Brewing Oolong Tea: Gong Fu Brewing

About Gong Fu Brewing 

A revised and updated version of this article can be found here:

Gong Fu Brewing Guide to the Best Taiwanese Tea

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.

How much tea: In general, about 10g of tea is suitable for gongfu brewing of our Oolong Teas in a 200ml teapot. If the tea is heavily roasted or bug-bitten (Concubine or Organic), then less tea is necessary. So we suggest you try 10g of tea leaves and start at about 40-50 seconds for the first brew. From there, it is really up to you to determine if the tea is too strong or too weak. So with this as a starting point, experiment and get to know each tea and how you like to brew it!

Eco-Cha brewing up tea in a tea judging tea set

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