Kung Fu Tea by Xumin Liu
Xumin Liu has traveled to San Francisco to let the local people experience the ancient arts of face swapping and Kung Fu Tea. Over the next two months, our guests will get to view these rare performances, take photos, and experience something that normally requires a trip across the Pacific Ocean.
SAN FRANCISCO February 02, 2018
Artist Xumin Liu will be delighting diners with regular performances at Chinatownâ€™s Z & Y Restaurant and the Richmond District's Chili House SF for the next eight weeks. Liu practices two rare authentic Chinese arts that are equal parts magic and martial arts.
Gong Fu (Kung Fu) Tea
Six days a week, lunch and evening diners will experience the wonder of Kung Fu Tea, or the â€œlong spout tea performance.â€� Liu will perform at Z & Y Restaurant on Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays, and at Chili House SF on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Kung Fu Tea is an ancient tea ceremony dating back to 3rd century China. The process is said to maximize the teaâ€™s flavor and aroma due to the effort involved. Kung Fu Tea also aids digestion following the consumption of Sichuan cuisine.
As diners watch this traditional performance, they will witness Liu whip and spin a long-spouted teakettle in intricate circles before allowing a thin spout of steaming water to flow into a cup of awaiting tea leaves.
Thirty-five-year-old Liu was raised on Mending Mountain in the Sichuan province. A product of a tea-farming family, Liu studied the 18 forms of â€œdragon-flyingâ€� gongfu cha postures under a Sichuanese tea master before moving to a Taoist monastery to practice wushu, a form of martial arts.
The combination of the two has given Liu the ability to hold extreme poses throughout his fluid performances, making him one of the world's best-known Kung Fu Tea performers.
Bian Lian (Face Changing)
Liu also performs the ancient art of face swapping or Bian Lian. Also referred to as Face Changing, this dramatic art originated in the Sichuan Province and has long been held as a national secret.
A decade ago, while traveling in Korea to demonstrate Kung Fu Tea, he was approached by the famous face-swapping performer, Shimen Lu, with an offer of training.
Today, Liu quickly and seamlessly changes out their beautiful masks as he performs for audiences. Diners are routinely amazed by the impossibly fast face swaps.
A Rare Occurrence on U.S. Soil
Travelers to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, can witness Kung Fu Tea performances in teahouses. However, few masters of these rare arts make it to the United States and even fewer still who are skilled at both Kung Fu Tea and Bian Lian.
For Chef Li Jun Han, owner of both Z & Y Restaurant and Chili House, bringing a master of these Sichuan arts to his authentic Sichuan restaurants here in the United States is the realization of a long-standing dream.
â€œXumin Liu has traveled to San Francisco to let the local people experience the ancient arts of face swapping and Kung Fu Tea. For most, exposure to authentic Sichuan arts and culture has been limited to the theater or movies. Over the next two months, our guests will get to view these rare performances, take photos, and experience something that normally would require a trip across the Pacific Ocean.â€� â€“ Chef Han
Diners wishing to see Xumin Liu perform live should plan ahead. Chef Han advises that diners contact the restaurants to confirm at which location Liu will be performing on specific dates.
About Z & Y Restaurant:
Known as one of the finest Chinese restaurants in San Francisco. World-renowned Chef Han, previously the ex-executive chef in Consulate General of the P.R. China in San Francisco, has served prominent diners including two ex-Chinese Presidents. Z & Y Restaurant has earned a reputation for serving some of the most authentic Chinese food & Sichuan food. For more information visit http://www.zandyrestaurant.com.
Z & Y Restaurant
655 Jackson Street
San Francisco, CA
About Chili House SF:
Known as one of the finest Peking Duck restaurants in San Francisco. Chili House SF has earned a reputation for serving some of the most authentic Chinese food including Peking Duck, Dim Sum & Sichuan food. For more information visit http://www.chilihousesf.com.
Chili House SF
726 Clement Street
San Francisco, CA
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