea should be used as the size of the pot increases.
Prior to brewing the first pot of tea, rinse and moisten the leaves by filling the pot with boiled water and immediately pouring off the rinse to be discarded. Then refill the pot for the first brew. About 50 seconds is allowed for the first brew, and 10-15 seconds are added for each successive brew. After the third brew, up to two minutes for each successive brew is fine. Quality tea can be brewed 6-10 times, depending on the leaf.