Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby theredbaron » Mar 1st, '13, 16:04

tingjunkie wrote:
theredbaron wrote:There endless possibilities for a set up - i use some very old ming or song bowls as a tea boat, and qing blue and white plates of different sizes as a plate/saucer for my cups. I have different vessels i use as a wastewater bucket - the nicest one are village style bowls of rough clay with a green rice glazing which were used here in Thailand until a few decades ago to store fermented fish, made by village crafts men.


Sounds awesome. Photos please!

theredbaron wrote:My tea teacher is very particular about the saucers, plates and tea boats he uses as the material and age of the material can influence the taste of the tea as well (my taste buds are not so far developed, yet when he showed me, and i concentrated, i could taste the difference - very slight though). Consequently - he rejects these bamboo trays.


I really don't mean to start an argument, but is the placebo effect widely understood in Thailand? I'm not seeing how items which never come in contact with the tea could have any effect on the taste, unless they are changing the temperature or heat retention in the brewing vessel somehow.



I am a bit lazy for photos, but lets see, maybe i an get the energy up.

My tea teacher is not in Thailand (which is quite a barren land in terms of tea culture, unfortunately), but a nowadays quite well known teacher from Malaysia.

I only understand that there is a lot more to tea than meets the eye, and a whole lot that i will still have to learn, even more than i will never learn. While there is of course a lot of pseudo-esoteric hogwash about tea, there is also a lot that isn't.
There are many factors that affect the tea, such as water, etc, there is always more to find - like the vessel you brew the water in, the source of the heat, the shape of the cups you use. But on many occasions my teacher has brewed tea, and showed me experiments on how the plate/saucer has an effect on taste, i could taste it. But i could not possibly with any sort of authority repeat these experiments, or without the guidance of my teacher give any sort of qualitative statement on this subject.
There is the difference of someone who has devoted his entire life to studying and teaching tea, and is a well recognized tea master, and someone who just loves tea (=me).
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby theredbaron » Mar 1st, '13, 16:12

teaisme wrote:
tingjunkie wrote:but is the placebo effect widely understood in Thailand?


The train of thought that what you put underneath your cup is important is not only from Thailand, I have heard this more then a couple times from older folks in Taiwan as well. I think it was also mentioned in an article in the Globalteahut a few months back. Why would it have an effect on the liquid? No clue, I'm a newb and haven't run into any further insight yet or been bothered to conduct my own comparisons yet with a tea pal.

...Perhaps it goes into the general territory of "everything is interconnected on this earth" kinda thought. Everything gives off its own specific vibration, some conducive to a good cup, some not so much. etc etc etc so on and so on.


Well, entire philosophies are based on theories of these "vibrations" on an energetic level - hinduism and taoism (which is closely connected to Chinese tea culture), for example.
I have met once a Vedic student in Varanassi, who before studying the Vedas has done his doctor in atomic physics, and who said that much of what he studied in the Vedas he has already learned in physics. Anyhow, all that is way above my brain capacity - and i accept it when smarter and more educated people than me tell me that certain things are so, especially when they have studied such matters in depth.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby theredbaron » Mar 1st, '13, 16:17

Drax wrote:I think it only matters if it's a $96 table, as opposed to a $48 one.


Don't knock it until you try it.

Not all in tea is bout money and commerce (a lot though is, unfortunately). Some of the best teas no money can buy, and you can only get for free, because they are too valuable to sell.
And so it is with tea ware, on occasion - some of my most beloved tea ware i got presented with. Monetary value is completely irrelevant as i would never even think of selling these items.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby tingjunkie » Mar 1st, '13, 16:29

Interesting though that many people who talk about vibrations and energy when it comes to tea usually focus on material items and trinkets that can be bought and sold. As though an antique pricy saucer can harness more atmospheric Qi than a cardboard coaster. :lol: If we were really going to take this to the logical conclusion, there would be tea masters out there who only make tea inside orgone boxes placed at the earths magnetic line crossings.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a believer in energy/Qi/Seiki/Kundalini being out there, but anyone who tells me I need antique tea saucers to harness it is just selling something, or has been sold something themselves and wants company.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby theredbaron » Mar 1st, '13, 16:40

tingjunkie wrote:Interesting though that many people who talk about vibrations and energy when it comes to tea usually focus on material items and trinkets that can be bought and sold.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a believer in energy/Qi/Seiki/Kundalini being out there, but anyone who tells me I need antique tea saucers to harness it is just selling something, or has been sold something themselves and wants company.


And what is when you got presented with such antique tea ware by exactly those people?
Won't that throw your whole theory on its head?

Not all in tea is about selling and buying.

