Kungfu tea (Kungfu cha), the
"espresso" of Chinese teas with a formidable kick, which was
first sipped back in the Song Dynasty (440гн479AD), is still flourishing
and remains an important part of social etiquette in Chaozhou. If you
visit a family, you can be sure of at least one round of Kungfu tea.
Kungfu tea, to which manual skill, high quality tea leaves and water as
well as appropriate temperature control are critical, brings out the best
that tea, especially the fermented Wulong tea, can offer.
It is a true art form to prepare the tea. Making basic Kungfu: first,
clean the teapot with boiling water to make better tea with a warm teapot.
Then fill in the teapot with a big handful of tea leaves, making sure
the leaves, after being soaked with hot water, will stick out the mouth
of the teapot. Next, pour boiling water into teapot. The water should
overflow so as to get rid of impure materials and foam, and to make mellow
tea. A few seconds later, the tea should be poured into cups, which are
usually arranged in a circle. The last step is to pour tea with a few
rounds of circular motions into each cup so as to make sure the tea in
all the cups is the same in terms of color and fragrance. To avoid creating
foam, the teapot should be held close to the teacups.
Though it tastes bitter when it first reaches your mouth, it is the lingering
aftertaste that makes Kungfu tea probably the most charming tea culture
in China. Drinking Kungfu tea is in fact a process of aesthetics rather
than a solution to thirst.
For ordinary people, after a long day of hard work, a round of Kungfu
tea offers refreshment and physical relief. This is one of the important
reasons why the tradition lives on. Some even use Kungfu tea to stimulate
their minds and seek inspiration, a much healthier method than relying
on caffeine or cigarettes.