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The Chinese Tea Ceremony In The 21st Century

What is Gong Fu Cha?

The Chinese tea ceremony AKA ‘gongfu cha’  is the traditional practice of brewing tea that involves the preparation and serving of tea with meticulous attention to detail. It emphasises the ART of tea-making, focusing on brewing high-quality loose-leaf teas such as oolong, green, and pu-erh teas. The ceremony involves specific steps including rinsing the tea leaves, steeping them multiple times in small teapots or gaiwans, and serving the tea in small cups to appreciate its aroma, flavour and texture. It’s not just about drinking tea but also about appreciating the aesthetics, culture, and mindfulness associated with the process.

Is there a place for the Chinese tea ceremony in our modern day?

Brewing up Chinese tea properly is an intricate procedure. Of course there is a reason for the method in the gong fu cha practice. To some it may seem long-winded and unnecessary, but really there is a very practical side to doing it. Warming of vessels, the first rinse, the appreciation of aroma, the precise timings of pour and long series of infusions are all in place to make the tea session as perfect as it could possibly be! It may seem daunting to a newcomer but really, it’s pretty simple once you understand the fundamentals. In this hectic, time hungry world we live in… is there a place for this historical art and appreciation?


Time or lack of it, is one of the challenges of our modern world. We are all so busy being productive! Evening time comes along and if you’re caffeine sensitive like me, you’re kinda stuffed if you get in a cheeky session after 5pm 😬. During the day we are all so busy but some studies show that unplugging for 30 minutes to an hour during the day will actually help increase your overall productivity over the course of a full day.

Taking breaks from work offers several benefits:

Increased productivity:

Breaks help to recharge your energy and focus, allowing you to return to your tasks with renewed vigor and concentration. Studies have shown that regular breaks can enhance overall productivity.

Improved mental well being:

Breaks provide an opportunity to step away from work-related stressors, reducing feelings of burnout and improving overall mental health. They allow you to relax and unwind, promoting a more positive mood and outlook.

Enhanced creativity:

Stepping away from your work can stimulate creativity by providing a mental breather and allowing your mind to wander. Breaks give you the chance to explore new ideas and perspectives, leading to increased innovation and problem-solving abilities.

Better decision-making:

Breaks give you the opportunity to step back and gain perspective on your work, leading to more thoughtful decision-making and problem-solving. By taking time to reflect, you can make more informed choices and avoid hasty or impulsive decisions.

If you’re lucky enough to be working from home the Chinese tea ceremony with all devices switched off will give you a window of peace and reflection that really we all crave for our well being. Unplug, relax and focus and if you’re inclined…meditate. It’s a wholesome experience that will do you the world of good. I’m not suggesting you get tea drunk on Gushu Puer tea doing your lunch break. Even a simple oolong will be fine. It’s a slowing down, the focus and practice of brewing that rests the mind and gives you momentum for the rest of the day.

Tea is for sharing:

I’ve said it many times before, we are generally quite lonely in our tea appreciation but tea is all about sharing! If you’ve got some friends over, don’t be shy, bust out the gaiwan and brew some tea with them! They will most likely be quite interested in what you’re doing and why. You may even get a new person in on our hobby!

So brewing tea gong fu style may take a little more time and effort compared to chucking a teabag in a mug and adding hot water but it’s in this practice that we can find its beauty!

I hope you enjoyed my little blog.

Oli 😊

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