Tableware for the tea ceremony.
Holding a Chinese tea ceremony is impossible without a special atmosphere, which helps to create a beautiful atmosphere, calm soft music and specially selected dishes. The evolution of tea utensils has been going on since the discovery of the useful properties of tea by the Chinese, with the change in the methods of its preparation, the functional purpose of the tools also changed. In our time, a standard set of dishes for the tea ceremony is used, which will be discussed below.
Chhapan (Cha Pan), or Cha ban – tea board, tray.
The object on the stand makes a completely different impression than without it. That is why in Chinese traditions so much attention is paid to various trays and platforms.
During the tea ceremony, all the accessories are placed on the shepherd, and water and spilled tea are drained into the tray. Usually the board is made of bamboo, and the most expensive copies are made of sandalwood.
Water is of great importance for the tea ceremony. To brew tea, use water that has reached a certain boiling stage, and the kettle helps to track the “correctness” of boiling. In China, it is believed that a good shuihu can only be made from Guangdong clay – this material is able to convey all the smallest changes in the sound in the kettle.
Chahae – Cha Hae) – tea box.
Cha hae is designed to get acquainted with tea, with its aroma and appearance. Before the ceremony begins, the host holds the ” box ” between his hands, inhales the aroma of tea, and then passes the container around so that all participants are imbued with the spirit of tea. For ease of use, the shape of the cha he is oblong, with a spout for pouring tea into a teapot or gaiwan.
Chhahu – Cha Hu) – a teapot for tea.
The material of the teapot is glass, porcelain or clay. Before use, the kettle is rinsed with boiling water, and then the cups are rinsed with the same water. The shape and size of the cha hu depends on the number of participants in the ceremony, as well as on the type of tea. It is considered good form to brew each type of tea in “your” teapot.
Chhahai (Cha Hai), or Gundaobei-the cup of justice.
Translated from Chinese, the name of this vessel means “sea of tea” and reflects its function. Here the master of ceremonies pours the tea after it has been brewed in the cha hu. The meaning of the procedure is to change the properties of tea-so the water of the rivers flowing into the sea, change and transform (hence the name – “sea of tea”). Thanks to it, each participant of the ritual has the opportunity to enjoy the color of the tea, and also gets a drink without small leaves that settle to the bottom of the cha hai. In the bowl, the tea cools slightly, and the host pours it into the cups.
Wenxianbei and Pingminbei, or Chhabei (Cha Bei) – a tea pair.
It is used in tea ceremonies that have a special meaning. First, the tea is poured into a wenxianbei – a tall and narrow cup, and then it is covered with a pingminbei-a low and wide cup. Wenxianbei symbolizes the sky, pingminbei-the earth, so when the cups are turned over, it turns out that the tea is sent from heaven to earth.
Chhatou (Cha To) – a stand for a tea pair.
With a stand, the tea pair looks more aesthetically pleasing. Thanks to cha to, the ritual looks complete: pingmingbei to taste the tea, wenxiangbei to inhale its aroma, and a stand to feel the continuity of heaven and earth.
Gaiwan-a cup with a lid.
Gaivani is made of porcelain, glass and clay. Light teas – green and white-are best brewed in glass or porcelain dishes, and clay gaiwan is usually used for red or black tea.
Chhaeguan (Chaeguan) – a container for storing tea.
Tea Guan should be chosen very carefully – the vessel should be sealed tightly and be opaque, otherwise the properties of the tea may change. Traditionally, the container for storing tea is made of clay or porcelain.
The observance of all the rituals during the tea ceremony is of great importance for the Chinese. They pay attention to everything:
music, mood of the audience, dishes…
If you decide to hold such a ceremony at home, then take the selection of components very seriously. Then you can understand why China is so fond of tea and consider it a gift from heaven, purifying thoughts, giving strength and calming the soul.