Jun 4th 13 10:46 am
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Re: Chinese tea tray - why not ?

by jbu2 » Jun 4th 13 10:46 am

so what people use before this tray ?
i can't imagine that all of china used tea boats .

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Jun 4th 13 10:52 am
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Re: Chinese tea tray - why not ?

by jayinhk » Jun 4th 13 10:52 am

For my 120~RMB I'm very happy with my tea tray, and a lot of the wood ones made in China are made with African species that are in grave danger of extinction. It's shocking how much ebony and wenge has been smuggled out of Africa by the Chinese in the last few years.

I might pick one up in porcelain or stainless next, but not until my existing one has absolutely had it. :D

Jun 4th 13 11:56 am
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Re: Chinese tea tray - why not ?

by theredbaron » Jun 4th 13 11:56 am

jbu2 wrote:so what people use before this tray ?
i can't imagine that all of china used tea boats .

The now popular way of modern Chinese tea drinking is rooted in southern Chinese Gung Fu Cha - small tea pots, etc - and has been developed further by the Taiwanese/HK/Malaysian tea renaissance starting in the 70's or 80's (i believe).
It was traditional to use a tea boat in southern China.
But also trays with a water reservoir were used - you can see many older ones made from pewter or porcelain, and later, also ones made from plastic, aluminum or stainless steel. I have seen these bamboo trays only during the last 15 years or so, started by Taiwan (very expensive trays), and then cheaply copied by China - which are the ones here at debate.

Tea in China has always been regional - semi-fermented teas were drunk in Southern China, Pu Erh in Yunnan (and Tibetan areas), green tea in central and northern China. And so have been different ways of drinking those teas. The very small tea pots with very strong infusions have been a southern Chinese custom, while in other parts of the country mostly larger pots were used, or green tea infused in gaiwan from which the tea was drunk directly, such as in eastern China.
I have seen, for example, in tribal areas at the Thai-Burmese border areas people drinking a style of Pu Erh tea (at least i guess so) from bamboo cups. I don't know though how previously the Yunnanese minorities drunk their Pu Erh.

There are many ways to enjoy tea. When i drink semi-fermented or Pu Erh tea i personally stick to the more traditional southern Chinese way, as i find this the most optimal - a tea boat which houses the pot, and where the hot water i pour over the pot helps keeping the heat up, and quite quick infusions of rather concentrated tea (though not as strong as some prefer).
When i drink Sencha or Gyokyro i use a normal wooden tray, and a Japanese set up. For Korean tea i use a small Korean tea set i got many years ago.

My only compromise to modern convenience is that instead of boiling the water over a charcoal fire i boil it over an alcohol flame. I just like the simplicity of traditional ways of preparing and drinking tea.

One of the things that i simply cannot stand with these bamboo trays is that without a heavy urethane varnish they would simply not function. I look at them as one of the many gimmicks that clutter the tea space, whose function can be fulfilled with much better items made from more suitable material.
I believe that in preparing and drinking tea is a perfect marriage between beauty and function, under a basic principle of simplicity/frugality.

But again - that's just me.

Jun 5th 13 10:22 am
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Joined: Oct 15th 11 6:27 pm

Re: Chinese tea tray - why not ?

by jbu2 » Jun 5th 13 10:22 am

Korean set is like japanese (or vise versa ), do they use the same tea tray?

how about chaning the topic of this thread and make it tea tray in general because it has some usefull information for new people .