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How To: The Gongfu Tea Ceremony

The Gongfu tea ceremony (also called the Kung Fu tea ceremony) is a series of deliberate steps involved in the presentation and preparation of tea. But don’t worry. As these pictures demonstrate, a Chinese tea ceremony can be quite simple.

Before anything, wash all your utensils with hot water.

The gaiwan is the lidded bowl where the tea leaves are steeped in water. The first step of the Gongfu tea ceremony is to wash the gaiwan, teacups, and teapot with hot water. Unless you are Iron Man (or Iron Woman!), we recommend using tweezers/tongs to handle the hot teacups. Once you are done washing the utensils, you can pour the water out into the slotted tea tray.

Wash gaiwan with hot water Handle hot tea cups with tweezers

Now that your utensils are primed for action, you can scoop tea leaves into the gaiwan.

Add tea leaves into gaiwan

Pour hot water into the gaiwan. Let the tea leaves steep in the water for a few seconds. Pour the water into the tea tray. This first brew is to wash the tea leaves. Once the tea leaves are washed, the magic can begin.

Wash tea leaves - first flush Discard first brew

Pour hot water into the gaiwan and cover it with the lid. Let the tea steep in the water. You can find recommended tea brewing times in the description for all our teas.

Add water into gaiwan/brewing teapot

Pour the delicious and fragrant brew into the teapot through the filter.

Pour brewed tea liquid into sharing pitcher

Pour the tea from the teapot into the teacups.

Pour tea into tea cups

Inhale the fragrance. Sip the deliciousness. Enjoy.

Serve the tea and enjoy

Repeat the procedure for successive brews. The recommended brewing times and number of brews can be found in the description for all our white, green, oolong, red, and black teas.

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