Taiwan oolong tea is best prepared in a small Gong Fu style tea pot. Other brewing methods are possible, but the Gong Fu tea sets are ideal for fully appreciating the flavors and aromas of fine oolong tea.
Gong Fu teapots have traditionally been used for brewing oolong tea, but they can also be used for other types of tea such as black tea or green tea. However, each Gong Fu teapot should be used for just one kind of tea. If you use a teapot for oolong tea, don't prepare black tea in it.
Part of the esteem that Gong Fu teapots enjoy comes from the fact that these teapots take on the flavor of the tea. After years of use your tea pot will enhance your tea by imparting the accumulated flavors. It has been said it's like brewing tea in tea.
Seasoning A Gong Fu Teapot
The teapots on the Tea From Taiwan website can be used as is. They will gradually take on the desirable patina and flavors of a well-used gong fu teapot.
If you would like to speed up the process, follow these steps to season a new gong-fu teapot:
- Choose a pot which is holds enough water to cover your teapot plus any cups or other Gong Fu teaware which may be part of your set.
- Heat the water close to the boiling point, then turn off the heat.
- Gently lower the Gong Fu teaware into the hot water. A steamer basket is ideal for this purpose, and has the added benefit of creating a buffer between the teaware and the bottom of the pot.
- Put the lid on the pot and let it sit overnight or about 12 hours.
- Remove the tea pot and rinse it under the tap. Gently rub your fingers over the pot inside and out while rinsing to remove any dusty residue. No need to dry the teapot for the next step.
- Heat fresh water in the same pot to just below boiling. Turn the heat source off.
- Add oolong tea leaves to the hot water, then lower the teaware into the pot. Use about 5 grams of tea for an average-size gong fu teapot. The tea will steep and flavor the pot.
- Put the lid on the pot and again let it sit overnight or about 12 hours.
- Rinse the teapot and let air dry.
Caring For Your Gong Fu Teapot
Gong Fu teaware should never be washed in detergent. Simply rinse it with water after use. The teapot can be rubbed with a tea-soaked cloth after each use to develop a beautiful patina.
If you have several teapots in your collection, it's nice to display them in a dedicated cabinet. These cabinets are a common feature in Taiwan households.