Gong Fu brewing, as mentioned in The Art of Brewing Tea, can be differentiated from the Western method by its leaf-to-water ratio. A typical Gong Fu brew ratio is 5 grams of tea leaf to 100mL of water, while Western brews typically use at least double the amount of water. While it may seem that this style of brewing produces less tea, it is also important to remember that the Gong Fu method yields much more concentrated, flavorful tea that lasts for more infusions.
The rule of thumb is that a higher amount of tea leaves results in a richer, stronger (though not necessarily bitter) brew. Using a lower leaf-to-water ratio is similar to adding more water to a soup — it will increase the amount, but it will also dilute the flavors. However, if we use more ingredients and less water, the soup will be more concentrated and flavorful. Similarly, by using more tea leaves and less water, we are able to maintain the full experience and flavor of the tea.
The “right” amount of tea will always depend on the brewer’s preferences and on a variety of circumstances. Different teas may work best with different ratios. Here at We, Tea, we recommend starting at 5g of tea in 100mL of water. Regardless, we fully encourage you to experiment and find what ratio works best for you. We at We, Tea, personally enjoy using about 6-8g of tea for 100mL of water!