May 25th, '13, 23:57
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Chinese tea tray - why not ?

by jbu2 » May 25th, '13, 23:57

i thought that chinese tea tray is a perfect idea , even if you spill you don't have to clean it right up since it originally intent for gongfu tea .
but somebody said he don't like them , my question is what do you don't like about chinese tea tray ?
Last edited by jbu2 on May 26th, '13, 00:31, edited 1 time in total.

May 26th, '13, 00:31
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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by theredbaron » May 26th, '13, 00:31

That must have been me.

I have used them in the past, but found that the traditional method with tea boat, a small plate for the tea cups and a waste water vessel is more practical and aesthetically more pleasing. I have collected over the years variations of old earthen and porcelain ware i can use for that.

In particular i do not like the glued and heavily varnished bamboo trays - sooner or later they all will start leaking, and do also not adopt a very nice patina at all due to the treatment of the bamboo.

I still use at times one of the round stainless tea trays for tea sessions where i don't pay much attention, like while working at the computer (but have been searching since years for one of the very rare tin or pewter trays to use instead).

To heat the water i also use a variation of the Chaozhou style set up - a small earthen stove and a small earthen kettle. The only concession to convenience i make is that i do not use charcoal, but boil the water over an alcohol flame. It takes a bit longer than with an electric kettle, but i feel that the water is better that way.

With my tea drinking i am sort of a traditionalist - natural material, no electric devices, and no measuring devices (to train my intuition).

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May 26th, '13, 00:33
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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by futurebird » May 26th, '13, 00:33

Try a yixing clay tray like the one that I have. It's like a giant tea playground!

Also I just love the drain tube! So much better than running to the sink every 5 min.

FWIW I also don't like bamboo. It's not pretty when wet!

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by Chip » May 26th, '13, 00:49

I purchased a very inexpensive bamboo Chinese tea table I am guessing over 3 years ago ... and I use it every day. I like using it and have no complaints except this one is getting old looking.

This one does not have a drain tube, nor did it include a plastic tray to set inside. Water just runs through the top portion and into the bottom ... it has never leaked nor split.

I have other very nice options at my disposal, but this is just easy and convenient.

Like just about everything else in life, it is a matter of personal preference.

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by theredbaron » May 26th, '13, 00:57

Chip wrote:I purchased a very inexpensive bamboo Chinese tea table I am guessing over 3 years ago ... and I use it every day. I like using it and have no complaints except this one is getting old looking.

This one does not have a drain tube, nor did it include a plastic tray to set inside. Water just runs through the top portion and into the bottom ... it has never leaked nor split.

I have other very nice options at my disposal, but this is just easy and convenient.

Like just about everything else in life, it is a matter of personal preference.

If you do not use it for a few weeks and it dries out chances are more than high that it will leak. I went through at least a dozen of those trays over the years until i went back to the traditional tea boat/plate set up seven or eight years ago.

May 26th, '13, 01:03
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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by theredbaron » May 26th, '13, 01:03

futurebird wrote:Try a yixing clay tray like the one that I have. It's like a giant tea playground!

Also I just love the drain tube! So much better than running to the sink every 5 min.

FWIW I also don't like bamboo. It's not pretty when wet!

I use several earthen waste water vessels. They last one or two entire tea sessions before i have to empty them.
The vessels i use are old village made jars which were mostly used here in Thailand for storing fermented fish sauce, are made from a very rough clay with a rough dark green rice stalk glaze and burned in simple ovens. Very Wabi-Sabi!

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May 26th, '13, 01:31
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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by victoria3 » May 26th, '13, 01:31

Chinese tea tray - why not? Well, I'm mostly drinking Japanese teas and enjoy using teaware that does not drip. The concept of water spilling everywhere is not part of my ritual. I love the design and functionality of lightweight teak, mahogany, walnut and acacia trays, along with a variety of natural fabrics to use under and along with the teaware. Fabrics pick up any drops and add to a silent textural sensory experience.

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May 26th, '13, 01:36
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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by debunix » May 26th, '13, 01:36

I have a not-too-fancy bamboo tea tray that works perfectly for my primary work setup--it is in regular use, more days out of the year than I'd care to admit, and doesn't dry out, crack or split. It holds my spills (and being not always the most graceful person, there are always spills), rinses, and occasional unredeemably poor infusions. Best of all, it is light and with the lid off makes a sturdy carrier for the cups down the hall to where the sink is--and light is key there, because I need to free a hand to unlock the doors at both ends of that trip.

