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 gingkoseto » Mar 1st, '13, 22:55

futurebird wrote:I could really use a waste water bucket, something that would let me only make one trip to the drain (since there is none near by) a day. The "official" buckers are $77 shipped, which just seems like a lot for a bamboo bucket.

Are there any good alternatives?

I save and dry my tea leaves for crafts and compost, so having a separator would be nice.

I'm less adverse to paying a lot for a nice tray, but thought I'd ask what other use first and if they feel they get good utility out of such objects.

Sounds like two bowls will do it well. But if you would like something fancy, then there is a wide range of tea wares to choose from :D
Is that an office setting? If so, I would suggest you to use dumping tea water as an excuse to stand up and walk around. Then you have paid tea-walking time :wink:
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby tingjunkie » Mar 1st, '13, 23:45

TIM, I think Drax was only suggesting the blindfold as a way to combat the placebo effect and the power of expectations. If we think a Yixing saucer will give the tea better taste/mouthfeel/Qi, then that's what we will experience. If we convince ourselves pink polka-dotted cups are the best for aged puerh, then those teas just won't be right in a white cup. The blindfold in these scenarios is only a way to separate the BS from the real world experience.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby theredbaron » Mar 2nd, '13, 00:52

apolon wrote: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?



As you mention the name here - Lim Ping Xiang, or Paul Lim, has been my tea teacher since around '97. He has been doing these sort of tests and experiments all the time.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby theredbaron » Mar 2nd, '13, 01:05

Drax wrote: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?


As i stated - the experiments have neither been in a scientific setting, nor would i understand the the theories behind it, if they would have done.
But as another poster here who has done the same with the same tea teacher - there were noticeable differences in taste. While both may be purely empirical experiences, it may for you, as a scientist, an inspiration to see if there is a possibility to conduct tests in a lab setting to either confirm or disprove this scientifically. Well, if you manage to get the funding, and if you can find the lab equipment that is able to measure this.
Or it will be another aspirin case - we know that it helps with a headache (and lots of other things), but we are not yet exactly sure how it works.

Also - as you stated - *us* may be the biggest variable in the preparation of tea, and that shows of the importance of guidance by a tea teacher, whose experience can somewhat control the variables less experienced students cannot.

A healthy skepticism is necessary, but my point still stands - don't knock it until you try it.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby theredbaron » Mar 2nd, '13, 01:17

Drax wrote: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


Why is this a side track conversation?

I don't just chose tea accessories only by the perceived beauty or practicability, but also by their functionality regarding taste of tea, and how their aesthetics may influence my mind. I believe that these are points that should not be overlooked in the appreciation of tea, and are important parts of tea culture and art.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby tingjunkie » Mar 2nd, '13, 02:26

A full on laboratory is not needed to do this. All you'd need is a blindfold, a gaiwan, a faircup, identical drinking cups, different saucers, and a friend to brew the tea. Maybe some ear plugs if you're going to get real serious.

Above, you brought up an important point though- "how their aesthetics may influence my mind." I personally feel this is the real crux of the debate here. I have no problem at all with using beautiful or unique teaware and accessories in order to increase the visual or tactile experience. I think having matcha out in the Brooklyn Botanical Japanese garden during sakura season ALWAYS tastes better than when I make it at home. Now, maybe if Selma Hayek was making the matcha at my home, that might be a different story. :lol:
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby apolon » Mar 2nd, '13, 02:43

theredbaron wrote:
apolon wrote: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?



As you mention the name here - Lim Ping Xiang, or Paul Lim, has been my tea teacher since around '97. He has been doing these sort of tests and experiments all the time.

You are very fortunate to have such a tea teacher.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby theredbaron » Mar 2nd, '13, 03:33

apolon wrote:You are very fortunate to have such a tea teacher.



Definately i feel very lucky to have met him.
I doubt though that i am his most successful student - i am about as far from the stage of expert as when we have met first. But i still love tea, though :D

A common friend introduced me back then, said that i should look him up when i am next in KL (where at the time i went to several times a year), and we clicked right away. Other than a love for tea, we share a love for good food, and have similar humanistic views on the world and things in general.
Unfortunately the past years i only rarely get the opportunity to go to KL. But he is always in my mind when i brew a pot of tea.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby theredbaron » Mar 2nd, '13, 04:14

tingjunkie wrote:A full on laboratory is not needed to do this. All you'd need is a blindfold, a gaiwan, a faircup, identical drinking cups, different saucers, and a friend to brew the tea. Maybe some ear plugs if you're going to get real serious.

Above, you brought up an important point though- "how their aesthetics may influence my mind." I personally feel this is the real crux of the debate here. I have no problem at all with using beautiful or unique teaware and accessories in order to increase the visual or tactile experience. I think having matcha out in the Brooklyn Botanical Japanese garden during sakura season ALWAYS tastes better than when I make it at home. Now, maybe if Selma Hayek was making the matcha at my home, that might be a different story. :lol:



Any sort of attractive female doing intimate things such as making tea in my house would be viewed with extreme suspicion ...:?

