Gongfu Cha is the name of the Chinese tea ceremony, an elegant way to serve and appreciate tea.
Gongfu, or Kung Fu, is a Chinese term that applies to every art practised with skill, associated with the word "cha" which means tea.
Gongfu cha expresses a style of serving tea according to specific rules, with graceful and precise movements.
This ceremony is current practice in tea houses, especially in Fujian and Taiwan. The tea used for this ceremony is the semi-fermented Oolong (or Wulong) tea, which is stronger than normal tea, and served in tiny cups.
The teapot used for Gongfu cha is made of purple clay, a special earthenware from Yixing, in Kiangsu Province, and both tea and water must be of the highest quality.
The tea maker washes the cups, the teapot and every object in and out on a wooden tray. Then he fills the teapot with half of the tea leaves; he pours the water on the tea leaves and discards the first infusion. This step is called "rinsing the leaves".
The tea maker repeats a second infusion, pouring hot water over tea leaves already softened and then sipping religiously.
He repeated from four to six infusions of the same tea leaves because each one could be different from the others.
Connoisseurs assure they prefer the second and third because of their more equilibrium.