Cha He (Tea Holders) - The Perfect Choice for the Discerning Tea Enthusiast
1. What is a Cha He (Tea Holder)?
A "Cha He" is used to display tea leaves before brewing. It is an essential step in the traditional Chinese tea ceremony known as "gongfu tea". In the past, a Cha He was used to hold tea leaves taken from a tea canister, not only to display the leaves but also to allow for easy inspection for any impurities or debris. With the advancement of tea processing and preservation technology, the role of the Cha He now primarily focuses on allowing guests to appreciate the appearance, quality, and aroma of the tea leaves before brewing, while also showcasing the tea drinker's personal style and refined taste.
2. How to Select a Cha He (Tea Holder)
The choice of a Cha He depends on personal preferences, material, and requirements. Different materials have their unique characteristics, adding richness to the tea experience.
Ceramic: Ceramic Cha He offers good water resistance and a beautiful appearance. The versatile and stable nature of ceramic allows designers to freely express their creativity. Ceramic Cha He comes in various styles and patterns to cater to different aesthetic needs.
Bamboo and wood: Made from natural bamboo or wood, these Cha He have a unique texture and warm color. Bamboo and wood Cha He are eco-friendly and add a touch of natural beauty to the tea ceremony. They are also lightweight, making them more convenient to use.
Glass: Made from high borosilicate glass, glass Cha He is heat-resistant, cold-resistant, and impact-resistant. The transparency of the glass allows for a clear view of the tea leaves' color and texture, enhancing the tea-tasting experience.
Metal: Metal Cha He is typically made from stainless steel, copper, or silver, and features a sturdy property. Metal Cha He is exquisitely designed and has a unique sense of luxury. However, after use, it is essential to dry the surface and store it in a dry area to prevent prolonged contact with tea water, which may cause changes in the metal quality.
3. How to Use a Cha He (Tea Holder)
Using a Cha He correctly and skillfully makes your tea ceremony look more elegant, enhances your tea experience, and extends the life of your tea ware. Here are the specific steps for using a Cha He:
Retrieve tea: Use the Cha He to scoop out the appropriate amount of tea leaves. If the Cha He's width is larger than the tea canister's opening, you can use a tea spoon or tea tongs to remove the leaves.
Smell the aroma: While displaying the tea leaves, the Cha He also allows guests to smell the tea leaves' aroma. Gently shake the Cha He to release the fragrance into the air, then bring it closer to your nose to experience the unique scent.
Prepare to brew: Tilt the Cha He to allow the tea leaves to pour into a teapot or a lidded bowl through the designated opening. You can also use tea tongs or a tea spoon to avoid directly touching the tea leaves, ensuring cleanliness.
Clean and store: High-quality Cha He requires only the simplest cleaning method. Gently wash with clean water and a tea towel, then air-dry. Ideally, store it in a dry, well-ventilated environment to extend its lifespan significantly.
4. Cha He's Perfect Companions
Using various accessories can maximize the Cha He's function, enhancing its aesthetics and the overall compatibility of the tea set.
Spoon: Using a Cha He in combination with a tea spoon allows the tea leaves to fall precisely where you want them. A well-matched spoon can also convey a beautiful sense of storytelling. For example, this Cha He set not only uses high-quality, eco-friendly materials but also incorporates a design concept inspired by a characteristic Chinese boat: the "bamboo raft." This excellent concept adds narrative and interest to the Cha He set.
Tea Tongs Set: A set is a lifesaver for those who struggle with choices! It can meet most of the requirements for the tea ceremony. Tea tongs make it easier to pick up block-shaped tea leaves. A tea needle can pry open hard tea cakes, and when used with a Cha He, it can temporarily store tea leaves that are ready to be brewed.
Tea Towel: Both the tea towel and Cha He are secret weapons for keeping your tea ceremony space clean. Using a tea towel in conjunction with a Cha He makes subsequent cleaning much more efficient.
In conclusion, the use of a Cha He varies depending on its material and design, but the overall goal is to enhance the visual appeal of tea leaves and elevate the tea ceremony experience. Appropriately utilizing a Cha He during the tea-tasting process can make tea activities more colorful and diverse.