Utensils are the "father of tea". Our country is a civilized Nation, has a very rich food and beverage culture, there used to be a saying that "cuisine is not compared to utensils", In the Early Tang Dynasty, Lu Yu suggested in Classic of Tea that in the formal tea activities, 24 tea utensils should be prepared, he emphasized that "in the city, in the royals houses, if the 24 utensils were not fully prepared, then do not bother trying that tea."
There are lots of modem tea arts, the sort of the tea is different from each other as well. Hence the utensils have a large quantity types. According to the texture of the tea utensils, there are pottery, porcelain, glass, metal, bamboo, lacquer and other types (like coco shell, stone, crystal, jade and agate ).
The beauty of the tea utensils include texture, design, art and also combination.To choose the right utensils to re-arrange is a process of art creation, which is not only revealing of the tea drinker's aesthetic view, but also a reveal of their tea knowledge. The combination of tea utensils should consider these four aspects as follows:
Practice for Tea
First, to choose tea utensils, you must know tea characters and follow tea characters, in order to choose the right tea utensils for the right tea. For example, to brew Oolong Tea, purple-clay teapot or lidded bowl is appropriated. To brew Black Tea, round porcelain pot would be better. To brew Advanced Green Tea, glass cups should be chosen, to brew Flower and Herbal teas or Romantic Black Tea, the cocktail goblet would be better. Have a think, if you use purple-clay teapot to brew West-Lake Dragon Well Tea, you would miss the "green color, aromatic smell, thick flavor and beautiful shape" four enjoyments. Also, because the purple-clay teapot is good at heat preservation, if the water temperature is too high, the tea leaves would be over boiled, which will lose the bean aroma and fresh smell of Dragon Well Tea. Hence no matter how good quality and how well made your purple-clay teapot is, you still would not be regarded as a good tea utensil user.
Practice for People
Different ages, races, regions, knowledge and social class, have the different tastes. On the condition that without affecting the color, smell, taste and shape of tea, the choose and combination of tea utensils should take human factors into consideration. For example, to brew Oolong Tea, for Guangdong Chaoshan people, "Four Kungfu tea treasures" (Chaoshan tea stove, jade book roller, Mengchen caddy and Ruochen bowl) are suggested; for Taiwanese friends, the combination can be purple-clay teapot, fair cup, tea sniff-cup and sipping cup. For young couples and lovers, joint heart cup is a nice choice, for shares business friends, a red-sand ox pot would be suggested.
Practice for Art
Different tea art forms have different requirements on the combination of tea utensils. For example, the Royal Tea Art requires luxury tea utensils; Scholars Tea Art must be elegant; folk tea art must be guileless; Religious Tea Art should be civil. Enterprise Marketing Tea Art requires a direct presentation on the commercial characters of tea. Above all, the combination of tea utensils is for the tea art performance. It should take a fully consideration on the background of present time and the ideology contents.
Practice for the Environment
To choose tea utensils, you should be aware of the location and environment The decorative style and the color of the environment should be considered as well The tea utensils should match the style of the environment.