But the bamboo tray at one satellite office, that saw maybe 3 or 4 days use per month, cracked and split over and over, and has been replaced with a lovely ceramic tea table (no locked doors in that setup). And at home, I have also switched to a beautiful ceramic tea boat, big enough to set up a 4 tea tasting with gaiwans and cups and no crowding.

So....I see the value of both types of tray, depending on local need.

May 26th, '13, 01:48
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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by brose » May 26th, '13, 01:48

The bamboo tea trays with a drain are great. My first one lasted about 2-3 years and was in sad shape at the end and leaky. I now use a dish towel to absorb up all the water after sessions and the one I have still looks like new and does not leak at all. Not letting water sit on it, especially around the joints is key to keeping it around for longer, or you can not do that and get a new one every couple of years or so (depending on how much you use it, i use mine 1-2x a day).

May 26th, '13, 02:21
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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by jbu2 » May 26th, '13, 02:21

i know about the problematic bamboo so i bought a wooden one, i think also chinese are moving from bambo tea tray .

my personal need for a tea tray is that some tea vesels leaking and i don't what to worry about the stains so i don't know if fabrics will work for my cause the tea will either\or stain the fabrics or will pass through to the table, so @victoria3 can you post a picture so i will draw inspiration on what to use ?

tea boat seems havy to move around, i am looking for something that i can use in my livingroom,kitchen and in the garden .

@theredbaron , do you have picture of your tea preparation ?

May 26th, '13, 02:53
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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by theredbaron » May 26th, '13, 02:53

jbu2 wrote:i know about the problematic bamboo so i bought a wooden one, i think also chinese are moving from bambo tea tray .

my personal need for a tea tray is that some tea vesels leaking and i don't what to worry about the stains so i don't know if fabrics will work for my cause the tea will either\or stain the fabrics or will pass through to the table, so @victoria3 can you post a picture so i will draw inspiration on what to use ?

tea boat seems havy to move around, i am looking for something that i can use in my livingroom,kitchen and in the garden .

@theredbaron , do you have picture of your tea preparation ?

I am a bit lazy to take pics, convert and photshop them, etc. Sorry.
A while ago i started a thread about traveling tea sets:

http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?p=231768

That's the style of set up i am using. At home of course a slightly larger tea boat - quite old, very simple, maybe around 15 cm in diameter and 3 cm high. A tea boat is basically just for the tea pot, to pour hot water over, and then empty into the waste water bucket.

For the cups i use very similar Qing blue and white plates, like in the pic with my larger traveling set. I would like to have one day an older Yixing plate as well, but they are now not so easy to find and can be quite costly.

Doing this after a while, all the physical movements will become instinctive, sort of second nature. In this set up you can also wash and clean the pot and cups very easily after use. The water is just emptied into a waste water vessel.
After use it all packs up quite small - stack the boat on the plate, the pot in the boat, and the cups around. It's actually much easier to move around than on a larger tray.

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May 26th, '13, 03:25
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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by 茶藝-TeaArt08 » May 26th, '13, 03:25

My current, standard bamboo tray I have used for two years, averaging 1 to 2 hours per session of gong fu tea, five days a week. I've not had any problems with it. It still looks great and has no leaks. Though, in general, I've been rather meticulous with cleaning my teaware after each session. Image

In January I bought a smaller Lin's drainable, bamboo/ceramic tray that works excellent and shows no signs of wear/use (http://www.aurlia.com.tw/detail.php?id=38&lang=en). But again, I clean it as soon as I'm done with it.

