Chinese Tea Ceremony


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Chinese Tea Ceremony

Postby convivium » Dec 9th, '10, 14:50

What are good internet sites to buy Chinese tea ceremony tools and auxiliary things? Any list to building a set up with nothing missing?
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Re: Chinese Tea Cermony

Postby wyardley » Dec 9th, '10, 15:29

Can you be more specific about what you mean by "Chinese Tea Ceremony"?
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Re: Chinese Tea Cermony

Postby fracol » Dec 9th, '10, 20:55

Maybe they are referring to GongFu? I've never really heard of the CHINESE tea ceremony. Or maybe you mistook it with the JAPANESE tea ceremony. :?:
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Re: Chinese Tea Ceremony

Postby convivium » Dec 9th, '10, 23:36

Gong Fu Cha
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Re: Chinese Tea Ceremony

Postby IPT » Dec 10th, '10, 00:16

A lot of people call gongfucha the Chinese tea ceremony.

A full list huh? I'll give it a shot. Of course, tastes, and different regions in China vary, so I'll make a list of the tea ware I personally use.

Tea Tray (Some people use a Tea Boat instead)
Tea Cannister ( I store my tea in large containers, but transfer some to a small cannister for use with guests. It just looks nicer)
Zisha Teapot (Some people prefer gaiwan)
Serving Pitcher (I personally use a second zisha teapot as my pitcher)
Strainer (to keep leaf bits out of your teacups. I don't use one)
Small Tea Cups (Gongfu teacups)
Small coasters for the teacups
Tea Tools (these usually come in sets in their own container)
Tea Knife (For breaking up compressed tea)
Tea Towel
Puer Tea Tray (A square tray for breaking Puer into.
Tea Pet
Waste Water Container (to dump spent leaves and waste water)
Kettle

Optional items that I usually have, but they aren't technically tea ware:
Incense
Incense burner
Small vase for a couple of flowers (I use small vases that will sit on my tea tray and usually pick wild flowers based on the season).
Music (generally traditional Chinese instrumental music)
Snacks (I generally have peanuts or sunflower seeds available)

Other than when at work, I generally use all of the items I listed above. Of course, there are lots of variations to the above list. If brewing Green, Yellow, or White Tea, I don't use Zisha Teapots, but clear glass cups or large gaiwan.
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Re: Chinese Tea Ceremony

Postby tingjunkie » Dec 10th, '10, 00:52

Well, are you trying to impress people, or make the best tea you can? Those will be very different "lists." (My preference is to try to impress people by making the best tea I can.) :wink:

I am a fan of having a minimalist set up with each piece being unique and well made (though I will be the first to admit I have a cheapo bamboo scoop which is is dire need of an upgrade). Not a fan of the cluttered table full of brick-a-brack and 12 different tools. Now that I think of it... I'm going to go take some crap off my tea table. :lol:
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Re: Chinese Tea Ceremony

Postby gingkoseto » Dec 10th, '10, 01:08

I don't think there is Chinese tea ceremony (except those for performance purposes). Just like there is no Chinese stir-fry ceremony either. :P
I think a big difference between Japan and China in tea culture is, Japanese tea ceremony is involved in people's social life and real tea drinking, while there is no tea ceremony in traditional (or modern) Chinese social life. Some Chinese ceremony-like tea performance we see nowadays is just performance.
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Re: Chinese Tea Ceremony

Postby the_economist » Dec 10th, '10, 01:17

ya ceremony is a misnomer. its more...tea skill. the pomp and circumstance isn't necessary, just good skill, which is what we're all chasing after :)

i like the chaozhou setup best. kettle, chaxi, cups and gaiwan/pot. simple. although i'm hoping to add a pet to that mix soon!
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Re: Chinese Tea Ceremony

Postby wyardley » Dec 10th, '10, 14:53

the_economist wrote:i like the chaozhou setup best. kettle, chaxi, cups and gaiwan/pot. simple. although i'm hoping to add a pet to that mix soon!


