Preparing for a Gongfu tea session and need to make sure you have all of the necessary tools? Gongfu style brewing is often misportrayed as a complicated and ceremonial endeavor involving dozens of tiny tea tools, when in reality all you need to successfully prepare Gongfu tea can usually be found around the house. In some cases, some quick fix substitutes can replace the more specialized tools. It is even possible to make Gongfu style tea with 3 basic household items. However you choose to make Gongfu tea, a quick run through this checklist of essential tea tools will ensure your session goes smoothly!
Gongfu Tea Tools
You will need a teapot or a gaiwan [small bowl with a lid] that is suitable for you or your group. If you are by yourself or with a friend, a smaller size is preferable, roughly 100 to 150 milliliters or 3 to 5 fluid ounces. If you are using a larger teapot, you can fill it partially and it will be easier to brew a smaller amount of tea.
Small cups are ideal for Gongfu style serving. In lieu of small cups, use any sized cup, mug, or glass and pour a small amount in each.
Often referred to as a gong dao bei, or shared serving pitcher, it is useful to be able to pour the tea from your brewing vessel into a shared serving pitcher and then distribute it to the other cups. Having a serving pitcher also allows you to stop the steeping process and time for the tea to be served and cooled before consumption.
- Tea Tray
Having a tray for your teapot, cups, and pitcher takes away worries of spillage and making a mess. If you don’t have a fancy tray, any number of typical household items will suffice. Serving platters are an ideal substitution, but even a large plate or towel will do the job.
- Tea and Boiling Water
Water and tea are obvious necessities, but it helps to make certain you have the correct amount of tea for your vessel and a way to heat and reheat water throughout the session. Keep the water kettle handy and bring an extra tea to steep, in case you exhaust your first tea.
Other Optional Implements
Having a filter is a great way to catch fragments of leaf and other undesirables when pouring from your teapot to your pitcher or cups. For pressed teas such as Puer tea, having a tea needle is an effective way to the break the compressed tea apart prior to brewing. Having a small towel by your side is the best way to mop up unforeseen spills.
If you have the first 5 items on our Gongfu tea brewing checklist, you will be able to prepare excellent Gongfu tea. If you need additional Gongfu tea tips, check out our article on how to brew Gongfu style tea. For more teaware to fill out your Gongfu tea set, check the White2tea teaware section.