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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chinese Tea Ceremony?

I prefer to make tea using the Gong Fu style. Many people see this when they came into the tea shop and have asked:" Are you doing a tea ceremony?"

Perhaps there is a Chinese Tea Ceremony that I am not aware of. I think Gong Fu Cha is one of many ways to brew tea and it's just the way that I prefer.

In Taiwan, one can see people brewing Oolong tea in a clay tea pot or Gaiwan in many places. The first time that I experienced Gong Fu Cha was at my cousin's house. Her father drinks Oolong every day. Every time he'd see me, he would always ask me if I would like a cup. I was about 8 years old at that time. Drinking tea at a young age is not an issue in Taiwan.

When I was in high school, I liked to go to a classmate's house to study. Her father would brew tea and would also ask me if I'd like to have some. I started to notice that there were different kinds of tea and they all tasted good to me.

Outside of big cities, you will see people brewing Gong Fu Cha in the house, underneath a big tree (it gets really hot in Taiwan), on the sidewalk, and in shops.

Nowadays in big cities, there are many tea houses that serve Gong Fu Cha. Friends will meet at tea houses and visit over pots of tea. The atmosphere is very relaxing and everybody is busy talking. And of course, there are tea snacks. The varieties of tea snacks are amazing: seasoned plums, toasted seeds, almond cakes, crackers, tea eggs, etc....

So what's my point here? One doesn't need to treat Gong Fu Cha as serious as a tea ceremony. Gong Fu Cha can be very quiet with one brewing tea and appreciating tea alone. Or Kong Fu Cha can be enjoyed with a group of people, drinking tea, talking, eating and having a good time.

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