Friday, November 30, 2007

Gongfu Tea a.k.a. Fist of Tea Cup

Ever wonder what gongfu tea has to do with gong fu, or kung fu, as it's commonly known? Is a practitioner of gongfu tea awesomely deadly? More important, if I search for a master, prove I'm worthy, and study gongfu tea, can I become totally wicked? Yeah... Maybe so. Let's check it out:

The answer is YES!!! If you study gongfu tea, you can be awesomely deadly, BUT... maybe only if you carelessly spill hot water on your guests and they get a severe scalding. And, you're thinking: "Is that it?" No, no, not to disappoint. There's more.

Actually, if you studied gongfu tea, scalding people shouldn't happen. In fact, the only person you might scald is yourself. See, you have to handle a gaiwan, which is a handless cup. And you can easily scald your fingers on it each time you brew tea. So it takes a lot of practice not to scald your fingers. Or, you can just desensitize your hands by continuously thrusting them into a wok of hot sand. (See, I just knew watching all those old kung fu movies wasn't a waste of time!)

But what about the tongue? That can get scalded too. What do I do? Yes, tongues frequently do get scalded by people whose qi is very weak. That's why we practice the secret tongue qigong every day so that we can drink our cup of tea at any temperature - even at 98 deg. C. Oops! I said too much about that already. I won't tell you anymore about this tongue qigong stuff. It's an ancient Chinese secret, anyway. Shhhh!

Yeah, you can be totally awesome if you learn gongfu tea. You can show people your awesome skills by brewing the most excellent cup of tea that anyone has ever had. And if people like your tea, then by default, they will have to like you. That means, if you happen to do some gongfu tea-ing for some girls, then they will like you. Bonus, dude! Gongfu tea is a major chick magnet! Forget about hanging around all those pumped-up muscle guys, hoping they can hook you up, just go make some tea! Dude, it's in the tea!

Now that you know that, are ya thinkin of gettin more serious into the gongfu tea? (Your answer: "Oh yeah, man, for sure"). Well, Grasshopper, let's take a deeper look:

The word gong fu (功夫) just means skill. Kung fu is a martial art that is learned through practice, training, and discipline. Gongfu tea is also an art that is learned through practice and training and discipline (read: dedication). It takes time to learn. Some people say, you can study tea for a lifetime and never finish learning.

Gongfu tea is the skilled preparation and serving of tea: the boiling of water, preparation of utensils, selection of tea, steeping the leaves, pouring the tea, serving the tea. These all require skill. And there's so much more to it. And, in fact, just like kung fu, there are a lot of cool moves to maneuver in gongfu tea. Some of the moves or forms, or whatever, are kind of reminiscent of Tai Chi.

Where in Japan did gongfu tea originate? What??!! It's not from Japan, man, it's from China! How come you guys always get China, Japan, and Korea mixed up? Chinese, Japanese and Koreans don't look anything alike. What's wrong with you? We live in a global village, a global economy, and we're world citizens now man, get with it. Don't be getting all 20th century on me now.

Ok, enough of that.

Gongfu tea originated in southern China. More specifically, Guangdong, Fujian, and Zhejiang provinces. In Guangdong, they practice the Chaozhou Style of Gongfu tea. Where exactly? In Chaozhou. Yeah.. I know your geography ain't too good. You shouldn't have skipped classes too much to go party it up in your youth. And you should have been watching PBS documentaries instead of music videos, metal head.

And, finally getting that out of my system...

Then, in Fujian, the whole province does gongfu tea. But over there, there are maybe 2 major schools: Anxi Style and Wuyi Style. Up in Zhejiang, they got gongfu tea, but I'm not sure what school. Oh, and there's Taiwan Style - they got them sniffing cups, but those Taiwan people claim they're not Chinese, so I won't go there. It gets too weird.

I know what you're thinking: "Wouldn't it look cool if they made a kung fu movie that had all these different styles of gong fu tea in it too?" Yeah... It would. That would be one kick-ass movie.

There, now you know about gongfu tea. Maybe you can try it out, and later show me some of your deadly moves!!

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1 comment:

Proinsias said...

There is also the cheapskate angle of gong-fu. Making even the nastiest tea strangely drinkable!

I can't say my wife has ever been worried I might be snapped up by another woman due to my awesome gong-fu. My awesome good looks maybe, but not my gong fu - maybe I should move eastwards.