|Not only are there different types of tea, but different ways to brew it.|
Gongfu tea adds another element to your tea experience. Tossing a tea bag into a cup of water doesn't always cut it. This Chinese art of brewing involves attention to detail, much practice and even a bit of spiritual pleasure.
This method of brewing became popular in China during the Ming dynasty (around 400 years ago). It was also during this time that the craftsmen from Yixing began producing their wonderful teapots. Yixing pots are best for Gongfu, because of the porous clay they are made from.
The fundamental difference between Gongfu brewing and 'regular' brewing is the ratio between the amount of tea and the length of the steep. Gongfu uses more tea, but you infuse for a very short time. Regular brewing uses a smaller quantity, and you usually steep for several minutes.
This is just the basic outline of how to brew in this style. There can be extensive ceremony surrounding the making of tea in the Gongfu style. Chinese tea ceremonies are similar to the more familiar Japanese ones, but the Chinese focus on the tea itself more than the elaborate rituals of the Japanese ceremony.
So, if you're looking for a different twist to your tea, but can't get out and buy something new, try this ancient brewing style for a unique experience.