The Variety of Tea

From the series Tea & Stranger by Bibi Ukpo: A closer look at the Teas served at Stranger, the cultures surrounding them and the culture we are building here.

There are a variety of tea traditions from all over the world, ancient and modern, each with its own treasure of tools and rituals. Your own character and inclinations will determine which ones appeal to you and for me, my current favorite has become the Chinese method of Tea brewing which is called Gong Fu (or Kung Fu) meaning “to make with skill.”

The Gong Fu Tea ceremony involves the serving and preparation of loose leafed teas in a set of steps that are so simple yet intricate and beautiful that they are like a dance. The aim is to achieve the perfect cup of tea but the aim is also the process. There is a basic etiquette involved but once you have reached a certain level of practice it is adaptable to your own individual style.

The Gong fu Tea ceremony is a sensory experience involving sight, smell,taste, and even sound if you wish. The tools used are usually of clay, stone, bamboo or wood. The ingredients are fire, water and leaves. It is a connecting and immersive experience.

It is meant to be enjoyed. It is meant for joy.

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Other beautiful and simple tea traditions worth experiencing and tasting from include the Japanese Matcha, the South American Yerba Mate, the Turkish Çai (pronounced Chai) and the Senegalese Attaya.

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