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Gong Fu Cha Tea Ceremony And Gongfu Tea Brewing

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Gong Fu Cha Tea Ceremony And Gongfu Tea Brewing

April 24
18:44 2024

The concept of Gongfu Tea or Gongfu Cha originated from the Chinese “There is a way to brew tea” and “There are techniques to brew tea”. This new mode of tea brewing requires practical multiple brews, special varieties of gongfu tea set, and unique brewing techniques. You can store your favorite gongfu tea sets at Teatsy Chinese Teaware online tea store.

This paper will explain the concept of Gongfu tea through the historical worldview of Gongfu tea and the whole process of Gongfu tea making.

What is Gongfu Cha?

The term ” Gongfu Tea ” does not actually refer to a specific type of tea, but rather to the method of making the tea itself. Gongfu cha is a skillful way of making tea that originated in China. This traditional brewing issue differs from the one steeped in Western-style tea making. Legend has it that the Gongfu tea brewing style has been around since immemorial, originating from the Song Dynasty. 

The rationale behind Gongfu cha is an appreciation of the delicate flavor of tea, which can only be done through the complete unlocking of its potential. The intricacies surrounding Gongfu cha rely heavily on precision, control, and, most importantly, specialized tools. 

There are various types of Gongfu tea sets. The most commonly used is the Gaiwan tea set or small clay teapot, which is predominantly used for multiple steeping at a controlled temperature. In a broader sense, making Gongfu cha involves utmost dedication from the moment you light the fire until you start tea servings in one fluid motion. 

Not only does Gongfu cha revolve around the tea-making processes, but it also involves how you enjoy the tea-savouring moment with your friends. It is customary to serve Gongfu cha with just three teacups, regardless of the number of guests. 

Start the servings from the left irrespective of age, status, or gender. After each serving, rinse the cup and serve it to the next person till everyone has a sip. Whether you are a seasoned tea lover or a curious beginner, Gongfu tea offers a unique and rewarding way to enjoy your tea experience. 

The History of Gongfu cha 

Tea has become a focal point of Chinese cultural and traditional fabric for centuries. From emperors to commoners, everyone keeps savoring the flavorful taste of this magical beverage. 

Here comes Gongfu cha, a significant invention revolutionizing the tea brewing and ceremony process. However, various schools of thought surround the origin of gongfu cha. Some scholars stated that Gongfu cha was invented around the Wuyi mountains in the 16th to 18th century. 

At the same time, other scholars also opined that Gongfu cha was pioneered in the 20th century in the Chaoshan region of Guangdong provinces. Gongfu cha was a major regional tea brewing technique because it was predominantly practiced in the Chaoshan region. 

The unique taste of the brewing techniques piques the interest of travelers who are fascinated by the use of more miniature clay teapots or Gaiwan for tea serving.

Another thing that drew their attention was the multiple tea infusions that were done under controlled water temperature and, most importantly, the short brewing time compared to the conventional method at that time. 

As time passed, the Gongfu cha brewing technique became a national sensation. It spread across China, and even the Japanese bought into the invention. 

In recent years, we have seen the adaptation of Gongfu in so many cultures, even to Westerners. Gongfu has transcended from a mere regional tea-brewing principle to a worldwide phenomenon. The dynamic and new approach to tea breaking that Gongfu brought to the fore has made it a vibrant idea that’s not going away anytime soon. 

Gongfu Cha Brewing Process 

Drinking Gongfu-brewed tea is an indescribable experience that will make you crave more. Like any other tea, this taste gives you an immersive tea experience. Gongfu tea brewing technique has several aspects, with each step reliant on the other for a successful brewing experience. 

The important thing you know about going the Gongfu way is that you will enjoy the original taste and flavor of your loose tea compared to the slightly bittersweet experience with other conventional brewing methods.  

What You’ll Need. 

  • A Gaiwan Teapot (60 ml-300 ml)

  • A Fairness Pitcher 

  • Small Teacups 

  • A Tea Table 

  • A Strainer 

  • A Tea towel. 

Step-by-Step Preparation Processes: 

The following is the basic outline for making Gongfu cha. 

