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The Best Teas for Gong Fu

In our last post, we discussed how brewing tea Gong Fu style can bring out the best experience from the leaves. But what teas are best suited for this enchanting technique?

Every region that grows tea, and every culture that drinks tea, develops their own style and methods of brewing - this is Tea Culture. As a result, the farmers and tea producers cultivate, pluck, and process the leaves in ways that optimize that experience. Tea grown in Turkey, for example, is produced with their signature “double boiler” tea brewing in mind, and may not benefit from Gong Fu style brewing, while tea grown in Japan would be a poor fit for Indian style Chai, and so on.

At Callisto, we keep a number of teas that express themselves most fully with Gong Fu techniques. All of these teas can hold up to 7+ brews:

Snow Mountain tea leaves with a blue clay pot

Snow Mountain: a ‘raw’ (sheng) pu-erh, or ‘Dark Tea’, from the Da Xue Shan national reserve in Yunnan, China. These long and wiry leaves were picked in 2012 and aged over 10 years. The pristine environs of the national reserve impart a honey-sweetness and flowery aroma over the minerality typical of raw pu-erh.

Water Fairy tea leaves with a yellow clay pot

Water Fairy: shui xian oolong, a roasted tea from the famous Wuyi mountains in Fujian, China. In the early brews, the roast is strongest, coming through with caramel and vanilla notes, before yielding to more floral undertones.

Diamond Cutter tea leaves with an iridescent clay pot

Diamond Cutter: our most talked about tea, a rare Yellow Tea from Zhejiang, China. Yellow Tea is differentiated from Green Tea by an extra processing step where the leaves, still warm from pan firing, are wrapped in paper bundles. This ‘stewing’ of the leaves mellows out the grassy notes common to Green Tea.

Heavenly Sips tea leaves with an orange pumpkin-shaped clay pot

Heavenly Sips: A rare and prized tea, Tian Jian Fu Cha, is a fermented ‘Dark Tea’ from Shaanxi, China. The characteristic ‘golden flower’ of Fu Cha layers an orchid nectar sweetness over the rainforest aroma. The ‘gold thread’ tea described in the classic novel “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” was based on this tea. This is a tea that will linger long after the last sip.

We have been known, on occasion, to offer special teas from our private collection for Gong Fu service as well. Ask what we have available...


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