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Enjoying Tea Gong Fu Style, Without a Yixing Pot

Oolong are best enjoyed Gong Fu style, but you can achieve similar results without the Yixing (purple clay) pot.

The thinking behind Gong Fu style is "pushing" out the flavor rather than "pulling" out the flavor, because when you "push" it out, the flavor is usually richer. But this requires that you know the teas because if you "push" too hard, that is, let it steep too long, you're allowing the multilayered flavor to mix and you'll miss out on all the subtleties and complexities of the tea.

Making a tea Gong Fu style basically means putting a large amount of tea in a small teapot or cup, using hot boiling water, and making a very, very short steep -- 5 to 10 seconds. So, take a small (4- to 8-ounce) teapot or covered cup, fill with leaves to about a third -- yes, a third -- use good water that has just boiled, give yourself one good long blink, then pour. Enjoy, and repeat as many times as you feel you can push out more flavor. At which point, remove the top layer of leaves, shake the pot, bring up the leaves that have been held back, and go at it again.


Gaiwan Brewing Guide

 

White Tea

Green Tea

Less-Oxidized Oolong Tea

Oxidized Oolong Tea

 Black Tea

Pu-erh Tea

Leaf
Quantity

One half of a gaiwan One quarter of a gaiwan One third of a gaiwan or a Yixing teapot One half of a gaiwan or a Yixing teapot One quarter of a gaiwan One third of a gaiwan or a Yixing teapot

Water Temperature

180 degrees F 170 to 185 degrees F 180 to 210 degrees F 190 to 210 degrees F 210 degrees F, near boiling  212 degrees F, full, rolling boil

Infusion Time

30 seconds; add 5 seconds to subsequent infusions 30 seconds; add 5 seconds to subsequent infusions 30 seconds; add 5 seconds to subsequent infusions 30 seconds; add 5 seconds to subsequent infusions 30 seconds; add 5 seconds to subsequent infusions After rinsing once infuse 30 seconds; add 5 seconds to subsequent infusions

Examples

Yinzhen Silver Needle, White Peony Dragon Well, Sencha Wen Shan Bao ChongTieguanyin

Oriental
Beauty
, Twelve Trees Oolong

Keemun, Darjeeling, Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tuocha, Beencha




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