The tools are all set and the ingedients are ready. It's now time to start the gongfu cha with a very important first step: preheating your equipment. See this video.
First, you pour hot water in the gaibei, then the pitcher and the cup. This water than ends up in the little waste bowl. The preheating time will depend upon the thickness of the porcelain. The video shows a quick way to heat the lid of the gaiwan.
Preheating is an essential step of gongfu cha. The higher the temperature in the gaibei, the more flavors the tea leaves release. A tea made without preheating of the vessel will taste closed, muted.
During my first tea lessons with Teaparker, the most common mistake we students used to make was an incomplete or insufficient pereheating. It's so important that you may sometimes want to warm your pitcher and cup again between two distant brewings.
This step is specific to gongfu cha and also applies if you're using a small of big teapot.