The Chinese tea ceremony (Gongfu-Cha) has always been a fascinating and mysterious action, a traditional Eastern ritual. This is a special philosophy and culture that originated several millennia ago. The ancient ritual allows you to achieve peace and harmony and has its own characteristics. Let’s look at them in more detail.
The most important role of dishes.
In the Chinese tea ceremony, much attention is paid to the dishes and objects that are used for making and drinking tea. These include:
a teapot made of special Yixing clay or porcelain; a jug of Cha-Hai (“cup of justice”) – a clay object into which the infused tea drink is poured so that it becomes homogeneous in strength and color; a container with water heated to the desired temperature, used for brewing; a tea pair from a high narrow cup (Xiang-Bei) for tasting the aroma and a low wide bowl (Ping-Bei) for tasting the drink; a small cloth napkin or towel for removing spilled liquid; a tea box (Cha-He), in which dry tea is poured to familiarize each guest with the variety and aroma of the future drink; a porcelain spoon for cleaning the edges of dishes from tea leaves and debris; a wide wooden board (Cha-Pan) – a stand for all the objects used in the ritual. large container for collecting water from the first brewing.
Secrets of proper water.
One of the main components of the Chinese tea ceremony is water, which must meet certain requirements:
the best option is considered to be spring water, without foreign impurities and odors, not hard, but not too soft; heating of water for the preparation of the drink takes place in a separate container up to 80-95 °C, depending on the type of tea, excluding its boiling.
The sequence of actions.
According to Chinese tradition, the tea ceremony follows certain rules:
prepare a set of dishes (according to the number of guests), which is warmed up by rinsing with boiling water for 2 minutes; dry tea leaves are poured into a special box and passed to the participants clockwise for alternately inhaling the aroma; tea is poured into a heated teapot and filled with water, pouring it in a thin stream from a height of 50-70 cm; with a porcelain spoon, remove the formed bubbles and brew a kettle, pouring hot water from a height of 10-15 cm; the prepared tea is poured into the “cup of justice”, poured into the cups of the guests and begin to enjoy the aroma and taste of the drink.
Philosophy and meaning.
The Chinese tea ceremony is ideal for a leisurely friendly conversation, immersion in the inner world, and search for answers to complex life questions. The harmony of the process is set by the host, or master of the ceremony. This role is often performed by the host for his invited guests. His unhurried, but at the same time precisely adjusted movements bring calmness and confidence, creating a certain psychological mood among the participants of the tea party.
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The Chinese tea ceremony is held in a special tea house or a room reserved for this ritual with its own interior features:
muted, dim lighting; soft, pastel colors and natural materials of objects; a low table for placing dishes and participants; soft pillows and mats for guests of the event; soft atmospheric music with a meditative sound.
Traditional Chinese tea drinking is one of the ways to achieve inner harmony. This is an opportunity to enjoy the four main advantages of tea-the shape of the leaf, the color of the infusion, the aroma and taste.