THIS IS OUR FINAL PRODUCTION OF THE GONG FU GURU. We have no plans to make any more so if you would like to add this Gong Fu icon to your collection then please don't miss this opportunity.
These are B-Stock Gong Fu Gurus which means that they will have small aesthetic blemishes. They are all fully functional and beautiful with some minor imperfections. Please take a look at the pictures to see some examples of the blemishes. PLEASE NOTE: we will not accept returns for any aesthetic blemishes. These include surface scratches to the bamboo box, excessive wood glue to the inside of the box and faded Mei Leaf logo as well as any other purely aesthetic issues. The teaware inside are NOT B-Stock - they will be as usual. The towel may be our newest Mei Leaf Gaiwan Design towel. Finally, this batch does not contain a Buffalo teapet.
The Gong Fu Guru II is the hotly anticipated updated model of the much loved Gong Fu Guru which took over 3 years of designing and sourcing. This is the most complete and convenient elite tea brewing set anywhere. We know this because we have searched far and wide across Asia to find a similar set and eventually had to give up and make our own!
When we sat down to discuss improvements to the Guru we quickly came to the conclusion that very little needed changing. The overall design is the same as the original but we have made some key changes.
- The Gong Fu Guru II has been re-engineered to create a thicker bamboo box with stronger latches. This makes it sturdier for transporting.
- The Gong Fu Guru II has an additional colour ABS tray which fits into the wet layer to prevent the bamboo from staining and add longevity to the waterproofing.
- We upgraded the foam which holds the teaware to a closed cell foam for added security and stability for your teaware.
Please watch the videos below (which relate to Gong Fu Guru I) before using your Gong Fu Guru or read the 'Taking Care of Your Gong Fu Guru' section. Please be advised that all of the Gong Fu Guru's have been individually crafted and will all have individual differences and natural blemishes which is normal and part of the character of the sets.
SIMPLICITY OF BAMBOO
The Gong Fu Guru tray and dry storage is made from sustainably farmed bamboo. This is a strong yet lightweight material, perfect to carry the precious tea ceremony cargo.
CONVENIENT DRY AND WET LAYERS
The GONG FU GURU is unique from so many other sets because it has a wet and dry storage compartments. The bottom layer is for storing all of your dry teaware and stays on your shelf whilst the top layer is designed for taking to the table for brewing. This prevents mess as you only take the teaware that you require whilst the others stay perfectly dry, clean and packed away.
The wet layer is much deeper than average tea ceremony trays so that you do not have to worry about it overflowing during extended tea sessions.
BEAUTIFUL LASER CUT WATER CATCHER
One of the problems with other Tea Ceremony water trays is that the designs are so boring. A couple of Chinese characters or some plants. Another problem is that they are often made out of multiple pieces of wood leading to a slightly uneven surface with large gaps causing cups to tip over. The GONG FU GURU water catcher is made from one piece of electroplated stainless steel which is laser cut to ensure a perfectly even surface. The design is exciting and the holes to drain water have been measured precisely to guarantee that small cups will not fall over. Please be sure to NEVER use abrasive cleaners or cloths on the water catcher as this will cause damage (please see instructions for care below).
We spent a lot of effort trying to work out the perfect size for our GONG FU GURU. Large enough to be able to perform the tea ceremony without being overcrowded and small enough that it does not take up excessive space and could be used as a single service tea tray. There is enough room in the bottom (dry) layer to place tea cakes if you want to use the GONG FU GURU for tea storage too.
It is unsightly and inconvenient when your teaware rattles around in a tea set and can cause breakages. We have included a specially tooled foam so that all of your teaware fits snugly and safely in your GONG FU GURU.
