Preparing & Drinking Tea
There are too many different ways of preparing and drinking tea to describe them all so listed below are the four main types you are likely to experience in your travels. They are Kung Fu tea, pouring tea into a Gawain (Chinese tea cup), boiling the tea in a kettle and adding boiling water to tea.
Kung Fu Tea – A more elaborate way of preparing and drinking tea that is for serious tea drinkers who have spare time on their hands. Hot water is boiled, poured into a tea pot and tea is added. The pot normally holds just enough tea for one round. After a few minutes the first pot of tea is used to carefully rinse the tea cups. The process is repeated and the second pot is used for drinking. Good for Oolong tea but not for green tea. You can often see Kung Fu tea sets in peoples homes and offices.
Using A Gaiwan – Gaiwan in Chinese means a bowl with a lid and it is basically a cup with a lid that rests on a saucer. Tea is normally added to the Gaiwan then boiling water is poured onto the tea, the lid placed on top and you are ready to drink. Most common in southern China and ideal for drinking green tea or flower tea.
Using a Kettle – This method is frowned upon by tea snobs and mainly used by the working class and some of China’s minorities. You add compressed tea to the kettle, boil and pour.
Add Boiling Water to Tea – This method is a little like Kung Fu tea but much less troublesome. You boil water in a normal kettle then pour the hot water into a tea pot that contains tea. After the tea has settled for a few minutes, you pour it into any type of glass or porcelain cup and drink it. Good for low quality teas and busy occasions when you don’t have time to go through the elaborate rituals of Kung Fu tea.