What is gongfu cha? What does our tea service look like?
Gongfu cha is the ancient Chinese art of sharing fine teas. “Gongfu cha” translates roughly to “pouring tea with effort and skill”. At its heart it is an elegant art of humble hospitality, an act of gratitude to the tea, the teas’ creators, and the guests at the table. The role of the gongfu cha pourer is to open space and curate the teas enjoyed around the table.
Using a lidded cup called a gaiwan, fine teas are steeped and decanted over and over, allowing the flavor and aroma to open gradually. Around the gongfu tea table, we sip from tiny cups, inviting ourselves back to the present moment with each new steeping of the tea. Gongfu cha etiquette is very simple: all that is required of the guests is their presence.
Our service often takes one of two forms:
- At a large event (such as a gallery opening) we create our space and serve throughout the event to whomever has a seat with us, and they can enjoy as much tea as they would like.
- We host a more intimate gathering, where all of the guests gather around the table together. This experience allows us to try more teas and often leaves more opportunity for learning about tea.
What's a Lucky Baby? Our history...
Lucky Baby Tea is the heartchild of Kansas City native D. Shattuck, a passionately community-minded tea pourer and space maker.
D. began practicing gongfu cha during a formative sojourn in San Francisco, when chance or fate led her to a tea house that saved her sanity. Enamored by the humble hospitality of gongfu cha and thrilled to find a social alternative to the bar scene, D. began pouring tea at events and gatherings in and around San Francisco. In 2009 she seeded a women’s tea gathering (FemininiTea SF, which continues to meet), and held space there for nine months before coming home to Kansas City in 2010.
D. returned to Kansas City with longtime friend and collaborator, word artist Jordan Hocker. The pair created the CommuniTea gathering, which began at Stone Spirit Lodge in Westport. The weekly happening grew, and in 2011 D. opened the Tea Nook in her home in historic Hyde Park. The Tea Nook now hosts not only CommuniTea, but also the Kansas City incarnation of FemininiTea and ManaTea (the newest addition to the family). Now more than four years strong, CommuniTea continues to hold space and share fine organic teas with everyone who’d like a seat at the table.
As the tea circle grew wider, D.’s attentive and sensuous space-making was increasingly called upon for collaborations with artists and event creators, and a Lucky Baby was born.
Is LBTCo Right for My Event?
Probably. We’ve poured for:
- Music festivals
- Bachelorette parties
- Solstice gatherings
- Gallery openings
- Pop! Happenings
- Healing gatherings
- Dance parties
- Silent auctions
- Yoga studios
And we’d love to pour for:
- Weddings and commitment ceremonies
- Prayer groups
- Poetry readings