25 August 2008

Office Gong Fu

Tea at my officeI drink tea daily, different kinds at different places. If circumstances prevent me from drinking good tea I drink not-so-good teas, but at most cases I’m trying to drink the best tea possible prepared in the way it should be prepared.

I especially like the tea prepared in gong fu style – it calms me down and tunes me in to enjoy the tea. Since at office I have neither the required staidness nor the tea equipment I need, I developed my “gong fu light” tea ceremony.

All I need is a thermos, a yixing teapot and a teacup large enough to hold the whole capacity of yixing. The preparation is easy:

  • Fill the thermos with boiling water. It actually cools down a bit, so the water temperature should be 85-95 Celsius.
  • Pour the water on the tea leaves, wait 10 seconds and spill the tea into the teacup.
  • Repeat step two.

That way I can enjoy some rather good oolongs in my office without troubling myself too much.


~ Phyll said...

I need to set up mine in my office. Something simple, so that others won't think of me too weirdly. :)

Tuo Cha Tea said...

Don't worry, you will get used to that puzzled look.

Just few notes:

- tea, when spilled over the notebook makes a perfect cleaning agent
- colleagues are OK, the really weird look will be seen on faces of random visitors
- do NOT allow strong detergents to be used on your tea equipment by over-enthusiastic char

sw said...

Hi. I was really happy to read your post regarding Gong Fu tea in office as I am doing my final year project regarding teaware in office context. Do you mind I interview you? just to ask you a few questions. It's because I need to know the user behavior of making chinese tea in office in order for me to design a tea set which is best to use in office. This is my email add: koaysiwei@hotmail.com, if you don't mind, can we discuss further through email? thanks a lot! looking forward for your reply! :)

jackbishop said...

I stumbled across this while seeking further information on gongfu brewing. I too have a very simplified gongfu setup in my office: I have a large ceramic teapot for my English and Indian teas, but I also love Taiwanese wulongs and find my tiny clay pot (not technically a Yixing, but serving the same purpose) absolutely essential for capturing their character. Despite the excellence of the full ceremony and the convenience of a tray with a catchbasin, I've found that a pot of the right size is really all that's absolutely necessary (and a few towels -- even simplified and abbreviated, there's a fair bit of spillage).

My tea-making is fueled by a water boiler with temperature-control (set to 195 degrees) rather than a thermos, which is the only modification I'd recommend to your otherwise excellent process.