Drinking Apparatus of Chinese Tea

Drinking apparatus are another important part of Chinese tea ceremony. Different times have different sets of tea apparatus in fashion. Lu Yu, in his The Book of Tea, recorded 24 kinds of apparatus and making methods, including wind stove for frying water, clips for clipping coal, bamboo clips for stirring water, etc. Tea apparatus can not only fully exhibit the fragrance of tea, but its visual aesthetic beauty as well. Lu Yu held that the color of white, yellow and brown were not suitable for tea apparatus, because ther were too similar to the color of tea. This is for the same reason why we use glasses to drink green tea, with a view of observing the floating and sinking of leaves in the glass.

What is best water for tea

Good Chinese tea requires good tea water, because only in that way can tea have the best taste. So tea lovers from ancient time to the present have always taken tea water as key point in tea drinking. “Water of Yangtze River and tea of Mount Mengshan top” has been said for thousands of years.

The world-known tiger-running spring of Hangzhou of Zhejiang Province can best match Lungching tea. Kakuzo Okakura wrote in his the book of tea that ”tea water in mountains is best, in rivers is ok, and in wells is second rate.”  Water is valuable for being the active water at the source ofrivers. Kakuzo Okakura held that mountain water that flowed from white rock cracks was the best while spouting or dropping water usually caused diseases in people’s necks. The stale water in valleys was inedible but river water from those less inhabited sections was better because it was less polluted. Well water from the deep wells with waves was preferred. Kakuzo Okakura even divided the tea water into 20 grades.

Liu Bochu – Another man of letters – chose the Nanling water of Yangtze river as the best in the world was situated in the vicinities of Jinshan, Jiangsu. Only the water fetched in copper bottles tied to long ropes from deep down the water from 0 a.m. and from 12 a.m to 2 p.m. could be called Nanling water. Since it was so hard to get, the second best – Huishan Mount well water – became the coveted target of all. Chancellor Li Deyu of Tang Dynasty used his power to establish a special water – passing organization, just in order to have constant access to Huishan Mount well water. The well water would be transported all the way from Wuxi to Xi’an for his enjoyment. The Song Dynasty still held Huishan Mount well water in a high position. To keep the freshness of water during the long journey, Song people invented fresh-keeping methods like sprinkling through fine sand and impurity-ridding. In Ming Dynasty, it was common to put white stones in water to better water’s quality.

So if you want to enjoy Chinese tea, not just buy quality Chinese tea, but also choose good water for your tea:)

Chinese Tea Ceremony You Don’t Know

The Chinese love drinking tea. Not just for benefits, they drink tea to relieve thirst when thirsty, to sober up when drunken, to help digest after a meal, and to stay awake and fresh when staying up at night. Men of literature and writing take tea not only as a material and are particular about water, apparatus, occasion, time and people that are involved in tea drinking. This activity summarizes the essence of Chinese culture and implies the affection and pursuit of Chinese people.

In the next few weeks, I will write more tea ceremony.

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