Gongfu Cha

Gongfu Cha Tea Set: Components and Proper Usage

15 mins read

As a tea enthusiast, you appreciate the time-honored traditions and rituals of tea culture. You understand that the vessels used for brewing and serving tea are just as important as the leaves themselves. This is especially true when it comes to Genuine Gongfu Tea Set for Kung Fu Tea, a Chinese tea ceremony focused on savoring tea’s complex flavors. In your exploration of gongfu cha, you may have acquired or considered acquiring a traditional gongfu cha tea set. This set’s numerous small vessels allow for intricate tea brewing methods designed to coax the best from the leaves. To use your gongfu cha tea set properly and enjoy it to the fullest, you must understand the role of each component. This article will provide an overview of the pieces included in a gongfu cha set and explain the benefits this set offers for preparing and drinking tea.

What Is a Gongfu Cha Tea Set?


A Gongfu Cha tea set consists of several components designed specifically for making Chinese tea. The main components are:

  • Yixing clay teapot: Made from Yixing clay, which helps distribute heat and enhances the flavor of the tea.
  • Fairness pitcher: Used to pour tea from the teapot into cups. It helps mix the tea and prevents over-steeping.
  • Tea cups: Small cups, usually without handles, to appreciate the tea’s aroma and flavor.
  • Tea tray: Collects any spilled tea and water. It is often intricately decorated.
  • Tea tongs: Used to handle dry tea leaves.
  • Tea boat: Holds the dry tea leaves.
  • Water vessel: Boils the water used for steeping the tea.


A Gongfu Cha tea set provides many benefits for brewing and enjoying Chinese tea:

The small size of the teapot and cups allows for precise control of steeping parameters to bring out the tea’s unique character. The Yixing clay absorbs oils from the tea over time and imparts a subtle flavor to each new batch of tea. The fairness pitcher and small cups allow you to appreciate the tea’s changing aroma and flavor with each infusion. The intricacy of the set also creates an artistic ambiance for a traditional tea ceremony.

Using a traditional Gongfu Cha tea set is a sensory experience that allows for a deep appreciation of fine Chinese tea. The set gives you precise control over the complex brewing process so you can create a perfect cup of tea. If you seek to explore the diversity of flavors that Chinese tea has to offer, a Gongfu Cha tea set is an ideal place to start your journey.

Components of a Gongfu Cha Tea Set

A traditional Gongfu Cha tea set is comprised of several specialized components designed to facilitate the intricate Gongfu tea preparation ritual. ###The Teapot The most distinctive component is the Yixing clay teapot. Made from special clay found in the Yixing region of China, these teapots are prized for their ability to retain heat and enhance the flavor of the tea over time and multiple uses. The teapot has a wide opening to allow tea leaves to open fully during steeping and a filter to prevent leaves from entering the cup.

The Tea Cups

Small cups, typically containing just a few ounces of liquid, are used to appreciate the color and aroma of the tea. The cups do not have handles, allowing for the warmth to permeate the hands. ###The Gaiwan A gaiwan is a covered cup used in place of a teapot to steep the leaves. The lid traps heat and moisture to intensify the steeping process. ###The Tea Boat A tea boat, sometimes called a tea tray, is a platter-like tray that catches excess water and provides a base for the other components. Some tea boats have built-in drains while others require emptying after use.

Other Tools

Other useful tools in a Gongfu set include a tea pick for scooping loose leaves, a tea funnel for transferring leaves to the teapot, a tea strainer or filter, and a tea paddle for stirring and scooping leaves. Using a traditional Gongfu Cha tea set provides a ritualistic experience that helps one focus on the art of tea and fosters patience and mindfulness. The time taken to properly prepare the tea encourages savoring the flavor, aroma, and experience of drinking the tea.

How to Use a Gongfu Cha Tea Set

Selecting the Tea Leaves

When preparing to use a gongfu cha tea set, choose high-quality loose leaf tea leaves that are suitable for multiple short infusions, such as oolong or pu’erh tea. The tea leaves should be whole, intact leaves that will unfurl slowly during the infusion process. Avoid tea bags, as they do not allow the leaves to unfurl properly and release their full flavor.

Heating the Water

Bring spring or filtered water to the proper temperature for your selected tea leaves. Oolong and pu’erh teas are best with water between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Never use boiling water, as it can scorch the leaves. An electric kettle with temperature control is ideal for this purpose.

Rinsing the Teapot

Rinse the teapot with hot water to preheat it. Discard the water and add the proper amount of tea leaves to the pot, usually 3 to 5 grams per 4 ounce serving.

Steeping the First Infusion

Add the heated water to the teapot and infuse the leaves for 30 to 60 seconds. The first infusion is usually the shortest. Pour the tea into serving cups and enjoy.

Subsequent Infusions

For the second and subsequent infusions, add more heated water to the teapot and infuse the leaves for slightly longer each time, usually increasing by an additional 30 to 60 seconds per infusion. You can typically enjoy 5 to 7 infusions from the same tea leaves before they become depleted of flavor. With each infusion, the flavor of the tea leaves becomes more complex and mellow.

