The Starter Pack

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Discover Yunnan Teas and learn to brew tea gongfu-style with our starter pack. 

In this box, you will find included the basic tea hardware necessary for gongfu brewing and ten Yunnan tea samples. The whole wrapped in a bamboo box. This makes a great introduction to high-quality tea and a tasty gift.

 




Caution! This pack could be the beginning of a long tea journey. If you like these teas, you might find yourself in a couple of years surrounded by teapots and pu-erh tea cakes. Tea is a rich and deep subject, as soon as you're hooked, you'll want to learn more and more about tea culture, processing, the tea mountains and so on. You may even want to travel all over the world and visit tea plantations. The tea tree has a special requirement, it only grows in beautiful regions. 

 

Here is our current selection, each sample contains 20g, which is good for three gongfu sessions.

    The minimum tea set to brew tea Gongfu-style:

    • A 12 cl white porcelain Gaiwan
    • A tempered glass pitcher
    • Two white little porcelain cups

     

    More on Gongfu style brewing:

    The main characteristic of this method is to use a high leaf-to-water ratio. Basically, you'll use a high leaf to water ratio ( 5 to 8g per 10cl) and brew tea in a small teapot or a Gaiwan. Using very short brewing times, usually between five seconds and one minute, you will only extract a part of the leaf content. This allows you to brew the leaves many times, you can enjoy tea over five to twenty brews, depending on the desired tea strength and the leaf quality. 

    Gongfu, or Kung-Fu, is a Chinese word used to express a skill that is simple, but takes some time to master. This could be applied to martial arts, cooking, drawing Chinese characters, painting... or tea brewing!

    Indeed, this brewing method is simple: put the tea leaves in a gaiwan, pour hot water over them, wait for some time, empty the tea soup into the glass pitcher and pour into the cups. 

    Before brewing, it is recommended to rinse the leaves by making a very short steeping, 5 seconds should be enough. The rinse allows the leaves to open up a little bit and washes away  any potential dust that could have accumulated during tea processing and storage. You can pre-heat the pitcher and the cups with the rinse water; and then dump it.

    You can then smell the wet leaves, the gaiwan lid and the bottom of the cups, each should reveal some different fragrances. 

    Then, the real tasting session starts. Reheat the water in your kettle, wait for ten seconds after the boil, until the water has stopped making noise; you can now pour it slowly in the gaiwan. Don't fill it up too much, otherwise, you might find it difficult to pour the water out. 

    For the first brew, you can allow a longer steeping time, twenty seconds should be good. Empty the gaiwan into the pitcher, using the lid can be tricky at the beginning. Take the Gaiwan by the sides and keep your middle finger on the gaiwan lid; make sure there's an opening between the lid and the inside of the gaiwan, that will allow the tea soup to come out smoothly. 

    Now that the tea is in the pitcher, you can serve you and your guests, don't fill the cups too much so that fragrance comes out well and enjoy the tea. You can pay attention to the aromas, the mouthfeel, the texture of the soup, the bitterness and astringency, the feeling in the throat and the effect on your body. 

    For the subsequent brews, use a shorter time, the second and third brew should be almost immediate: pour in, put the lid on the gaiwan and pour out into the pitcher. After the fourth brew, you can start adding more time for each brew, as the tea weakens. The important is that you listen to your taste buds, adjust the brewing time according to what you feel. If the tea is too strong, reduce the brewing time, if it's too weak, give it more time...

    With the Gongfu method, you should be able to get at least five infusions, and up to twenty with the most endurant pu-erh teas! 

     


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