How to Use a Gongfu Ceremonial Tea Set Properly
Tea can not be fully enjoyed without a nice tea set to serve it with, and this is especially important when drinking tea Gongfu style, or as part of a Chinese Gonfu Ceremony.
You need to make sure that you know what the tea set for Gongfu is and how you use each tool that is in the set. Since the process of drinking the tea is all about the way that it looks and the way that you do it, it is important to understand it all.
The Gonfu actually has roots into the Song Dynasty and really gained popularity during the Ming Dynasty and started to spread throughout China. It is important to understand the history of this tea and the terminology so that you can see what a great tradition that this tea time will be for you.
How To Properly Use a Gongfu Ceremonial Tea Set
Tea can not be fully enjoyed without a nice tea set to serve it with, and this is especially important when drinking tea Gongfu style, or as part of a Chinese Gonfu Ceremony. Part of the Gonfu ceremony is entirely about the aesthetic appearances and the display of the tea itself. Using a Gonfu set, you can fully experience your tea in all ways possible, delighting the senses.
Therefore it is important to not only know what a Gonfu set is, but what it is comprised of and how to use each tool, because drinking tea Gongfu style is as much about the appearance and enjoyment of the brewing of the tea as it is about the actual drinking of the tea.
Gonfu traces its roots to the Song Dynasty, then became widely popular during the subsequent Ming Dynasty, spreading to many areas of China, most especially in Fujian, Guangdong. If you are interested in Gonfu, but aren't sure where to begin or aren't familiar with the terminology, read on to discover what a traditional Gonfu set entails!
The Tea Tray
The trays that the tea is held in are amazing, they are created with beauty and class and they are created to hold all the tools that you need easily. You will find that the trays that are there for the Gonfu are generally shallow but they are going to be of varying shapes and sizes. You will find that most of the trays are round, square, or fan-shaped.
The Tea Pot
The tea pots are of course used to brew and pour the tea that you are drinking. The tea pots are going to come in many different styles, they may have intricate designs, or they may be basic and beautiful. Generally, these tea pots are going to be made with either porcelain or glass and they are traditionally created through sand-fired options.
This is what is actually used to brew the tea leaves and generally this is where you are pouring your tea from. The Gaiwans actually come in a lot of different styles and colors. This is also referred to as the “sancai bowl”, which translates into the ability of man, earth, and sky to come together in harmony.
The Tea Holder
With your tea holder, you are going to put all of the dried tea leaves in it. These holders are made of different materials, but most commonly bamboo and wood. Some of these are also made of white porcelain also.
The Fair Cup
This is the cup that is used to hold the brewed liquid that comes from the tea leaves. When you brew the tea leaves from there you put it in this which is basically a small pitcher. This will hold the tea and make it taste great before you serve it to guests.
The Pinming Cup
This is the pot that you pour tea from the Fair cup into so that you can drink it. In the western world, these are known as a tea cup. However, the cups used in this area are smaller and thinner.
The Fragrance Cup
This cup is used purely so that you can enjoy the aroma of the tea. This will help you capture the true aroma of this tea and is used with the Pinming cups.
The Filter and Filter Shelf
A tea filter gets rid of the leaves after the tea is brewed so that it can be poured. This is something that is stored away when it is not being used.
The Tea Scoop
This is the scoop that is used to get the dried leaves from your canister to your holder.
The Tea Spoon
This is a utensil that moves dry leaves from the tea holder to the pot.
The Tea Funnel
This is a funnel that ensures that tea brewing gets into the pot and prevents it from overflowing. This is a tool that you need to have and use with your tea pot.
The Tea Pin
These are small utensils that actually look like a needle and this will help you clear the tea that is blocking the spout of a tea pot if needed.
These are utensils that are used in the traditional Gonfu ceremonies and are there to carry the cups to people.
The Tea Container
This is something that is actually made to match the tea set and is going to hold any utensils like the tea pins, funnel, spoon, and scoop.
The Tea Towel
All of these are traditional items that are used to brew tea for the Gonfu ceremony and hold true to its traditions. This process of tea brewing has been done for hundreds of years. Many different types of tea are brewed through this method but they have to be loose leaves or they are going to have to be broken up with a tea pin to use this method. Make sure that you are aware of the type of tea that you are brewing so that you are able to get the quality of the tea you want for the Gonfu ceremony.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
this article about Chinese tea sets can be a guide for everyone who likes tea and tea sets. I am Angel Chen, a tea lover and tea specialist comes from Fujian, China - the hometown of tea. I have a dream to bring the most authentic Chinese teas and useful glass teapot to all the tea enthusiasts.