Tuesday, June 16, 2020

If Grandpa Steeping Requires Skill, then is it Gongfu?

These days at work I’m going lots of Grandpa Style. 

I know I’m getting older but I’m not even close to being a grandpa and I generally despise the notion of anything but gongfu.  But these days are busy days burdened by complex sanitation procedures and under layers of personal protective equipment gong fu no longer makes sense on my busiest days.  There is also just the fact that repeatedly touching the small cups and having the tea exposed to others in the office and having to hand wash everytime I go back to the tea table is not as hygienic or is just too much of a hassle.  Some days I start gong fu then just dump the leaf from the teapot into a mug when things are getting predictably busy.  I generally think grandpa style is lazy and doesn't put me into a meditative state... but here I am. 

One thing I noticed about going to grandpa style is that it is harder to hide or steep around flaws in some of the puerh I have.  This is especially true for particularly rougher semi-aged cheaper factory puerh that is my guilty pleasure at work.  You can control things a bit with mug steeping by leafing lighter or stronger, the frequency of adding more water, temperature or how much cooler liquid is left in the mug before adding hot water.  Even choosing different clay mugs and the shape of the mug seems to influence the outcome.  Surprisingly, I'm finding that there is definitely some skill to grandpa brewing.
So if Grandpa steeping  still requires skill, then isn't it gongfu (aka "skillful") after all?

Or maybe if I'm putting too much thought into these things then I'm not really Grandpa Style steeping at all?


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