Additional Tips

• Do not overcrowd the teapot with too many tea leaves, or the water will not circulate properly. • Rinse and air dry the tea set after use to prevent the growth of bacteria. • Do not over-infuse the tea leaves or it can become bitter. Infusion times depend on the type of tea and personal taste. • You can adjust the water temperature and infusion times to suit your own preferences. Enjoy experimenting!

Following these steps will allow you to properly prepare and enjoy tea using a traditional gongfu cha tea set. Appreciate the tranquil, meditative process of savoring the subtle flavors that unfold with each infusion.

Benefits of Brewing Tea Gongfu Style

The traditional Chinese method of brewing tea known as gongfu cha offers several advantages over typical Western-style tea preparation. When following the gongfu cha technique, whole leaf teas are infused in a small teapot known as a gaiwan or Yixing clay teapot, using a higher tea to water ratio.

Enhanced Flavor

The gongfu method allows the tea leaves to fully unfurl, releasing their aroma and flavor compounds. The concentrated infusion results in a liquor with intensified flavor and fragrance. Subtle notes in the tea become more prominent. The multi-steep process also creates an evolving flavor profile with each infusion.

Health Benefits

Gongfu cha brewing is ideal for extracting the beneficial compounds in tea like polyphenols and catechins. The longer infusion time and higher temperature means more of these antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds are released into the liquor. The multiple infusions mean you ingest a higher quantity of these beneficial compounds compared to Western-style brewing.

Meditative Practice

The gongfu ritual, with its precise steps and focus on the present moment, has a meditative quality. As you carefully pour the hot water, appreciate the aroma of the leaves opening, and savor each infusion, your mind becomes focused and still. This can help induce a relaxed state and even a zen-like awareness of the simple pleasures in life.


A wide range of teas can be prepared gongfu-style, from green teas to pu’erhs. The key is using a higher amount of whole leaf tea relative to the volume of water. Almost any full leaf Chinese tea can be brewed gongfu cha style. This versatility allows you to discover many of the distinct tea types within the broad categories of green, oolong, black and pu’erh teas.

In summary, gongfu cha brewing enhances the flavor and health benefits of tea while also providing an opportunity for a meditative ritual. If you seek to deepen your exploration of tea, adopting the gongfu method is well worth the investment in time and patience required to master this art form. The rewards are a tea experience quite unlike any other.

Gongfu Cha Tea Set FAQs

A gongfu cha tea set is traditionally used for brewing and serving Chinese teas with intricate preparation rituals. It differs from a regular tea set in both design and function. The gongfu cha set includes several specialized pieces for measuring, steeping, and serving tea.

What are the components of a gongfu cha tea set?

The typical gongfu cha tea set includes a steeping pot called a gaiwan, drinking cups, a tea boat or tray, a pitcher, tongs, and a strainer. The gaiwan is a lidded bowl used for steeping tea leaves. The cups are small, holding just a few ounces of tea, meant for appreciating the tea’s aroma and flavor. The tea boat collects any drips and provides a base for the gaiwan and cups. The pitcher is used for decanting and serving the tea from the gaiwan into the cups. Tongs allow you to handle and serve tea leaves without burning your fingers. A strainer separates tea leaves from the liquid when decanting.

What are the benefits of using a gongfu cha set?

A gongfu cha tea set is ideal for preparing and savoring high-quality loose leaf teas. The small portions allow you to fully experience the tea’s nuanced flavors, aromas, and mouthfeel. The gaiwan’s porous clay material helps regulate the water temperature, preventing overheating. The shape of the gaiwan and cups helps concentrate the tea’s aroma. The set encourages a slow, meditative approach to tea drinking. Using a gongfu cha set is a ritualistic experience for true tea connoisseurs.

How do you properly use a gongfu cha tea set?

To use a gongfu cha set, first rinse the gaiwan and cups with hot water to warm them. Add loose leaf tea to the gaiwan. Pour in heated water and cover with the lid. Steep the tea for 10-30 seconds and pour into the pitcher, straining out the leaves. Pour the tea from the pitcher into each cup. Serve and enjoy, appreciating the aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel of the tea. Continue adding water to the gaiwan with the same tea leaves for multiple infusions. The key is using the proper amount of tea and short steeping times, adjusting to your taste. With practice, you will master the art of gongfu cha tea preparation.


In closing, using a gongfu cha tea set can greatly enhance your tea drinking experience. With its numerous specialized pieces, this elegant set allows you to fully appreciate the aromas, flavors, and textures of fine teas. Taking the time to prepare and sip tea gongfu style enables you to slow down and mindfully focus on the present moment. The meditative ritual of gongfu cha gives you a peaceful oasis from the rush of daily life. Investing in a proper gongfu cha tea set equips you to unlock the wonders of Chinese tea culture in your own home.

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