Gongfu Tea Guide – Gong Fu Tea Sets, Ceremony, Brewing

The Gongfu tea brewing method is a preparation process that produces the best quality tea possible from dry tea leaves.

In this article, we will discuss what gongfu tea is about, the teaware required to properly prepare it, how to process the tea, and finally, review a few of the teaware items.

What Is Gong Fu Cha?

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Gong Fu Cha is also referred to as the Chinese tea ceremony which may appear complicated at first, but is, in reality, not a formal ceremony. The words gong fu cha translates to mean “right effort” (gongfu) and “tea” (cha) which essentially means that gong fu cha is the process of putting in the effort to produce the best flavor from the tea. When done correctly, the cup of tea that results is equivalent to something Western coffee drinkers would consider an espresso.

The brewing process requires the use of a small vessel with the tea steeped in concentrated quantities and water is added to the same leaves several times. This results in different flavors in each following infusion.

The exercise provides tea drinkers with a way to observe the changes in flavor and appreciate the quality of each infusion. Gongfu cha also maximizes how much tea can be produced from each serving of leaves.

Gong Tea Set Teaware – What You’ll Need

To perform the traditional brewing method, there are a few pieces of teaware required.

A basic gong fu tea setup requires six items, the teapot, a server, teacups, a tea tray, a kettle, and a scoop.

Optional teaware includes tongs, a towel, scale, trivets, and strainer.

The purpose of each primary piece is explained below…

Teapot (or Gaiwan)

The teapot, or Gaiwan, for this ceremony, is very small. It typically holds no more than 8 ounces of water.

Tea Server

After a set amount of time has passed, the tea (not including the leaves) is emptied into the tea server. Since the tea leaves are not in the server, this prevents the leaves from continuing to brew between cups. The idea here is to end up with an even brew in each cup.

Tea Cups

The teacups used in Gong Fu Cha are also small. The purpose of this is to make the tea drinker focus on the flavor of each sip.

Tea Tray

There is a lot of extra water used in gong fu cha to rinse the teaware and to keep it warm. A tea tray with a drainage outlet or a storage reservoir keeps this excess water from both the brewing area and the table underneath.


The kettle is one of the most important elements of the Chinese tea ceremony as it produces the hot water necessary to brew the tea.


A scoop is an effective tool in measuring the tea leaves before the start of gong fu brewing.

Gong Tea Ceremony Steps

There are a few simple steps to the gong tea ceremony. This is a breakdown of the process step-by-step…

Step 1 – Heat Water

The type of tea to brew will determine the temperature required. Dark teas need hotter water than is needed with green and white teas.

Step 2 – Measure The Amount of Tea Leaves

Either by using a measuring spoon or a scale, measure the exact amount of tea leaves for the specific type of tea to be brewed.

Step 3 – Rinse Teaware

Place the gongfu teapot, server, and cups on the tea tray. Full the teapot with hot water, and then fill the server. Pour water from the server into the teacups and then empty the teacups onto the tea tray. Use a pair of tongs to hold the teacups while they are rinsed to keep the cups clean and your fingers from getting burned.

Step 4 – Add Tea Leaves

Put the measured amount of dry tea leaves into the warmed gong teapot or gaiwan.

Step 5 – Add Water

Pour the pre-heated water over the tea leaves and put the lid back on the vessel to trap the heat inside.

Step 6 – Steep

Allow the tea leaves to steep in the hot water for as long as is recommended for the type of tea being brewed.

Step 7 – Pour And Enjoy

Pour the steeped gong fu tea into teacups and sip to enjoy.

Gong Tea Sets & Accessories

Here are some Gongfu tea sets and accessories to use for your own Gongfu tea ceremony…

Bamboo GongFu Serving Tray

Bamboo GongFu Serving Tray
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The size of this gongfu tea table is perfect as it won’t take up much space but is handy when you need to use it. It stands 2.75-inches tall, is 12-inches wide, and 21-inches long.

The tray is perfect for your tea set and tea server (must be purchased separately). It is made of quality bamboo, so you know it will last.

ZHAMS Kungfu Chinese Long Quan Celadon Teacups

ZHAMS Kungfu Chinese Long Quan Celadon Teacups
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This set of six ceramic teacups feature exquisite handiwork and are decorated to display the growth process of the lotus. Each one represents a season, then all seasons, and comes complete with a butterfly embroidery pendant.

Each cup has a 100-milliliter capacity.

Chinese Yixing Genuine Heijingan Teapot

Chinese Yixing Genuine Heijingan Teapot
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Made of Yixing clay in black jinxing sand color, this 200-milliliter gong fu teapot has a ball filter and natural look that will enhance your gong fu tea ceremony. The teapot features a secure rope, and a link in the pot to keep the lid securely in place.

Ceramic Portable Travel Kungfu Tea Set

Ceramic Portable Travel Kungfu Tea Set
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This ceramic Kungfu tea set comes complete with all you need for your Chinese tea ceremony. It includes a teapot, 4 teacups, a tea tray, tea canister, tea towel, tea clip, and a travel bag so that wherever you go, you will always be able to serve gong fu tea.

Ecomojiware Handmade Traditional Kungfu Tea Set

Ecomojiware Handmade Traditional Kungfu Tea Set
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Made of handmade porcelain, this complete gong fu tea set includes all the components required for the gongfu tea ceremony. The package includes a teapot, server, tray, six teacups, a towel, tongs, and more.

This is a well-made, traditional, and durable tea set.

Music City Tea Yixing Gongfu Tea Set

Music City Tea Yixing Gongfu Tea Set
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This is a large gongfu tea set that includes a total of 29 different pieces. The set contains a Yixing teapot, gaiwan, serving pitcher, 10 tasting cups, 5 fragrance cups, a tea towel, gongfu tea table, and more to ensure that you can properly make gongfu tea.

Complete Kungfu Tea Set

Complete Kungfu Tea Set
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This is probably one of the most impressive gongfu tea sets you will encounter. It comes with a solid wood tea tray with drainage storage, Chinese tea tools, an automatic water heater, teacups, and much more. This is the most complete tea set you will need.


The Gongfu tea ceremony is steeped in tradition. To make the perfect cup of tea, it takes the right tools and a simple, but direct process to follow.

Once you adopt the principles used in Gongfu tea, you will never go back to the way you used to make it. This is simply because the Chinese tea ceremony is built upon the concept of creating the best tasting tea possible with the tea leaves being used. If you have not tried Gongfu tea brewing, it is an experience worth trying.

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