Sunday, February 11, 2007

Gongfu Brewing Method

I'm certain that a few of you have no understanding to what is meant when I make reference to the Gongfu Method in my pu-erh reviews. Here are a couple of short videos that will elucidate the process for brewing ripe pu-erh

As you will see, the person washes the leaves twice which is common for ripe pu-erh. However, if she were making sheng, a single wash would have been sufficient. I use the Gongfu brewing method exclusively for pu-erh teas. I am sorry for the abrupt cut off after the second wash - the part which was omitted would have shown the person cycling through the cup washing once more and subequently dumping the "second wash" over the Yixing teapot.

The following clip show the person refilling the aroma cups and then inverting them in order to enjoy the fragrant nuances that will imanate from the cups as they cool. Listen closely to how she aerates the tea in her mouth. This technique really helps to separate the delicate flavors!

8 comments:

Mary R said...

Oh wow! This was certainly a very pleasant surprise to find this morning. I hadn't seen some of the techniques shown in this video before, like the way she rolls the aroma cups in the tasting cups during the wash and pours the wash between the tasting cups. Very neat.

And it was very good to hear a hearty slurp.

Bill said...

Awhh, thank Mary! I am glad you enjoyed it! I thought putting posting the vids would help people. :)

Salsero said...

I loved these two videos. Do you know why the teamaster rolls the cup edges in the hot liquids?

The slurp brings things back down to earth, but that's the way the experts taste, wine as well as tea. Atomize the liquid and get it well back in the mouth. I wind up choking!

Now I need to go brew something! BTW, I think you have a "shu" where you mean a "sheng" in the first paragraph. At least something there seems screwy, not sure what.

spacesamurai said...

Hey, I enjoyed the videos; thanks for posting them.

Bill said...

Hi Salsero,

As for you question, some immerse each cup into the "wash" in order to warm them a bit more than the ambient temperature. Furthermore, some suggest that “cup washing” is more conducive to providing a more fragrant experience as each cup will be eventually covered with tea essence.

Anonymous said...

i'm drink quite a lot of puerh, buying a lot of my teas in the guangdong region. with each vendor that i now purchase my teas from, they warn me to "rinse" my teas a minimum of 3 times before drinking. it's mainly because of the cleanliness of the processing techniques. just thought people would want to know.

Tea Escapade said...

I am very new to the world of puerh. Why the washing of the tea prior to drinking?

Bill said...

Hello Tea E. First and foremost, it is considered impolite not to rinse the tea before you serve it to guest. Secondly, pu-erh is still processed in the traditional way and therefore can be somewhat "dirty". It is just a precaution to rinse any possible molds or other things that may get in the way of tasting the tea. For a rule of thumb rinse all sheng once and shupu "cooked or ripe" twice. I hope this helps.. :)

Home Set Up

Tea should be simple. I typically brew gongfu except when I make a good English Breakfast. Zhuni pot is one that I dedicate to Chinese b...