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May 27th 13 8:26 pm
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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by debunix » May 27th 13 8:26 pm

Olive trees definitely can grow large enough for a small tea tray--I recently purchased a gorgeous small cutting board 25 cm in diameter that is made from olive.

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by Chip » May 27th 13 11:38 pm

There is/was an ebay seller who specializes in olive wood products although it has been a while since I looked. The items for sale were quite interesting.

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by 茶藝-TeaArt08 » May 28th 13 3:05 am

Congratulations on the tray!

It reads 茶緣 cha2 yuan2="tea" "fate/destiny/connection." It's actually a little hard to translate directly. "Yuan2" (緣) is the first character in a Chinese term that is a very rich term. The term is "yuan2 fen1" (緣份) and it is used frequently in Chinese culture to refer to a meant to be/ life-fated/destiny/ connection. When a student finds his perfect teacher that situation could be described as "yuan2 fen1" (緣份), a meant-to-be connection.

My experience with the term has been in some to of the most beautiful situations of my life. When I met and found my gu2qin1 (古琴) teacher she said our meeting is 緣份. When I met my wife she felt our meetings was (after 13 years together she may not feel it so strongly now. :D ) 緣份. When I met my tea teacher he too described our meeting as 緣份。 Many of my deepest friends in Taiwan describe our meeting as 緣份。What it means is that, for both sides, both people, or for all involved in a situation, that the situation/connection is positively fated/destined connection.

So, with your tea tray, which arrived in a color other than you requested/expected maybe the writing is appropriate. You got the tray that destiny and your tea path have determined for you to explore your connection to tea and the connections you make with others through tea. :mrgreen: Cha2 yuan2 (茶緣)means, something like "tea connection" or "tea relation"....it's hard to bring across clearly.

I hope this helps; let me know if I can try to bring it across more clearly.

Blessings!

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by Tead Off » May 28th 13 4:36 am

theredbaron wrote:
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.
I have 2 bamboo tea trays that I've had more than 5 years. They have both seen a lot of use and both have been dried out many times for months at a time and have never leaked, or cracked. I use all ceramic teaware but pull out the bamboo ones once in a while for a change of pace. We both live in the same climate! Why would yours crack and mine not? Luck? Better made? What do you think?

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by theredbaron » May 28th 13 12:22 pm

Tead Off wrote:
theredbaron wrote:
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.
I have 2 bamboo tea trays that I've had more than 5 years. They have both seen a lot of use and both have been dried out many times for months at a time and have never leaked, or cracked. I use all ceramic teaware but pull out the bamboo ones once in a while for a change of pace. We both live in the same climate! Why would yours crack and mine not? Luck? Better made? What do you think?

Maybe yours are better made?
Mine were cheapo Chinese trays.

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by tenuki » May 28th 13 6:08 pm

I have a couple of trays that work fine, but nowadays I usually just put out a tea towel and use a large bowl for waste water. Sometimes I use another bowl - set the yixing in it and pour hot water over it while brewing - seems to get more nice flavors out of certain teas. The tea boat can be used the same way, but keeps the pot out of emersion in the water, which reduces the effect somewhat.

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by theredbaron » May 29th 13 2:03 am

tenuki wrote:I have a couple of trays that work fine, but nowadays I usually just put out a tea towel and use a large bowl for waste water. Sometimes I use another bowl - set the yixing in it and pour hot water over it while brewing - seems to get more nice flavors out of certain teas. The tea boat can be used the same way, but keeps the pot out of emersion in the water, which reduces the effect somewhat.

A traditional tea boat is actually nothing but a bowl in which a yixing pot is placed and water is poured over. These more modern designs in which the pot is sitting on an elevated point in the middle is just a variation. I just use the old way.

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by futurebird » May 29th 13 5:01 am

Anyone else use a clay store or ceramic tray?

I have a tea boat at work and it's perfectly fine, But I like to have a lot of space when making tea for my husband or company.

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by jbu2 » May 29th 13 6:16 am

until my new tray will arrive i am using an old round arabic style stainless metal, it is convenient to wash and light but when i put boiling tea pot the heat pass to the tray and to my hands .

ceramic or clay sounds like they can break easily and you will probably have to clean right away to avoid stains.

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by futurebird » May 29th 13 6:39 am

jbu2 wrote:until my new tray will arrive i am using an old round arabic style stainless metal, it is convenient to wash and light but when i put boiling tea pot the heat pass to the tray and to my hands .

ceramic or clay sounds like they can break easily and you will probably have to clean right away to avoid stains.
It's clay so I just rinse it with hot water and wipe it one a week. It never gets "cleaned" -- and it's so heavy I'm not concerned about breaking.

:lol:

Though I have seem some ceramic trays with these issues some of them avoid the staining by being black.

Mine never leaves it's spot on my desk.

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Re: chinese tea tray - why not ?

by Tead Off » Jun 1st 13 8:46 am

Here is a basic ceramic setup that I use most of the time. It consists of a Petr Novak slab with one of Seong il's ceramic tea trays which has holes that allow me to pour hot water over certain teapots or throwing flash rinses into it. Very handy and can last for several sessions depending on what tea I am drinking.

The small teapot that is shown is Korean, 50ml and bought in Hwagae market in the heart of tea country. I am brewing Puerh in it and I am pouring it into a Petr Novak porcelain cup for those interested in these details. I like using the ceramic setup more than anything I've found so far. I can change out the slab and use trays if I want and sometimes I'll pull out the bamboo trays and use that. It all depends on what you like.
Ceramic tea setup.jpg
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Re: Chinese tea tray - why not ?

by victoria3 » Jun 1st 13 7:09 pm

Tead Off that is a beautiful setup you have there, really perfect tonal textural too. Makes me want to start exploring teas that call for pouring hot water over teapots and flash rinsing.

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Re: Chinese tea tray - why not ?

by jbu2 » Jun 2nd 13 8:03 am

the problem that i have with this method is that i can't imagine not burning at least a few fingers will splashing water every were , and i can foresee that a tray with plastic water tray in it will make unpleasant noises will splashing .

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Re: Chinese tea tray - why not ?

by Geekgirl » Jun 2nd 13 7:07 pm

I think whether the tea trays will eventually crack or not, is much more affected by your locale's average daily humidity than by other factors, including construction. I'm in Portland, OR area, and we have only a handful of days that drop below 40% humidity. Our yearly average is around 55%, which is similar to Hawaii and other locations in the same latitude, that includes places where bamboo and natural woods are used heavily in construction, art and accessories.

For instance: I rarely have to humidify my ukuleles or my guitar. I do so as a precaution, occasionally in July, and December, for the one week or so it gets hot/dry or cold/dry, meaning the humidity is sitting at 40%, with the rare fall into the 20% for a day or two.

Also, my teatrays/coasters/whisks/spatulas/cutting boards/trivets made from bamboo, do not crack unless I put them in the dishwasher repeatedly, or unless they are really really old and have been heavily used and abused.

I have one bamboo tea tray that leaked, which it did from day 1, so that's a construction issue. I patched it with aquarium-grade silicone.

I'm just saying that if all your trays eventually leak, it's probably neither user-error, nor construction, it's likely your climate/humidity.

ETA: and I just noticed that one of the people complaining about cracking/leaking trays has Bangkok as location. Plenty of humidity there, so I'm voting for cheap construction. bah humbug.

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Re: Chinese tea tray - why not ?

by Tead Off » Jun 3rd 13 6:50 am

Let me add that the bamboo trays are made with a waterproof coating, maybe urethane. This has to be carefully applied or leaking could occur. Sometimes, these coatings just wear out. Nothing lasts forever. :D