World-renowned Kung Fu tea master arrives in San Francisco

Kung Fu tea by Xumin Liu

Xumin Liu traveled to San Francisco to allow locals to experience the ancient arts of face swapping and Kung Fu tea. Over the next couple of months, our guests will be able to see these rare performances, snap photos, and experience something that normally requires a trip across the Pacific Ocean.

Artist Xumin Liu will delight diners with regular performances at Z&Y Restaurant in Chinatown and Chili House SF in Richmond District over the next eight weeks. Liu practices two rare authentic Chinese arts which are equal parts magic and martial arts.

Gong Fu tea (Kung Fu)

Six days a week, lunch and dinner diners will experience the wonders of Kung Fu tea, or the “performance of long spouted tea”. 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 the 3rd century in China. The process is said to maximize the flavor and aroma of the tea due to the effort involved. Kung Fu tea also aids digestion following the consumption of Sichuan cuisine.

While diners watch this traditional performance, they will witness Liu whip and spin a long-spouted kettle in intricate circles before letting a thin spout of steaming water flow into a cup of waiting tea leaves.

Liu, 35, grew up on Mount Mending in Sichuan Province. Coming from a family of tea cultivators, Liu studied the 18 forms of “dragon flight” gongfu cha postures under the guidance of a Szechuan tea master before settling in a Taoist monastery to practice wushu. , a form of martial arts.

The combination of the two gave Liu the ability to hold extreme poses throughout his fluid performances, making him one of the most famous Kung Fu Tea performers in the world.

Bian Lian (change of face)

Liu also practices the ancient art of face swapping or Bian Lian. Also called face change, this dramatic art originated in Sichuan Province and has long been considered a national secret.

Ten years ago, while traveling to Korea to do a Kung Fu tea demonstration, he was approached by famous face exchange performer, Shimen Lu, with a training offer.

Today, Liu quickly and transparently changes their gorgeous masks as he performs in front of the audience. The guests are systematically amazed by the incredibly rapid face-to-face exchanges.

A rare occurrence on American soil

Travelers to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, can attend Kung Fu Tea performances in teahouses. However, few masters of these rare arts make it to the United States, let alone master both Kung Fu Tea and Bian Lian.

For chef Li Jun Han, owner of 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 fulfillment of a long-held dream.

“Xumin Liu traveled to San Francisco to allow locals to experience the ancient arts of face swapping and Kung Fu tea. For the most part, exposure to authentic Sichuan arts and culture has been limited to theater or cinema. Over the next couple of months, our guests will be able to see these rare performances, snap photos, and experience something that would normally require a trip across the Pacific Ocean. – Chief Han

Diners who wish to see Xumin Liu perform live should plan ahead. Chef Han advises diners to contact restaurants to confirm where Liu will be performing on specific dates.

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About Z & Y Restaurant:

Known as one of the best Chinese restaurants in San Francisco. World-renowned chef Han, previously a former chief executive of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco, served prominent guests, including two former Chinese presidents. Z&Y Restaurant has gained a reputation for serving some of the most authentic Chinese dishes and Sichuan dishes. For more information, visit http://www.zandyrestaurant.com.

Restaurant Z & Y

655 Jackson Street

San Francisco, California

(415) 981-8988

About Chili House SF:

Known as one of the best Peking Duck restaurants in San Francisco. Chili House SF has earned a reputation for serving some of the most authentic Chinese dishes including Peking Duck, Dim Sum, and Sichuan dishes. For more information, visit http://www.chilihousesf.com.

Chili House SF

726, rue Clément

San Francisco, California

(415) 387-2658

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