A debate: Is this even a tea set?


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

What is this set used for?

Tea, of course!
1
25%
Obviously Sake
1
25%
Something altogether different
2
50%
 
Total votes : 4

A debate: Is this even a tea set?

Postby CyndyMW » Jul 29th, '06, 14:36

Hi!

Please help me resolve a confusing debate. My boyfriend is staying in China for three months and he has bought several of what are clearly identifiable as tea sets. There is another that he bought for me recently as a gift and we can't quite tell what it is. Please forgive my ignorance, but until we started looking at tea sets during my visit a few weeks ago, we didn't know the first thing about tea. I would say we still don't! Unfortunately, he bought this after came back home so I have only seen the pictures.

The middle piece looks to me like this would be a sake set instead of a tea set. Also, there is no handle on what appears to be the pot. The pot does not have a strainer, which makes me doubtful that it is for tea.

On the other hand, my boyfriend's theory is that the loose tea goes into the tall middle piece, and that hot water from the pot is poured into it. Then one should pour carefully out of the middle "serving" piece into the cup.

Image

Another interesting feature is that the pieces all fit inside one another, possibly for storage. The tall thin piece fits inside the pot, balancing on the lip. The cup rests upside down on top.

Image

So, the question is, does anybody have any idea what this is? If it's a tea set, do you know what kind and how we would use it? If it's a sake set, do you know how we would use it?

Thanks so much for all of your expertise!

Cynthia
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Postby rabbit » Jul 29th, '06, 22:38

I'd say it's a tea set, an odd one, but (and I'm guessing) I think the tall cup is a sniffing cup, you'd brew the tea in something else (maybe the larger cup) pour it into the tall cup and then into the smaller cup to drink it... but then again I'm a retard, what do I know?
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Postby CyndyMW » Jul 29th, '06, 23:11

Thanks, Rabbit! It's much better than any guesses I had! We'll have to try it out and see what makes sense.
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Postby Warden Andy » Jul 30th, '06, 00:23

It doesn't look like a tea set to me. I thought the sniffer cup is supposed to be about the same volume as the drinking cup, not about 3 times it size.

It looks like it could be a sake set because of that pitcher looking thing.
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Postby CyndyMW » Jul 30th, '06, 14:41

I agree, Andy. The tall piece looks a lot like all of the sake pictures I have seen. Thanks for your input!

By the way, sorry for my ignorance, what is a sniffer cup? Is it exactly as it sounds?
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Postby Warden Andy » Jul 30th, '06, 17:31

http://enjoyingtea.com/stgoteaset.html

The sniffer cup is the tall ones. You pour the tea in those first, and put the drinking cup over it, and invert it. You smell the sniffer, and then drink from the drinking cup.
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What is this?

Postby runrabbit » Sep 6th, '06, 01:05

Dear Cynthia,
You are the proud owner of a set for drinking yellow wine. It's a type of wine drunk mainly in Northern China in the winter. Similar to sake, it's a light, smooth kind of wine drunk warm. Fill the outer big vase thing half full of warm water (80-90C). Put the yellow wine into the carafe that goes inside of it. Put the cup/lid on top and wait for the wine to warm. When I've enjoyed it, it's usually been with friends so we used a different set of cups when it came to actually drinking it. Many a chilly Beijing winter has been spent enjoying wine and company over looking lakes and pagodas behind the Forbidden City. I hope you have a chance to use it this way.
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Thank you!

Postby CyndyMW » Sep 6th, '06, 01:22

Wow, runrabbit, thanks so much for the great answer! I'm so glad that I know what it is. Now I get to research yellow wine, where to buy it, and the proper way to enjoy it. I can't wait!

As a strange coincidence, I was enjoying cup each of Mango Darjeeling and Bigelow Vanilla Carmel today. I know, I'm such a tea novice! I thought again about this thread and was thankful for everyone who replied with their guesses.

Thanks again!
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Location: Houston, TX


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