But still, my teacher has made extensive experiments on those issues, and has done repeatedly on many occasions in front of me/with me. In this "blind test" idea - there are naturally more factors coming into play, not the least of course is the personal experience of the people doing that test. The appreciation of tea is quite a long learning process, in terms of ability of making out what is preferred in tea, what makes a good tea, and what doesn't.
While the initial *WOW* experience when discovering proper Chinese (or Japanese) tea is the most important basis of appreciation, there will be a point when meeting a teacher and drinking in person with him/her is integral to personal progress in ones own tea art. I understand that this is very difficult in the west, where in addition to the many "masters" that are more into selling stuff, you have also a distinct lack of much tea knowledge or culture. But still - once you have drunk tea with masters such as Paul Lim, you *will* see yourself how just even one tea session with him will result in huge advancements in your own abilities and understanding.
Never forget that tea art and culture has thousands of years of history and knowledge behind, and where knowledge advance through master-student relationships over most of that time.
While some of it may sound as hogwash, i would not just be too quick in swiping such knowledge and experience under the table. I may say a lot here on the net, which you have to be skeptical about, of course, and i honestly am sort of the wrong person to talk about these things as i am by far not advanced enough to do so, at least i have had the opportunity to drink tea with very in those matters knowledgeable people.
When someone like Paul Lim has done these experiments, in front of/with me, and also with another person here, who i don't know, and independently, than you may want to consider that there is something to it, and not just a placebo effect.
And, as some here have alleged, it is definitely not some sort of a con to sell expensive antique tea ware. Paul Lim has a stellar reputation in the tea world, and these sort of things are simply not in his character.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby Drax » Mar 2nd, '13, 07:43

TRB, I am not knocking the effect, I am in complete agreement with you that there is a difference (in perception). I agree that brewing tea with a tea master would be an wonderful experience, but I also think that you are far too ignorant of the role that you play in the whole process, and especially how susceptible you are to the variables. And again, I do not think our susceptibility is a bad thing, I think it's a wonderful part of the experience.

And yes, this discussion is a side-track discussion. This original topic was about trays and waste water buckets, not about the psychological perception of tea. So we are continuing to be very rude by having this discussion here in this thread.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby theredbaron » Mar 2nd, '13, 08:24

Drax wrote:TRB, I am not knocking the effect, I am in complete agreement with you that there is a difference (in perception). I agree that brewing tea with a tea master would be an wonderful experience, but I also think that you are far too ignorant of the role that you play in the whole process, and especially how susceptible you are to the variables. And again, I do not think our susceptibility is a bad thing, I think it's a wonderful part of the experience.

And yes, this discussion is a side-track discussion. This original topic was about trays and waste water buckets, not about the psychological perception of tea. So we are continuing to be very rude by having this discussion here in this thread.


I don't think that discussing such matters is side-tracking the discussion at all. On the opposite.
I believe that expanding this discussion to those subject matters when talking about accessories comes much closer to tea, and tea appreciation, when we look that particular items, such as a tray, are not just there for bare functionality, but do also serve other less known and less obvious aspects of tea art and culture.
With my answer and the following discussion i, and other participants, may have inspired the person that asked the initial question into looking into aspects of tea art he/she may not have, previously, which then also may give him/her new ideas of what he/she may chose.

But maybe not.

Maybe the person does not wish to go that deep into tea. But then i and other have given enough advice what can be used as an alternative, and won't need to read any further.

Nevertheless - don't think that it can be considered rude to try to share here some of what i was fortunate enough to learn. For most westerners Tea culture is a very unknown world, and rooted in philosophies and cultures that are quite different from what is known to them. Unless they have spend much time and study in Asia already. Which not everybody has the opportunity to.
While there is much materialism and commercialization in Asia's tea culture, which unfortunately is the first aspects most are initially exposed to when beginning, as some of the comments in this discussion have shown - the is also another tea world existing here, a world that is very beautiful.
One poster, for example, has said that he has heard old tea drinkers in Taiwan talking about the same thing - that also what you place your cups on will influence the tea.

So - again, yes - when a person asks the question about alternatives to modern bamboo gong fu trays and waste water buckets, i think introducing thoughts how experienced tea aficionados in the homes of tea culture chose and select their tea ware directly answers the question of alternatives.

...albeit in a slightly unexpected way, maybe...
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby tingjunkie » Mar 2nd, '13, 10:09

The OP has not made a single comment or "thanks" since asking the initial question. There have been many direct answers to her question already. This thread is fair game at this point. :wink:
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby futurebird » Mar 3rd, '13, 13:50

I have been reading eagerly. But this tangent is interesting too. Haven't had much time to post this week work has been very difficult.

I'm just shocked to find out that pink polka-dotted cups *aren't* the best for puerh... ugh gotta revise my teawares again.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby Evan Draper » Mar 3rd, '13, 21:07

tingjunkie wrote:there would be tea masters out there who only make tea inside orgone boxes placed at the earths magnetic line crossings.

Looks like a pumidor to me.
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Re: Gong fu tray and waste water bucket. (alternatives?)

Postby tingjunkie » Mar 4th, '13, 00:35

Evan Draper wrote:
tingjunkie wrote:there would be tea masters out there who only make tea inside orgone boxes placed at the earths magnetic line crossings.

Looks like a pumidor to me.


Ha! I have no doubt they would be more useful if used as pumidors.
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