The Chinese take their tea-drinking culture rather seriously. The tea culture is preserved in China, especially in Taiwan, very well. Tea is had on various circumstances and is looked at as a custom. The Chinese have a drink as a sign of respect (the young prepare it for the elders), to show gratitude and celebrate at the weddings, and to apologize. There are many traditional tea houses that you would come across in China. Given this little information, we can somewhat conclude that the Chinese do not mess with their tea-drinking tradition as it signifies various ceremonies, and it is critical for them.
Brewing Tea – The Chinese Way
The Chinese tend to brew tea in different ways depending on the occasion, means of the people who are preparing the drink, the type of tea to be brewed. For example, the Chinese brew green tea with more lukewarm water as the green tea leaves are softer and more delicate in comparison to the oolong or black tea leaves that they brew in hot boiling water.
Once served, the person who drinks the tea gently taps their index finger on the cup to thank the server of the tea. Finger tapping is a simple gesture in order to express gratitude. Formally, nodding the head or saying “thank you” is more appropriate.
In their culture, the Chinese have different types of tea sets for various occasions. However, let us have a look at the essential elements that constitute the Chinese teaware –
Chahu or Chongguan (The Tea Pot)
Multiple types of teapots vary concerning the occasion. This variety is owing to the difference in composition in clay and porcelain that goes into making such teapots. The build of the Teapot has significance in how the tea tastes. The clay acts as a catalyst in adding flavor to the tea due to its porosity and other factors.
Gaiwan or Sancai (The Covered Bowl)
This one is interesting and fascinating as the lid of Gaiwan represents heaven, the bracket represents the earth, and the cup represents the man. One can make tea in a covered bowl, also known as Gaiwan. However, a lot of practice is a requirement to be able to brew the tea that way. Even for Gaiwans, one must make a specific tea type based on the built of the Teapot or Sancai. The quality and nature of clay or porcelain make a difference in terms of the tea taste.
Chaban (Tea Tray For Ceremony)
The Chinese Chabans are tea trays and maybe single-layered or double-layered. They provide the purpose of keeping all the teaware or tools or utensils for drinking tea together so that everything holds along well. Put the Teapot, cup and saucer, spoon, towel, etc. in the tea tray.
Teaspoon, Tea funnel (to filter out tea leaves), tea tongs (to hold hot Teapot), etc. are the different tools comprising the conventional Chinese teaware.
The Chinese associate their culture and tradition to tea. You now know all the essential elements of Chinese teaware.