After being introduced to tea prepared in the Gongfu method at my local tea shop, I was hooked. The method basically involves very small teapots, with a high ratio of tea to water. Brewing times are very short (perhaps only 30 seconds), but the leaves are brewed multiple times. Since the clay absorbs the flavor of the tea, you should have a different pot for each type of tea you plan to brew.
These teapots are difficult to locate, especially in appropriately small sizes. But find some I did. The teapots I bought, as small as they are (the smallest ones I could find), are actually on the large size for this kind of brewing – they’ll serve up to four people. Single-serving teapots of this type supposedly can be as small as a walnut. (!!) So how small are the ones I got?
Pretty small. This is the larger of the two – it holds 4.4 fluid oz (130 ml). The other one holds 3.5 oz. I wish I could find even smaller ones, but that’s probably not likely unless I go to Asia. By the way, I bought this one at Tea from Taiwan – they had great service. This teapot is no longer in stock, but they have a nearly identical one in a different color here.
I think I could definitely see myself with a whole collection of these cuties.
I almost asked my dad to look for some for me on his recent trip to China. But I didn’t think he’d really appreciate having to bring back pottery. And then ship it to me.
The best score of all was the great tea boat I found. The wood or bamboo trays that are often used in this type of preparation cost at least $100, and I really didn’t want to go to that expense. But I found this wonderful Xixing clay tea boat on sale here for only $8.99. It’s about 8.5″ across, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space, but is perfect for draining the excess water.