This project will supply everything you need to learn about and enjoy the Gongfu Tea Ceremony.
About this project
What is the Gongfu Tea Ceremony?
The Gongfu Tea tradition is a method of preparing tea that creates the ideal tea experience. In essence, it is a social experience centered around the preparation of premium tea. Loose-leaf tea is steeped in a Gaiwan where the temperature and strength of flavor can be controlled with precision. Once the tea is steeped to perfection, the pourer strains the tea through a small screen into a pouring vessel where he/she proceeds to serve tea to others and then his/herself.
This method of pouring tea is used currently by tea producers and connoisseurs because it yields the highest quality flavor from the tea. However, pouring tea in this method is simple, enjoyable, and can be appreciated by any and all tea drinkers regardless of their experience with tea culture. In an age where life moves so fast, there is great beauty in an outlet that slows us down and allows us to appreciate history, art, health, and the company of others.
What are the benefits of enjoying tea this way?
First and foremost, Gongfu Tea allows us to brew the highest quality tea leaves and extract their flavor most efficiently. With large cups of bagged tea, the first sip is scalding hot and flavorless while the last sip is lukewarm and bitter. This is because of the lower grade tea leaves used in bagged tea and also the inferior steeping method of one-and-done tea bags. Gongfu Tea was designed to make every sip of tea as enjoyable as possible.
There is no waste! The only byproduct of Gongfu Tea is the steeped leaves which can be saved and composted, spread around for fragrance, or even used as material for art projects (my friend stuffs pillows with used tea leaves).
Tea time at home. Pouring tea in the Gongfu style is the perfect occasion to invite over friends, family, neighbors, etc. Seating is centered around the tea table and conversation is centered around whatever you like. Furthermore, tea contains caffeine which provides energy, and also Theanine, which releases endorphins and makes people feel good. This creates a buzzing and talkative atmosphere that can last for hours and hours.
Tea time in the office. Social life in the office used to be centered around the water cooler. With tech companies like Apple and Google leading the way, extracurricular activities in the office are getting increasingly developed and interactive. Why not treat employees and co-workers to premium loose-leaf tea in the break room? Drinking tea boosts cognitive functioning, and the communion of co-workers around the tea table will boost moral and cooperation around the office.
Tea is a superfood. Different teas have different health benefits ranging from boosting metabolism, eliminating free radicals that cause cancer, and improving skin health. Though different teas possess different benefits, there are zero teas with adverse health effects. Put simply, the more tea you drink the better.
What will we use the funds for?
Part of the funds will send the founder of Wu Mountain Tea, Dylan Rothenberg, back to China for several weeks so that he can source all of the necessary Gongfu Tea materials. Since Dylan has already spent two years working within China in the tea industry, he is well acquainted with reliable producers of high-quality, handmade tea and tea supplies. When purchasing supplies, a larger order means a lower price per unit. So, the more we have to invest in inventory the lower our price per unit will be to the consumer.
Additionally, buyers of the Gongfu Tea package will need comprehensive and simple instructions on how to pour tea with skill. This will come in a series of concise and informative tea tutorial videos that will be ready to view upon delivery of the Gongfu Tea sets. As most people have never seen or heard of the Gongfu Tea tradition, we will invest a good deal of the money raised into media production. We believe that once people are exposed visually to the beauty of Gongfu Tea that the product will sell itself.
What instructional material will we produce?
Gongfu Tea literally means ‘pouring tea with skill.’ We have created a Youtube channel under the name ‘pouring tea with skill’ and plan on posting a series of videos that guide people step-by-step through the process of pouring tea with skill. These videos will also be posted on our website, Facebook page, and Instagram account so they will be accessible through multiple media.
Once thorough instruction has been given about pouring tea with skill, we will proceed to make videos that instruct the world about various varieties of tea. What are the best Green Teas, Oolong Teas, Black Teas? Where does tea come from, and how do I know that the tea I bought is of high or low quality? Our mission is to awaken your tea experience which includes instruction on not only tea steeping but the production of the tea itself.
What Teaware and Accessories will we provide?
A basic Gongfu Tea setup will include:
1 tea table with a built-in reservoir for catching spilled tea.
1 Gaiwan for steeping the leaves.
1 filter screen with a holder to keep the screen clean.
1 set of matching tea cups for guests to use.
1 ‘master cup’ that the pourer uses to drink tea. This cup is beautiful and artistic and denotes who is leading the Gongfu ceremony.
1 full set of bamboo tea tools (tea tongs, tea scoop, tea pick, all within small bamboo holder). These have various functions for Gongfu Tea which will be explained in the tutorial videos.
1 clay tea pet which is a traditional part of the ceremony and brings good fortune to those drinking tea.
Detailed Use Of Funds
1. Trip to China to purchase inventory
2. Cost to produce the first set of instructional videos.
3. Cost to purchase initial inventory. If we are fortunate enough to raise more than our goal, we will purchase additional inventory and this number will increase.
4. Fees and expenses
Premium Bonus Content (Stretch Goals)
If we are fortunate enough to raise more than our target, we will upgrade our website to include additional premium content.
- A forum to allow an exchange of ideas
- Additional advanced level videos
- Monthly live-streamed tea tastings
- Expanded inventory of artisan tea ware
Wu Mountain Brand Teas
Wu Mountain Tea sells a selection of premium organic loose-leaf tea through its on-line store (www.wumountaintea.com).
Risks and challenges
We have carefully planned our project to minimize risks. We do not think there are any risks that could prevent us from meeting our commitments.
One risk would be if there is a strong demand for in-person sessions, there may be some delays scheduling them all. This would simply require some patience from all involved.
One risk would be scheduling a trip to China within our budget. We have minimized this risk by planning ahead and obtaining a Visa that allows us to travel at any time, when flights are least expensive.
There are risks involved in importing tea since it is a food product. We have minimized this risk by becoming a registered FDA importer, making a pre purchase of a selection of high quality teas, and importing them to the US ahead of time. This way we now have all the tea we expect to require for this project already in stock.
There is a small risk that our video production costs will be above budget. We will minimize this risk by using a local, student run video production company that has agreed to perform the video production work we need for a heavily discounted price in exchange for publicity on our site.