AT THE BAR
Will there be food served during the tea session [ceremony]?
We do not serve food during the tea sessions [ceremonies], since food can alter your perception of the flavors within the tea. However, we do recommend for you to eat before joining us for a tea session [ceremony].
Do I need Chinese teaware to brew Chinese tea?
Nope! Although we would love for you to practice brewing tea using traditional Chinese methods, you can enjoy our teas using various brewing methods.
What is tea drunk?
Tea drunk is both the brand of tea that you can find at The Tea Bar and a "tipsy-like" feeling that you can experience after drinking tea.
How to do I brew gong fu cha style?
Here's the quick and dirty reference for brewing quality white, red, oolong, and black Chinese teas using a gaiwan:
Step 1: Heat water to desired temp (95-97 C is a great place to start for these teas).
Step 2. Cut open your tea packet in half moon shape, so we have a nice funnel to pour the leaves into the cha he (which is the tea presentation vessel).
Step 3. Pour tea leaves into cha he.
Step 4. Investigate tea leaves (look for consistency or homogeny in color, shape, & size of tea leaves).
Step 5. Warm vessels with hot water.
Step 6. Pour excess water onto tea pet or another vessel for excess liquids.
Step 7. Pour tea leaves from cha he into gaiwan.
Step 8. Smell aroma activated by the heat of the warmed vessel.
Step 9. Pour hot water into gaiwan (remember to go around the rim from a height to get those bubbles).
Step 10. Steep for 1 second (this is your rinse, to do with as you choose but generally not something to drink).
Step 10. Steep 3-5 seconds for first five brews (extend steeping time according to taste for additional brews).
Step 11. Pour brewed tea from gaiwan into gong dao bei (not required if you're alone and your drinking vessel is as large as your gaiwan).
Step 12. Smell gaiwan lid. Place lid to the side of the gaiwan.
Step 14. Pour tea to serve (into pin ming bei if you have one).
Step 15: Drink to discover and enjoy!
Do you have any tips for brewing gong fu cha style?
"High water, low tea" - a Chinese phrase meaning water should be poured from a height into the brewing vessel, but tea should be poured gently and close to the serving vessel or teacup.
Only pour hot water high enough that splashes do not occur.
For brewing with a gaiwan, pour the hot water around the curve of the gaiwan and not directly on the tea leaves in the middle.
Do not shake the last bit of tea from the gaiwan or gongdao bei to avoid adding tannic notes to the tea.
Create a water seal with teapot or gaiwan before pouring tea.
When you place the lid on the gaiwan, water should cover the rim of the lid to create a water tight seal. However, be careful not to pour too much water or the edge of the gaiwan will be too hot to touch.
You should feel a slight resistance before pushing the gaiwan lid back to create an opening to pour the tea.
Pour water to the top of the teapot before placing the lid. Once the lid has been added to the teapot, pour water over the teapot to encourage a water tight seal.
Kneel your index finger before placing your thumb and middle finger on opposite sides of the gaiwan rim in order to securely pick up the gaiwan to pour the tea.
Practice, practice, practice.