It was quoted the Purple Medic Anthology in the book of Chaozhou Topography said that, people who lived in Chaozhou liked tea very much,and they cooked the tea do it themselvesery, called it as "Kongfu tea".
Yuan Mei who lived in the Qing Dynasty gave an hypotyposis on the tea-tasting of ancient customs in his Food List of Yuan Mei, the cup as small as walnut, the pot as small as citron, every cup of tea made people did not want to drink, smell the perfume for the first, tasted the flavor secondly, chew it slowly and feel the sense, its most fragrant flavor and delicious taste open infested scent to nose, the aftertaste go around the tongue, after the second cup of tea, people will feel release, peace and free......"
There was no any definite records in historical data when did the Chaozhou kongfu tea start. But about the recherche sets were recorded in many historical datas, the earliest record was on the book of Kungfu Tea of Chaojia Fengyue Ji, the best teapot was made by Yixing, round body and oblate belly, arch flow. mouth and curl handle, most of them can accomodate half liter(500ml) of water."
Wong Huidong wrote the book The Classic of Chaozhou tea in Republican China,teapot also called "Chong Guan",the best was made by the red sand and clay of Yixing in Jiangsu Province. The Chaozhou people take an important and valued teapots such as Mengchen, Tie huaxuan, Qiupu, Epu, Xiaoshan, Yuan Xisheng,ect.
The historian Lian Heng( 1878~1936) who was a Taiwanese wrote Ten Talking said that, Taiwannese is similar to Zhang, Quan, Chaozhou on tasting the tea, the tea must be Wuyi tea, and teapot must be Mengchen teapot, tea cup must be Ruoshen teacup, you can't entertain the guest without these three necessities of tea-drinkings.
Tea Sets Used in Kungfu Tea
Due to these above-mentioned materials, we know about the exquisite tea sets of Kungfu tea what the Chaozhou people used. What they used the tea sets in Kungfu tea included as follows:
1. Teapot,local named "Chong guan". Inculded the Yixing red clay teapot and Chaozhou the hand throwing traditional process red clay teapot, Shapes were small and lots of kind, due to the number of tea drinkers, there were for two teapot, for three teapot, for four teapot,etc.
2. Tea cover bowl, the shape looked like a supine clock, had a cover on the upside and a mat under, sometime it took a place of teapot.
3. Teacup,the best was Ruoshen manufactured teacup. Blue and white glaze, flat bottom and wide mouth, charactered "treasure of Ruoshen" on the cup, Ruoshen was a famous inscription in Jingde；zhen in Kangxi Period.
4. Tea washer, seemed like a big bowlt low and deep all existed, used for dipping in the teacups, teapot, putting some tea lees and waste water.
5. Tea plate, as good as wide and flat, being round and square.the wide should be put four cups, and the best was the convenient one.
6. Tea mat, shape looked like a small plate,can put teapot and bear the hot water. Recently, they all use the "tea boat", there was an interlayer with ostioles, for water seepage and storing, had variety of forms-It was very convenient the put the teapot and teacups together on the tea boat when making tea.
7. Tea kettle, storing water for boiling tea.
8.Water bowl,used for storing water. It be put on the teapoy and made by porcelain, got different kinds of styles.
9. Dragon jar, ,big water capacity,, the tray that puts above, put it at side edge of the room.blue and white porcelain were decorated the outside of jar,the best were manufactured in Xuande Period, it was also treasure that made in Kangxi and Qianlong Periods.
10. Furnace, red clay furnace,six or seven inches.also existed the other shape form.
11. Sand pan, local named"haguozi'. It was made by the famous artiste in Fengxi, the best was light and beauty.
12. Lup, used for fanning for furnace.
13. Copper chopsticks, used for hold the charcoal ember and fire poking,
14. Tin can, for storing the expensive and famous tea.
15. Tea napkin, for cleaning the vessels.
16. Bamboo chopsticks, used for holding the tea-leafs and lees.
17. Teapoy, also called as tea table, for putting the tea vessels.
18. Tea load, also called as tea holder, for storing the whole sets of teaware, as to go out bring with them.
Above-mentioned the eighteen categories of Kungfu tea vessels, it must be all included in a tea family that should be called as a tea-drinking family.
(207) Yixing red clay teapot, Qing Dynasty. Height 6.3cm,width 13cm, Taiwanese private collection.
Round belly with a little curl, low belly, round handle, crouch feet. The Kungfu tea in Chaoshan liked the Yixing teapot very much, not only the good quality of clay, but also the refined techniques, this kind of teaware got a high neck so that could be used for screwing the tea soup as well as no need to wony about the cover.
(208) Blue and white porcelain flowerish and birds pattern cup, Kangxi Period in Qing Dynasty. Height 4.7cm, caliber 6.1, bottom diameter 2.7cm, collected by the Shanghai Museum.
A little outwards mouth, deep belly, round feet. painted the flowerish and birds pattern on the outside of cup. Strong stoke on the linear definition, dramatized with light ink the full frame gave a feeling of fresh and clean, simple and elegant.
(209) Chaozhou red clay teapot, Qing Dynasty. Height 7cm, width 13cm, Taiwanese private collection.
Pear shape, a little outwards mouthy circla handle, crouch feet. Made by the hand throwing method which was traditional processing to make red clay teapot, also called "Chongguan" ,imitated the inscription of "Mengchen" of Yixing. The molding methods were different from each other between Chaozhou and Yixing. But Chaozhou always imitated Yixing shape, with an inferior workmanship, and the fire temperature was lower than Yixing pots, Some of Chaozhou pots were painted a layer of sizing agent on the surface after it was molding and dry, the fired color would be shining and flamboyance as same as Yixing red clay teapot, but after many years, sometimes this layer of sizing agent would drop off, and there were lots of difference on the color of inside and outside.
(210) Sand pan, late-Qing Dynasty. Height 8cm, width 17cm, Taiwanese private collection.
Round belly, short straight flow-mouth, soft loop handle, flat bottom. Produced in Chaozhou, made by the hand throwing traditional processing. Its function was for boiling water.