Historically, there are the so-called "four treasures" for classical Chaozhou style gongfu cha.

* Yixing Zisha pot (or, sometimes "Mengchen pot" is specified*)
* Jingdezhen Ruoshen (or Ruochen) Cups **
* Chaoyang [charcoal burning] red clay stove
* Maple Creek clay kettle

Also mentioned are specific makers of tin tea jars and feather fans (for fanning the stove).
宜兴紫砂壶
景德镇若琛杯
枫溪砂桃
潮阳红泥炉
潮阳颜家锡罐
潮安陈氏羽扇


[ I believe I have also heard geyao style cracked glaze dishes mentioned in other versions of this list; I've got a slightly different list in a book at home. ]

http://bbs.chaoshanren.com/thread-379970-1-1.html
translation by Robert @
http://www.teadrunk.org/viewtopic.php?pid=251#p251

* Mengchen was not only a famous Yixing potter, but his signature was commonly used by others. It's unlikely / impossible that all the pots signed "by" him were actually made by him. Even some Chaozhou pots bear his mark.

** Ruochen / ruochen is a specific maker; see http://www.teadrunk.org/viewtopic.php?pid=361#p361 and the post immediately following it.
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Re: Chinese Tea Ceremony

Postby TomVerlain » Dec 10th, '10, 17:42

I will hijack this thread to include a picture from the hong kong tea muesum of a gongfu setup. I could live with this. Simple, elegant, classic.

BTW, I paid $250 US to view the astounding stir fry ceremony, certainly a highlight of any trip to asia. :D

Image
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Re: Chinese Tea Ceremony

Postby the_economist » Dec 10th, '10, 21:58

wyardley wrote:
the_economist wrote:i like the chaozhou setup best. kettle, chaxi, cups and gaiwan/pot. simple. although i'm hoping to add a pet to that mix soon!


Historically, there are the so-called "four treasures" for classical Chaozhou style gongfu cha.

* Yixing Zisha pot (or, sometimes "Mengchen pot" is specified*)
* Jingdezhen Ruoshen (or Ruochen) Cups **
* Chaoyang [charcoal burning] red clay stove
* Maple Creek clay kettle

indeed! but of course, tea is "Enjoyed alike by gentleman and commoner." Alas im not privy to such treasures :(
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Re: Chinese Tea Ceremony

Postby convivium » Dec 11th, '10, 03:37

Thank you everyone. Any suggestions for finding approximations of the 'four treasures' or a chaxi online?
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Re: Chinese Tea Ceremony

Postby wyardley » Dec 11th, '10, 04:16

convivium wrote:Thank you everyone. Any suggestions for finding approximations of the 'four treasures' or a chaxi online?


Unless you're really committed to traditional tea making, a charcoal stove and Chaozhou kettle will not be that convenient for daily use. I would suggest an electric or gas heater of some sort, or an electric kettle first, if you don't already have one.

The Chaozhou stoves and kettles are easy enough to find online, though if you're not in China, you'll probably need to order off of Taobao through a proxy, and it will be expensive. In addition, getting the olive pit charcoal through customs etc. isn't always easy.

Lots of sources for Yixing pots and gongfu tea cups mentioned on this site, so just look through the archives.

By 'cha xi', do you mean the entire tea setup, or do you mean a waste water bowl (shui xi - 水洗, or lots of other possible names)?

As far as a tea boat / tray, you have lots of different options and different styles. Different people and different regions have different names for the different types of trays used for tea making. A simple earthenware or porcelain tea boat with drainage holes is a reasonable and traditional choice, though some people prefer individual trays / bowls for cups, teapot, and waste water. There isn't one "right" tea setup.
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Re: Chinese Tea Ceremony

Postby electrickettle » Dec 30th, '10, 02:27

In fact, there are no more Chinese tea ceremony in Chinese daily life. Gongfucha is just popular in Guangdong province. They use this ceremony as an entertainment way to spend their spare time.
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