There is no point spending money on a beautiful tray if the teaware included is inadequate or poor quality. We spent nearly a year sourcing the right teaware so that you can begin brewing like a pro immediately. We stripped away the unnecessary clutter and included what we believe is the perfect combination of form and function in our teaware. The GONG FU GURU includes:
- An authentic YIXING CLAY TEAPOT made from real Zisha clay. This is the ultimate teapot for brewing darker teas. 200ml
- A borosilcate GLASS TEAPOT which is resistant to thermal shock making it a resilient way to brew tea. This is perfect for all types of tea as it will not affect the flavour of the tea. The teapot has a metal spout filter to catch any leaves. 250ml (although it is designed to be filled up to 180ml).
- A celadon green colour porcelain Gong Dao Bei (fairness cup). We could have chosen the basic option of a glass Gong Dao Bei but we preferred the aesthetics of having clay, glass and porcelain in your GONG FU GURU so we searched for a porcelain that would work visually whether you are brewing in clay or glass. This Gong Dao Bei has a craquelure glaze which will begin to reveal itself as you drink more tea. It has a lovely pouring action for drip free serving. 200ml
- Four celadon green colour cups. Made from the same craquelure glazed porcelain as the Gong Dao Bei. You would be surprised how many cups we rejected whilst creating our GONG FU GURU. The shape is so important - having a lip that curves inwards is annoying as you have to tip the cup almost vertically to drink, having a base which is too narrow means that the cup is less stable, having a cup which is too small is unsatisfying, too big and you stop tasting and start gulping. These cups may appear simple and unassuming but they are perfect for enjoying elite tea.
- Fine stainless steel mesh filter. Essential to keep your tea liquor free of broken leaves. The GONG FU GURU has a handy cut our hole in your tray to place your filter. This is because in our years of experience, the filter is the most annoying thing to keep on your tray - it tends to fall over and get in the way, but not anymore!
- Tea tools. We have included 2 wooden tea tools - tweezers and a scoop. We did not include the whole set because we do not think that they are necessary and will clutter your tea ceremony. The tweezers are used to pour away tea from the cups and the scoop is for adding tea to the pots.
- Tea Towel - Sounds crazy but a good Gong Fu tea towel is essential. Ultra absorbent to instantly mop up any spills and to dry the base of your teaware before serving. Simply fold in front of you when brewing. The towel has a large tea character so that you do not mix with your other tea towels!
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE YIXING CLAY POT
Your Yixing pot is unglazed clay and requires preparing before your first brew. Please follow these instructions. For more information about seasoning your pot please watch:
Basic seasoning instructions:
- Rinse the pot a few times in water until the smell is lessened substantially.
- Take a saucepan and fill with water.
- Place a clean tea towel in the saucepan to cover the bottom – this is to stop the pot and lid from possibly breaking.
- Submerge the pot and lid separately in the water and place lid on saucepan.
- Turn on heat and bring the water to a gentle boil.
- Reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil for 30 minutes.
- Switch off heat and allow the water to cool. Remove your pot and lid. It is ready for brewing.
Make a decision before using your GONG FU GURU about which tea you will be using in your Yixing Clay pot. The pot will slowly absorb some of the essences of the tea which will add subtle flavour to successive brews. Some people therefore like to use one type of tea for their clay pot. Others are quite happy mixing tea types. It is up to you! The glass pot can be used to brew any tea.
Your choices are:
- SINGLE TEA TYPE - Brew one type of tea (dark oolongs or raw PuErh for example) in the Yixing and use the glass pot for everything else. You can always purchase another Yixing pot from us if you want to brew another type of tea in clay.
- MIXED TEA TYPES - Brew Oolongs, Black, and PuErh teas in the Yixing and others in the glass pot.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR GONG FU GURU
Always empty and dry your water tray after a tea session. Be sure to completely dry the teaware and water tray before storing. To clean the stainless steel do not use harsh abrasives or scouring pads as this may scratch the electroplating. Instead use soapy water and cloth. If you have stubborn tea stains soak in a stain remover or use the method shown in this video:
Pick up the GONG FU GURU using the finger grooves or by holding the base of the trays. We advise using the latches to link the trays together when storing.
Never wash your Yixing pot with any cleaning products. Instead, rinse with water and allow to dry completely with the lid off.