Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Gong Fu Cha • 工夫茶
What is Gong Fu Cha? (a quick intro)
'Gong Fu', also pronounced as 'Kung Fu' in English, is translated roughly as, 'one with great skill'. 'Cha' simply means 'tea'. So, the practice of Chinese Gong Fu Cha can be understood as, 'tea with great skill'.
The preparation of Gong Fu tea is not a ceremony. Every action is done with the specific purpose and intention of serving the best possible cup of tea consistently so that each and every sip of tea may be enjoyed in its fullest potential.
A perfect cup of tea depends upon several factors; the tea plant, the harvesting of the leaves, processing the leaves, choosing a tea pot to suit the leaves, the quality and temperature of the water, the amount of tea to place in the pot, and the amount of time to steep each serving. By placing great focus on these elements, we learn the intricacies of Gong Fu Cha. When considering these factors, one can't help but observe that, like everything else in life, Gong Fu Cha does not depend solely on the one serving the tea, but rather an interconnectedness of of many; the harvesters, the tea master who processes the tea, the potter, and finally us enjoying each and every drop.