What is Kung Fu Tea?

Have you come across this unique tea and found yourself wondering what is Kung Fu Tea? Kung Fu Tea is a stylistic method of preparing and serving tea. This traditional method of experiencing tea dates back to the 10th century.

Brewing process and apparatus of Chinese Kung Fu Tea - What Is Kung Fu Tea
Kung fu te is also known as gongfu cha

If you are a tea drinker, you might have heard of the art of kung fu tea. Of course, there’s the tea chain Kung Fu tea, which specializes in quality boba tea. However, is that based on a Chinese tradition, or did they just take the name from the martial art? 

Kung fu tea, or gongfu cha, is an ancient Chinese tradition dating to the 10th century. It involves a unique method of steeping and re-steeping the tea, preparing the cup, and including all the senses when drinking tea. 

True kung fu tea is only practiced by masters, although tea shops and connoisseurs worldwide aim for it. However, to achieve the knowledge of gongfu cha, you need years of experience, focus, and connection to the tea leaves. 

What is Kung Fu Tea? 

Kung Fu Tea is a solemn, practiced art of making tea in a certain way. The kung fu tea ceremony involves multiple times steeping the tea and heating the cups as well as the water. Kung fu tea is more than just a quick sip of tea–it is a spiritual practice, much like a martial art. 

In reality, the measure of kung fu tea is not in the brewing method or the master’s philosophy. Instead, it’s in the tea itself. If the tea doesn’t satisfy the drinker’s soul, it doesn’t meet the requirements. No matter how fancy the preparations were, the tea must be up to par, or it’s not kung fu tea. 

Some performers pour tea from teapots with incredibly long spouts. They perform martial arts moves and put on an impressive show while pouring tea, calling it kung fu tea. However, it’s only authentic kung fu tea if the proper care is taken while making the tea itself. 

Kung Fu and Kung Fu Tea

Kung fu, or gongfu, literally translates to “acquired skill.” Like many martial arts, kung fu is about more than just training the body to become a weapon. Kung fu has spiritual and mental aspects essential to learning martial art. 

Kung fu students learn not just martial arts, but also to use their strength to protect others and only when necessary. The moral and spiritual aspect of martial art is enormously important, especially when it comes to kung fu. 

Kung fu tea is all about connecting your inner soul

Kung fu tea is the same way. Instead of just focusing on making a great cup of tea, gongfu cha teaches the philosophy of soul-satisfying moments. The method of brewing, type of tea, and ceremony may shift a bit, but the underlying goal is the same: connect your inner soul to the tea-drinking experience

In both kung fu and kung fu tea, one of the main tenets is the focus. Focus on the action at hand, and that action will become spiritual, no matter how mundane it is.

Whether it’s a roundhouse kick or a cup of tea, the methodology of kung fu remains the same. The more you practice and focus on something, the better you will master it. 

The Kung Fu Tea Ceremony

With tea, it’s not just about tasting–all of your senses should be involved. The kung fu tea ceremony is a master-led ritual that involves all of your senses, including your spiritual awareness. 

In a kung fu tea ceremony, many masters start with incense to open your spiritual awareness and get more senses involved. As they brew and re-brew the tea, you will become calmer and ready to accept the spiritual gift of the gongfu cha. 

The cups are heated with water, making them one with the tea. Usually, kung fu tea is brewed multiple times at short intervals to get the most flavor out of the tea leaves without oversteeping them. Kung fu tea uses a more substantial amount of tea than regular brewing methods to get the strongest flavors possible. 

Like many Asian tea ceremonies, kung fu tea is served in several small, open cups. The tea may be poured into longer, smaller cups first so that the customer can smell the tea. It’s then poured into regular Chinese teacups for sipping and enjoying. 

Kung fu tea is serve in small, open cups

If a kung fu tea ceremony is performed well, you will leave feeling refreshed and soul-satisfied. The tea will have filled all of your senses with peace and delicious flavors, and you’ll be more aware of the spiritual side of tea: gongfu cha. 

If you enjoyed this article check out What Are the Best Teas to Drink in the Morning?


  • Cian Murray

    Cian Murray is an experienced writer and editor, who graduated from Cardiff University’s esteemed School of Journalism, Media and Culture. His work has been featured in both local and national media, and he has also produced content for multinational brands and agencies. Find Cian on muckrack.com.