Step 1: Rinse your Gaiwan teapot with hot water and pour the necessary amount of loose tea leaf inside the teapot. 

Step 2: Pour another batch of hot water on the loose tea leaf inside the Gaiwan teapot and let it sit there for about 20-40 seconds before you put out the infusion. 

This is good for softening the tea leaves, removing any impurities, and getting the leaf started with the entire brewing process. 

Step 3: Now comes the first infusion. Pour an appropriate amount of hot water inside the tea leaf-filled Gaiwan and let it steep for about 10 to 35 seconds. 

This is mostly dependent on the tea types. You can refer to the table below for proper guidance on the appropriate measurement for eatery tea types. 

Step 4: Now, it’s the turn of your fairness pitcher. Pour the first brew into the fair pitcher or the teacups. Share the proceeds from the first infusion so everyone can have a sip of the first brew and savor the aroma and taste. You should use a tea strainer to separate the tea leaves from the liquid. 

Step 5: The real art of Gongfu cha is the ability to steep tea multiple times. Therefore, you should repeat steps 3 and 4 to get maximum flavor and taste from the tea leaves. 

It’s important to note that the steeping amount a tea can withstand depends on its quality and type. So, let’s look at the following table to get an overview of the peculiarities of each type of tea. 


Amount of Tea (per gaiwan)

Water Temperature (°F)

First Steep Time (seconds)

Subsequent Steep Time (seconds)

Number of Infusions

Green Tea

5-7 grams



Add 5-10 seconds per infusion


White Tea

4-6 grams



Add 5-10 seconds per infusion


Yellow Tea

5-7 grams



Add 5-10 seconds per infusion


Oolong Tea (Lightly Oxidized)

6-8 grams



Add 5-10 seconds per infusion


Oolong Tea (Medium Oxidized)

7-9 grams



Add 5-10 seconds per infusion


Oolong Tea (Highly Oxidized)

8-10 grams



Add 10-15 seconds per infusion


Black Tea

5-7 grams



Add 10-15 seconds per infusion


Pu-erh Tea (Sheng)

7-10 grams


Rinse + 20-30

Add 10-15 seconds per infusion


Pu-erh Tea (Shou)

6-8 grams


Rinse + 20-30

Add 10-15 seconds per infusion


What Tea is Mostly Used for Gongfu Cha? 

Although Gongfu methods are mostly practiced with puerh and oolong tea, other teas can also be brewed using this ingenious breeding technique. The ideology behind Chinese Gongfu cha is not all about specific tea types; instead, it’s a new tea brewing method conducted with great precision and tactful skill. 

Undoubtedly, most people prefer oolong tea to make Gongfu cha. This type of tea reigns supreme because of its exceptional oxidation processes that bring about an exciting flavor profile irrespective of the number of times you steep it in hot water. 

Another star of the Gongfu cha is the pu erh tea, which has become a go-to option for Gongfu cha enthusiasts. Pu Erh is a brand of fermented tea that undergoes a fast-paced aging process to give its distinctive earthy, nutty, or woody flavor profile. 

The subtle release of these flavors after every steeping allows you to enjoy the beautiful taste of every infusion. 

Green tea is another Gongfu fan favorite. The vegetal notes of this classic tea type can also be a delightful sip when brewed with the Gongfu cha technique. The control over water temperature is the crucial mechanism that allows you to extract the subtle sweetness from the tea without any bitterness. 

The only downside of using green tea is that you can not get multiple infusions from it compared to using oolong and pu erh tea. 

Every tea type can yield considerably high infusions if brewed using Gongfu cha techniques. To some extent, you can even use black teas, white teas, and yellow teas. You must ensure they are of the highest quality to get the best infusion after every step. 


Gongfu cha is a civilization that ushered in a new way of brewing tea. It encompasses all the basic and advanced processes of extracting the best from any tea. 

Gongfu cha is a movement that takes every tea connoisseur on a journey of exploration that unearths the hidden flavors of every tea cup. Get your Gaiwan teapot and other teawares from Teatsy, choose your favorite loose-leaf tea, and enjoy Gongfu Cha’s blissful and flavorful taste adventure. 

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