Topic: Wuyi Chayi 27 Du (Wuyi Gongfu ceremony)

Gongfu tea brewing can be classified as of 4

Wuyi Gongfu Chayi 武夷工夫茶艺
Wuyi Bianshi(alternative-Gaiwan using) Gongfu Chayi 武夷变式工夫茶艺
Taiwan Gongfu Chayi 台湾工夫茶艺
Taiwan Bianshi Gongfu Chayi 台湾变式工夫茶艺

Among them, Wuyi Gongfu Chayi is a mixture of Song dynasty royal Chayi and Fujian & Guangdong Chayi

1. Gong Qing Shang Zuo 恭请上座 - Guest seats and host prepares Wuyi Yancha

2. Fen Xiang Jing Qi 焚分静气 - Burns incense and rules Qi. Makes peaceful and quite mood

3. Si Zhi He Ming 丝竹和鸣 - Plays the string or brass. Meaning it's good with music

4. Ye Jia Chou Bin 叶嘉酬宾 - Ye Jia implies Song poet Su Dongpo, tea leaves put in a bowl and shows to guests and explains

5. Yan Quan Chu Fei 岩泉初沸 - Boils water. Best if water from mountain

6. Meng Chen Mu Lin 孟臣沐淋 - Heats up a pot with hot water. 'Meng Chen' is a name of Yixing potter

7. Wu Long Ru Gong 乌龙入宫 - Inserts tea leaves into a pot

8. Xuan Hu Gao Chong 悬壶高冲 - Pours water into a pot from high

9. Chun Feng Fu Mian 春风拂面 - Gently pulls out the bubbles with a lid, as if spring breeze touches a face

10. Zhong Xi Xian Yan 重洗仙颜 - Pours water on the lid of pot, maintains the temperature

11. Ruo Chen Chu Yu 若琛出浴 - Heats up cups. 'Ruo Chen' was famous Jingdezhen porcelain potter, 'specially good at making small cups

12. Lu Ye Hui Hu 玉液回壶 - Pours tea water into another pot

13. Guan Gong Xun Cheng 关公巡城 - Fills cups in a row, like Guanyu from Romance of the Three Kingdoms petrols castles.

14. Han Xin Dian Bing 韩信点兵 - Finishes pouring to the last drip, like general Han Xin (devoted follower of Liu Bang from Han dynasty) roll-calls his soldiers. Because if brewing with water left-over, diminishes essence of Cha Yun Qi.

15. San Long Hu Ding 三龙护鼎 - Holds a cup with a thumb and index finger, middle finger supporting the bottom of cup. Like three dragons guard a kettle

16. Jian Shang San Se 鉴赏三色 - Appreciates the color of above, middle and below inside a cup

17. Xi Wen You Xiang 喜闻幽香 - Raises a cup and smells aroma

18 Chu Pin Qi Ming 初品奇茗 - Sips a cup lightly

19 Zai Zhen Liu Xia 再斟流霞 - Brews again. Liu Xia originally means liquor, but it looks like Liu Xia moving when pouring Wuyi Yancha, a metaphor for Wuyi Yancha

20 Pin Zhui Gan Lu 品畷甘露 - Concentrates on sipping like Gan Lu(jade-mist) water. Gan Lu here means Wuyi Yancha

21 San Zhen Shi Ru 三斟石乳 - Brews for the third time. Shi Ru was a tribute-Wuyi Yancha in Yuan dynasty

22 Ying Wu Yan Yun 領悟岩韵 - Feels Yan Yun(cliff feel) and be enlightened

23 Zi Zhen Man Yin 自斟漫饮 - Guests self-pour and drink

24 Jing Xian Cha Dian 敬献茶点 - Offers tea food to a guest

25 Xin Shang Cha Ge 欣赏茶歌 - Appreciates songs-and-dances

26 You Long Xi Shu i游龙戏水 - Puts a dried leaf of Wuyi Yancha in a cup and appreciates imagining as if a dragon is swimming in water. Is last stage of Chayi