And there is still much out there which can be found very cheap. I have several old Qing blue and white export plates and saucers, for example, which i got for a dollar or so each in a village in Borneo in '98, which i use daily for tea.
I was lucky that i went to China in '93, and bought many old tea cups for next to nothing in the markets.

etc.

Things don't need to cost a lot.

Also, regarding the village jars i use as waste water buckets i wrote about in my first post here - the first one i got i bought quite cheaply, and when a neighbor of mine heard that i liked them, she presented me with two more, which her grandfather made himself. She just had more of those jars leftover than she could possibly use.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby Drax » Mar 1st, '13, 17:40

Sorry, TRB, the 48/96 comment was a joke about a discussion in another thread (but similar in some fashions).

Clearly this is my opinion and bias from a strong scientific background. Though, I think you were close in what you said... I edited it (*) for how I see it:

theredbaron wrote:I only understand that there is a lot more to us* than meets the eye...


I will assert that we are the biggest variable when it comes to tea. For example, when your teacher did the saucer test for you, did you do it blindfolded and without any information given to you? Or did your teacher emphasize the qualities of the apparatus and tell you how much better one saucer was over the other?
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby amaranto » Mar 1st, '13, 17:42

Edit
Last edited by amaranto on Mar 4th, '13, 01:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby apolon » Mar 1st, '13, 17:50

I was very fortunate to meet Master Lim Ping Xiang in London. In one experiment we conducted we placed the single brew of tea in identical cups and place them on different saucers.I must say that there was a pretty noticeable difference in taste of tea. And the teacher only talk about the differences after we try the tea. And we all agree that yixing saucer was the best. There's more to this than just a placebo effect.
I would be very interested, if some of you could try it for himself and let as know the results?
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby Chip » Mar 1st, '13, 18:14

do do do do ... do do do do ... dooooo dadadada ... (Twilight Zone theme song)


Tea Twilight Zone!

:mrgreen:

Not believing, not disbelieving either ... skeptical, of course. :wink: This is one you have to see/taste to believe.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby teaisme » Mar 1st, '13, 18:20

+1

let the experimentation begin!
be interesting to get more feedback on this from other drinkers
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby Drax » Mar 1st, '13, 20:13

Great idea. If you want to do such a thing correctly:

1. Blindfold yourself or do some form of blind tasting. Either way, you'll have to have somebody else prepare the tea samples for you.

2. Repeat the experiment at least 5 times. Be sure to switch up the order. You may have to do them on different days, or give yourself enough time to recover (personally, I brew my tea so strongly that I tend to have difficulty in directly comparing two samples of the same tea).

If you can't do these things, then seriously, don't bother wasting your time because as much as you might try, you can't turn off your brain. And we're trying to tell if there is a difference in the tea. I already know that we think there's a difference in the tea, and that is completely understandable.

And then while you're at it, be sure to track down psychological studies done on "group think" and how individuals respond to peers.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby TIM » Mar 1st, '13, 20:21

Drax wrote:Great idea. If you want to do such a thing correctly:

1. Blindfold yourself or do some form of blind tasting. Either way, you'll have to have somebody else prepare the tea samples for you.

2. Repeat the experiment at least 5 times. Be sure to switch up the order. You may have to do them on different days, or give yourself enough time to recover (personally, I brew my tea so strongly that I tend to have difficulty in directly comparing two samples of the same tea).

If you can't do these things, then seriously, don't bother wasting your time because as much as you might try, you can't turn off your brain. And we're trying to tell if there is a difference in the tea. I already know that we think there's a difference in the tea, and that is completely understandable.
And then while you're at it, be sure to track down psychological studies done on "group think" and how individuals respond to peers.


I assuming you had such experiences before, with such detail instructions . Or you are being hysterical?
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby Drax » Mar 1st, '13, 20:49

TIM wrote:I assuming you had such experiences before, with such detail instructions . Or you are being hysterical?


Unfortunately, I am being serious, that is, if people seriously want to know the answer. The blindfold is there to eliminate the brain's desire to link visual cues to the level of enjoyment they experience. The repetition is there to give the test some small amount of statistical significance.

Otherwise, I fully expect that tea will taste better when prepared using certain implements that we are more mentally resonant with (either because of perceived value, cherished memories, whatever). We are sensory beings. It's why we create tea rooms and pleasant places in which to enjoy tea.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby TIM » Mar 1st, '13, 21:09

I think this should be a new thread, just to be respectful.

Every harvest, serious(experienced) tea buyers or collectors have to sample more than 2 or 3 tea to make a judgment, sometimes 5 samples per session, 20 plus sessions a day for a whole week. They do this without blind folding, but with correct tasting system and studying. IMHO
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby Drax » Mar 1st, '13, 21:56

Good idea. I really swear that I don't do this on purpose (evidence is mounting against me, though!).

For those that want to continue this side-track conversation, please head over to here:

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=18349
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