Savoring Tea and Appreciating Tea Pets – Exploring the Charm of Tea Pets
Tea culture has been an integral part of traditional Chinese culture since ancient times. Drinking tea not only helps pass the time but also reflects a certain attitude towards life. Tea pets, as an embellishment in the art of tea, have become a beloved spiritual symbol for tea enthusiasts. Today, let's explore the roles, symbolic meanings, and how to select and use tea pets.
1. What are Tea Pets?
Tea pets, also known as tea playthings, are pets that "feed" on tea, symbolizing wealth and auspiciousness. They are mainly used to decorate and beautify tea tables. When people drink tea, they often dip some tea soup for pet painting, or use the remaining tea soup to drip directly. Over time, pets will become warmer, happier, and have a nice-smelling tea scent. Many tea lovers have their own beloved tea pets.
Tea pets are items placed on tea trays for tea lovers. As the name suggests, they are pets nurtured with tea during tea time. They are mostly made of purple clay or ceramic crafts, with some made of porcelain or stone. For people who drink tea regularly, tea pets are not unfamiliar. In tea houses, tearoom, or homes, a large tea table or tea tray is set up, with tea cups, teapots, and other tea utensils, as well as a few tea pets. Tea pets symbolize auspiciousness, have a strong cultural atmosphere, are humorous, and full of childlike interest, depending entirely on the owner's preferences. In recent years, with the improvement of living standards, more and more people pay attention to personal life taste, and tea pets have developed rapidly. The interesting nature of tea pets has therefore attracted many collectors.
2. The Role and Symbolic Meaning of Tea Pets
As the name suggests, tea pets are small playthings that accompany tea lovers during tea time. They are not only decorative items for tea sets but also spiritual symbols for tea lovers. In traditional Chinese culture, people believe that items cared for with love will have "qi" and bring good fortune to those who care for them. Tea pets are no exception. Through the meticulous care of their owners, tea pets gradually absorb the fragrance of tea and enjoy the beauty of tea with their owners. At the same time, tea pets also have an entertaining aspect. After meals, you can appreciate the exquisite shapes of tea pets.
3. Materials of Tea Pets
Tea pets come in a variety of materials, and here are some common tea pet materials: (Show using real-life usage pictures)
Purple Clay: Purple clay tea pets are the most popular type of material among tea pets, mainly produced in Yixing City, Jiangsu Province, China. Purple clay has excellent breathability and water absorption, so purple clay tea pets will gradually absorb the tea fragrance over time, presenting a unique luster. Purple clay tea pets have a warm texture that complements tea culture.
Ceramics: Ceramic tea pets come in a variety of colors and shapes, with exquisite craftsmanship. They have strong resistance to wear and permeability, making them easy to maintain. Moreover, the smooth surface of ceramic tea pets makes them more visually appealing.
Jade: Jade tea pets are usually made from precious materials such as Hetian jade and jadeite. They have a warm texture, high luster, and exude a noble and elegant temperament. However, due to the high cost of jade materials, jade tea pets are usually considered collectibles and gifts rather than everyday tea pets.
Resin: Resin is the most cost-effective material for tea pets. It is hard and somewhat flexible, making it more durable. At the same time, resin can change colors according to the temperature of your tea, creating a magical effect and making your tea ceremony more interesting and visually appealing.
Stone carving: Stone carving tea pets are made from materials such as Shoushan stone, Qingtian stone, and Paris stone, featuring a hard texture and unique feel. They come in a variety of shapes, such as landscapes, flowers and birds, and figures, and have high artistic and ornamental value.
Copper: Copper tea pets are mainly made from materials such as brass and bronze, which have strong resistance to oxidation and wear. Copper tea pets are usually made using techniques such as casting and forging, presenting a vintage texture and unique artistic style.
4. How to Use Tea Pets
The use of tea pets can be distinguished according to their type and function. Here are some common uses of tea pets:
Decoration: As a decoration for the tea table, tea pets can be placed on the side of the tea set or on the tea tray according to personal preferences and the setting. When arranging, pay attention to the size, shape, and color of the tea pet to match the tea set harmoniously and maintain an overall aesthetic. Additionally, the placement of tea pets can be adjusted according to factors such as seasons and holidays to reflect the owner's taste and interests.
Tea Pet Maintenance: Tea pets are the spiritual sustenance of tea enthusiasts, so they need to be regularly soaked and wiped with tea to absorb the fragrance. In this way, the texture of the tea pet will gradually become richer, sharing the beauty of tea with its owner. During the maintenance of purple clay tea pets, they will gradually become smoother and emit a unique luster.
Blessing: Auspicious tea pets, such as the three stars of fortune, prosperity, and longevity, and dragon and phoenix motifs, can be used for blessings and making wishes. During the tea-tasting process, tea enthusiasts can touch these tea pets and silently wish for the tea pets to protect and bless themselves and their families.
Tea Ceremony Performance: Tea pets can also be used in tea ceremony performances. For example, when brewing tea, tea enthusiasts can use tea pets to showcase their skills and creativity. Tea pets in tea ceremony performances can add interest to the art of tea, making the performance more lively and engaging.
Tea Art: Tea pets are also great conversation starters among tea friends. Tea enthusiasts can exchange maintenance tips, appreciate the craftsmanship of tea pets, and share the meanings and stories behind them. This exchange not only strengthens friendships but also broadens tea enthusiasts' horizons in tea art.
5. More Meaning on Tea Pets
Appreciating tea is not simply a process of brewing to quench thirst, but for the pleasure in the process. Arranging tea pet on the tea tray, and sharing the tea with them adds to your pleasure, like nourishing the teapot. Most tea pets are made of purple-clay, such as the pig head, foot (symbolizing "always happy" because of the Chinese pronunciation of spider and foot), dogs, golden toads."
Of course, If it is a kind of crafts in high quality, exquisite in model, glossy in color, vivid in painting, the value of tea pet will be higher. The tea pet bought newly is usually a new purple color, in red, purple or white, and slightly dusting on the surface. So under this condition, you just using brush it by pen or pour tea water on it everyday is all right. When choosing a suitable tea pet, the absorption ability of tea pet material and the style should be considered. According to yourself favorable, your could choose the best one for yourself. So, under the condition of giving attention to the beauty and interest, choosing the most suitable is very important. Every time you brew tea, nourish the tea pet with tea soup, and then gently brush it with a teapot brush. Over time, the tea pet will become smoother and brighter.
Actually, the playful of tea pet bring to you is nothing but the participation to the process of enjoying tea. Like planting flowers, you have to do as many trifles as watering, pruning. But waiting to the flower blooming, the sense of satisfying also could not be said by words. Under the nourishing of tea water everyday, with the expectation and wishes in heart, you will never know the happiness bring by the foundation that suddenly the tea pet is full of lives.
Just as we said that the tea pet bought newly is a new purple color, in red, purple or white, and slightly dusting on the surface, giving you the feeling of civilizing. Bringing it back and putting it on the tea table, and if you could often pouring tea, or play it with hand, the color of tea pet which in a graze light will be presented gradually. And of course, the uneven surface will also be grind, the feel is also be more rounded. In the process of nourishing, you only need to pour by tea soup, but not plain boiled water. Only in this way, the tea pet will be felt the smoothing of itself.
In other hand, not only the tea pet could be served as a playing object, also could be regarded a kind of special collection, which has a great value for collecting. At the time of free and tasteful, the life will inevitably be full full of fun and joy.