27 Jin Bei Xie Cha 尽杯谢茶 - Finishes a cup while standing up and thanks each other

*wish I had jpg. to explain more carefully, this is not applied for everyday tea brewing of course. Letters used however, used when mentiong Gongfu brewing I think


Re: Wuyi Chayi 27 Du (Wuyi Gongfu ceremony)

There are lots of these ceremonies where they say four-syllable set phrases. Most of them seem to be pretty girls doing performances to help tea companies sell tea. I know the eight step one for TGY, and have seen the 13 step one. My favourite is the one described here:

It claims 36 steps, but only lists 23.

Maybe we should move this topic to the Cha Dao section?
chrl42 (or anyone else) do you know of anyone who uses these 'ceremonies' for private entertainment(of guests, friends), and not as a marketing tactic?


Re: Wuyi Chayi 27 Du (Wuyi Gongfu ceremony)

Interesting! I guess I never really knew that there were indeed formal ceremonial forms of gongfucha.

LaoChaGui wrote:

chrl42 (or anyone else) do you know of anyone who uses these 'ceremonies' for private entertainment(of guests, friends), and not as a marketing tactic?

I probably would if I knew more about them, does that count? :)

4 (edited by william 2008-11-09 19:34:09)

Re: Wuyi Chayi 27 Du (Wuyi Gongfu ceremony)

I've seen this ceremony translated before, but always seemed a little too poetic for me.

What about 潮州工夫茶 (Chaozhou gong fu cha)? There are a lot of different takes on it, and there isn't one authoritative one as far as I know.

I had a vendor show me his take on it recently. I guess it does benefit the vendor to show people how to make tea this way, because it burns through a lot of leaf very quickly. However, I do think making tea this way has improved my tea making, and my appreciation of making tea.

Here's my simplified explanation of the stuff I remember him telling me:
- Ideally, use a small kettle to bring the water to a boil quickly.
- As in Imen's post below, use a small flat tray for the cups, a tea boat or shallow dish for the pot (preferably with a flat cloth coaster underneath), and a waste water bowl
- The amounts of leaf are for a rolled leaf tea like tieguanyin. I think roasted tieguanyin is probably the usual choice, though I know chaozhou people like to prepare both yan cha and (of course) dan cong in a similar way. Not sure about amounts of leaf for those - presumably some crushed leaf and then 1:1.

* Warm cups, then teapot
* Place cups (ideally on a small tray) next to each other, and wash them.  You can wash 2 at a time in a third cup, by putting the mouths of the cups together.
* Crush 1/4 to 1/3 of dry leaf between the top and bottom part of the fingers on the dominant hand (i.e., right hand if you're right handed). This takes more strength than you'd think.
* Put crushed leaves into the teapot
* Tilt the pot towards the handle end and tap it, to force the crushed leaves a little towards the back.
* Put in the rest of the leaves on top, being pretty careful not to disturb things.
* Boil more water
* Fill the cups
* Pour water slowly, coming from outside the rim to make a circle around the inside slowly, ending up in the middle.
* Pour the cups over the teapot, 2 at a time if there are 4 cups (or 1 at a time if there are 2); seems like 4 is most traditional.
* Pour each teacup 1/4 full and then fill all the cups up in a circle. At the end, you can kind of forcefully push the pot down to get drips into the cups to even out the color and height.
* Pour cups over teapot for the rinse.
* Repeat filling cups, pouring water into teapot, pouring water from cups onto top of teapot, and pouring out the tea.
* Either move the cups out for the guests, or tell the guests to drink
* Repeat for 4 total infusions. If there are more than 4 guests, the cups can be re-washed in between infusions and then alternate who drinks. If you really want to make a 5th infusion, you can pour the water into the cups *after* filling the pot, then showering it (as a timing technique). The guy I spoke to said it's Ok to use the leaves afterwards, but transplant them to a bigger teapot.

Tim wrote up a similar ceremony a couple of years back:

And Imen has an explanation and pictures here: … style.html