These last months I prefer the more austere, less messy, formal pouring method of gong fu tea that is being taught/practiced in chayi (茶藝)halls in Taiwan. Image


I also prefer the lower profile of a tea plate, using ceramic, wood, unaltered stone, and other materials as a low pedestal for my teapot. I find that this way I am more creative in my presentation and in the art of tea, and can more freely blend elements on my tea table, which also happens to set low, Japanese style, with zabutons and zafus surrounding it. So here again, a thicker tea tray with water catching capability takes away, for me, from the more Chan, more empty, low, clean feeling of the tea space I prefer.
Image

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by victoria3 » May 26th, '13, 04:22

jbu2 wrote:i know about the problematic bamboo so i bought a wooden one, i think also chinese are moving from bambo tea tray .
my personal need for a tea tray is that some tea vesels leaking and i don't what to worry about the stains so i don't know if fabrics will work for my cause the tea will either\or stain the fabrics or will pass through to the table, so @victoria3 can you post a picture so i will draw inspiration on what to use ?
tea boat seems havy to move around, i am looking for something that i can use in my livingroom,kitchen and in the garden .
@theredbaron , do you have picture of your tea preparation ?
jbu2, I have been meaning to say this to you since you are in israel; I recommend to you locally cut olive wood solid trays. You will love olive wood it is so perfect for tea. The natural oils repel water and tea stains, it is wonderfully light, sexy sexy smooth, strong and durable. This is my favorite wood right now, but it is difficult to get well designed thin vessels here in the US. Since you are in a region native to olive trees you can capitalize on this wonderful local resilient material. For some images of my setup using light & mobile wood trays;
http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 4&start=30
&
Philippine-Wood-Trays_Acacia-.jpg
Philippine-Wood-Trays_Acacia-.jpg (23.21 KiB) Viewed 8286 times
and a few natural textural fabrics;
Tea-Napkin-Linen-Hemp-Wool-Cotton-Fabrics.jpg
Tea-Napkin-Linen-Hemp-Wool-Cotton-Fabrics.jpg (25.95 KiB) Viewed 8286 times
_Maeda-en-Shin-cha-Oohashiri-(The-First-Pick).jpg
_Maeda-en-Shin-cha-Oohashiri-(The-First-Pick).jpg (70.71 KiB) Viewed 8286 times
Oh, maybe too many textures, colors & patters here, but it's fun combining senses sometimes. The silence of textural natural fabrics help me focus on the coming aroma and taste of each steep. Silence is key to really soak in that special moment.

p.s. by 茶藝-TeaArt08
wow you've got mogo! really nice set upps. perfect. great pictures. wow thanks.

p.s.s. I do also really love the look of Miroslava Randova ceramic tea trays that debunix has posted, although they appear to be appropriate for more stationary, watery, and noisy tea ceremonies. They are beautiful for sure. http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 4&start=15
Last edited by victoria3 on May 27th, '13, 15:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by 茶藝-TeaArt08 » May 26th, '13, 12:59

jbu2,

Here is another option we have. We have a tea deck in the backyard and it's nice to have a simple setup to move easily from the tea room to the tea deck. This Japanese tray (42cm x 27cm) is light, not too big, and makes for a nice tea tray/setup:

Image
Image[/quote]
p.s. by 茶藝-TeaArt08
wow you've got mogo! really nice set upps. perfect. great pictures. wow thanks.
Victoria, thank you. :D There's a lot great texture and color in the fabrics you displayed.

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May 26th, '13, 13:01
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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by gingkoseto » May 26th, '13, 13:01

Cheap bamboo tea trays can last very, very long, if you don't mind it getting old :D
Here is an example of Mattcha's tea tray:
http://mattchasblog.blogspot.com/2008/0 ... -sabi.html
Here is an example of my own shabby tea tray:
http://gingkobay.blogspot.com/2013/04/a ... -tray.html

Interestingly, later we found out that the above two tea trays are from the same commonly-seen, inexpensive brand :lol:

There is one obvious reason that I don't use a tea tray (yet) in office, and that's the same reason I haven't used a lot of other stuff yet in office. Currently I have a kettle, a thermos, a gainwan/hobin kind of thing and a teacup. I have a bigger porcelain teapot in my drawer that I haven't dared to put it in use yet, and there is a yixing that I would love to put it in the office for all kinds of tea. But I'm worried that it will make my office life appear too much of a leisure while other people seem all busier than drinking tea. Then maybe they would think of me in this way, "why are you having such a good time here?!"
People in my office are all very nice and cultured. But I'm afraid in a lot of office environments there is this perception. Tea (and maybe other stuff but typically tea) makes you appear doing things slowly although tea drinkers might be more efficient workers than coffee drinkers. :lol:

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