Exploring Traditional Chinese Tea Brewing Methods

Exploring Traditional Chinese Tea Brewing Methods

There are different tea brewing methods, and each holds its own unique story and history, gives you a distinctive flavour and experience. I will talk about the two streams: Gongfu Tea and Bowl Tea.

Gongfu Tea

Gongfu tea brewing is a practice that you'll often encounter when it comes to Chinese tea. We usually refer this to the mastery of tea brewing to make the best cup of tea. Brewing tea in this way to bring out the full potential and enjoy the full strength (energy and Qi) of the tea.

Pay full attention to the leaves to water ratio and the water temperature and maintain the water temperature throughout multiple steepings. Use specific teawares like zisha teapot and small cups to elevate the quality of the tea and the experience. Many tea lovers even use antique cups since the quality of the ceramic in the past are exceptional. 

Bowl Tea

Bowl Tea offers a more meditative approach to tea brewing. It's a practice that embraces simplicity, requiring no specific tools.

  • Leaves In a Bowl : This is the most ordinary way of sharing and drinking tea over the last few centuries. Just put a few tea leaves to the bowl, add some hot water and spin the leaves. You can decide how strong you want by putting more or less leaves. This can also work on a mug if a bowl is not available.
  • Sidehandle Teapot: For teas with small leaves teas or those require better temperature control, the previous method might not be the best way. A sidehandle teapot allows you to better manage the water temperature and is perfect for sharing tea with guests
  • Boiled Tea : Boiling tea is one of the oldest brewing methods, extending back to the very first bowl of tea. It's like boiling a pot of herbs. Boiled tea is rich, deep and powerful. It's best for the winter's months with sheng/shou pureh or black teas. Boiled tea is also a way to revive spent leaves! For some precious teas, you can save up the spent leaves after a few rounds of steeping, then boil the tea at another time. 

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about these brewing methods.