Tea, Anyone?

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.

Gongfu teapots

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?

Gongfu teapot

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.

Yixing Tea Boat

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12 Responses to Tea, Anyone?

  1. Nora says:

    Huh. Who knew there was such a wide world beyond tea bags!!

  2. Carrie says:

    I suppose it’s a very western way of thinking to say that I don’t like walnut-sized servings of anything, even walnuts! I like my double ginormo venti bathtub sized caffeine preparation.

  3. Chris says:

    Those are really cute!

  4. elizabeth says:

    That sounds pretty involved, but I bet it’s worth it!

  5. margene says:

    You did go all out. I’ve dreamed of doing the same, but I think I’ll just bug you to make tea for me once in awhile. 😉

  6. Cher says:

    I found a tiny one on ebay. it’s only an unce. Here’s the link.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Yixing-ZISHA-Mini-Teapot-for-GongFu-Tea-30ml-30cc_W0QQitemZ380118860418QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item5880d98282&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A12%7C66%3A2%7C39%3A1%7C72%3A1205%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50
    I am a lover of tea and have a few of the tiny ones, but need to break them out of storage to see the ounces they hold.

  7. Amy says:

    I had no idea. That is very cool.

  8. Katheirne says:

    Very adorable. I bought my MIL one of those teapots a couple of years ago — found it somewhere or other online. I think I searched for it under a different name, though. So maybe it wasn’t the same thing? It was adorable, anyway.

    I think there was one at Spoons and Spice that I didn’t like the design of so much, if you want to check there. It wasn’t any smaller than yours, though.

    I don’t understand what the tea boat is for.

  9. Stacey says:

    Very cool! I love making tea. Maybe I should look into the art of it a little more.

  10. Cookie says:

    How cool! I love the idea of tea being an event vs something you make quickly and wander off with. I also love the fact that everything is so teensy. Much easier to collect without the fear of it taking over the house.

  11. Karen says:

    Loved reading about this. Strong tea in a little pot sounds very good! Very pretty to look at, too! Am enjoying your blog.

  12. Miss T says:

    Very cool. I’d love to try that.

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