How do you drink gongfu tea?

Gongfu tea, a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, is a highly refined and precise method of preparing and enjoying tea. It emphasizes on the appreciation of tea's subtle flavors and aromas, and promotes a sense of tranquility and mindfulness. If you're interested in experiencing gongfu tea, here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

1. **Prepare Your Teaware**

* Teapot: Choose a small, unglazed Yixing teapot. Over time, it will season with the tea, enhancing its flavor.
* Cups: Small, handle-less porcelain cups are traditional. They help concentrate the aroma.
* Tea tray: To catch any spills or drips.
* Tea scoop: For measuring tea.
* Kettle: For boiling water.
2. **Select Your Tea**

* Pu-erh tea is traditionally used in gongfu cha, but any high-quality loose-leaf tea works well. Oolong, black, and white teas are also excellent choices.
3. **Boil the Water**

* Use fresh, clean water. The ideal temperature depends on the tea type. Generally, it should be just below boiling for green and white teas, and fully boiling for black and oolong teas.
4. **Warm the Teapot and Cups**

* Pour some hot water into the teapot and cups, swirl it around, and discard. This warms them up, ensuring the tea maintains its temperature and flavor.
5. **Add the Tea**

* Use the scoop to add a generous amount of tea to the pot—usually filling about 1/3 to 1/2 of the pot's volume.
6. **Brew the Tea**

* Pour the hot water over the leaves slowly and gently. For the first infusion, pour just enough water to cover the leaves. Discard this initial "rinsing" infusion. It cleans the leaves and wakes them up.
* For subsequent infusions, fill the pot completely with hot water. Cover and steep for the appropriate time—this varies based on the tea type and your taste preferences.
7. **Pour and Enjoy**

* Slowly pour the tea from the pot into the cups, ensuring an even distribution of liquid and leaves. Appreciate the color, aroma, and taste of the tea as you sip.
8. **Multiple Infusions**

* Gongfu tea allows for multiple infusions, each revealing different layers of flavor. Experiment with infusion times and temperatures to find what you like best.

Remember, gongfu tea is about appreciation and mindfulness. Take your time, enjoy the process, and savor each sip.

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