Friday, February 1, 2013

Gongfu Cha: Components to a Gongfu Cha Set

Gongfu Tea is a method and style of making and serving tea. 
There are certain elements that are needed for fluid movement and presentation.
These may include but not limited to the following a tea tray, a teapot, a teapot base, a tea scoop, a tea strainer, a fair cup, teacups, saucers, tea tweezers, and a tea stirrer. 


Chinese: 茶壶 /chaa-hoo/ chá hú
 A teapot needs to be about 3-4oz in capacity, without tea leaves. 
A basic and common teapot usually has volume for four people.
There  are some teapots that has a capacity of 2-3 oz and is meant for 1 -2 people and used mostly for very good quality tea.

See also:
Tea Tray

Chinese: 茶盘 /chaa-pan/ chá pán
 A tea tray must have enough room for all items of the tea set. 
The tea tray needs to be harmonious with the choice of tea set.
The size also must be balanced with the size of space used in the tea room.

The tea tray usually has a hollow platform/drawer under the tray to collect and contain tea water waste during the brewing process.
 Tea trays are usually made from diverse materials that is usually waterproof and durable to water exposure.
Some are made from wood, bamboo, stone, metal, ceramic, and basalts. 
Shapes can vary as well depending on the artist.

See also:

Teapot Base

Chinese: 养壶垫 /yang hood yen/ yǎng hú diàn
Teapot bases are made of wood, bamboo or clay. 
Teapot bases are for placing the teapot on an elevated surface to protect the base of the teapot and bring attention to the teapot as it is the most important tool in making a good cup of tea.

Cha Dao Utensils

Set of Three  

These usually comes in a set of 3 or 5 individual implements. Commonly in a set of 3 consisting of a tea scoop, a tea pick and a pair of tweezers. The occasional set of five will consist of an added implement a teapot funnel and a tea stir/scraper. In a three set combo the scraper/stir is combined with the tea pick. These utensils are usually made of bamboo or wood.

Set of Five

Tea scoop

Chinese: 茶匙 /chaa shee/ chá shí
Wooden (or bamboo) tea scoops are used for scooping tea leaves into a teapot.

See also:


Tea Tweezers/Pincers

Chinese: 茶夹 /chaa jyah/ chā jiá; or 茶筷 /chaa kwhy/ chā kuài
These are usually used to handle hot teacups and for rinsing the teacups prior to use, so as not to contaminate the guest's teacup.

See also:

Tea Pick

Chinese:  茶渣匙 / cha zha chi
This is a tea pick used to scrap tea dregs from the teapot and the teapot spout.
Sometimes used to break puer tea leaves into smaller pieces.


Tea Scraper/Stir and Pick Combo 


Chinese: 茶簪 /chaa dsan/ chá zān 

This is a tea scraper and pick that are combined - with one end pointed and the other flat.

 See also: 

Tea scraper

 Chinese: -->茶匙  cha chi 
This implement is used to nudge dry tea leaves into the teapot as well as to skim any dross while making tea. Sometimes also used to remove spent tea leaves from the bottom of the teapot.

See also: 

Tea Strainers

Chinese: 茶漏 /chaa loh/ chá lòu; also called 茶斗 /chaa doh/ chá dǒu
This is for filtering the brewed tea to enable a clear and jade like quality to the brew.

See also: 

Tea Funnel

Chinese:  茶漏 Cha Lu
This is an implement to assist in funnel the tea leaves into the mouth of the teapot.
This prevents loss of precious tea leaves and spillage.

See also: 
Justice Pot

Justice Pot with Strainer

Chinese: 公道杯 /gong-doww bay/ gōng dào bēi; also called 茶海 /chaa heye/ chá hǎi
Justice pot or Fair cup. Usually has no hands but there are some exceptions. 
Some have a stainer in them but most do not.
The purpose of the Justice pot is to make sure that the brew is evenly mixed and distributed into each cup.
Pouring the tea from the teapot into the cups require an added skill to make sure that the brew is even tasting. 
The Justice Pot eliminates the possibility of uneven tasting tea.

Chinese: 茶杯 /chaa bay/ chá bēi
There are may types of teacups. 
Some are for tasting tea, and some are larger used for making and serving tea.
They are usually made of porcelain or ceramic.

Teacup Saucers

Bamboo Saucers

Porcelain Saucer
 Chinese: 茶托 /chaa twor/ chá tuō
The function of a saucer is
for potecting surfaces from drips and rings from the cups as well as to present the tea in a respectful manner and to enable the guest to handle the hot cup of tea with grace and care.

Tea Presenter/Holder

Chinese: 茶荷 /chaa her/ chá hé
A tea presenter/holder is used for measuring and displaying dry tea before it is brewed.
 The art of tea is about educating the guests about the tea they are about to savor. 
Therefore, showing tea leaves to guests is to teach them to appreciate and evaluate the tea through the sense of smell and visual
These vessels are usually mad from ceramic/porcelain with the rare pieces made from special wood or carved bamboo. 

See also the following articles: 

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