In order to make delicious tea, you do not need to have special utensils and special skills. But if some teas brew well enough in a regular glass, then there are teas that are better brewed with slightly different methods. As we gain experience and taste, we have different needs that a simple glass or a large teapot will not satisfy. This is where the moment comes when there is a lack of utensils that are more focused on methods such as Gongfu Cha, Ping Cha, Sencha Do, and so on. For more information about the most important methods of brewing tea, read our article - ABOUT THE METHODS OF BREWING TEA.
Below, we have collected for you the most common types of tea utensils that will help you enjoy a particular tea in a better quality.
As you can see, tea utensils differ in size, shape and material. These three parameters play an important role.
First, the smaller the dishes, the less tea leaves we need. This is a very big plus, especially when it comes to expensive tea. This is due to the fact that in a smaller volume it is easier for us to achieve the desired concentration. Second, it allows us to enjoy quality, not quantity. As you can see from the brew methods article, most methods are based on quick and repeated brewing. Smaller crockery allows you to enjoy the gradual development of taste and aroma. This turns the brewing process into a ceremony that has a relaxing, meditative effect.
Glass, a versatile material in which absolutely any tea can be brewed. Glass allows us to control the brewing process and enjoy the color of the infusion. Everything is simple and practical. In addition to glass, dishes are made of porcelain and earthenware, which, in turn, can be glazed or unglazed.
Porcelain is a very noble material for brewing tea. It reveals the taste and aroma of tea very well. Plus, this is a very beautiful dish that pleases the eye of everyone present. There are many different kinds of porcelain, and if you are interested in this topic, be sure to read about what kind of porcelain is. It is a wonderful world in which various vases and bowls made of Chinese porcelain are sold at auctions for tens of millions of dollars.
Glazed pottery has very similar properties, but unglazed is a separate topic of conversation. The fact is that unglazed dishes react with the tea being brewed, as a result of which the tea is brewed differently. In simple terms, since clay has a chemical composition and has direct contact with the tea leaf and water, these elements interact, as a result of which the tea is brewed in a different way. Brewed in such a dish, the tea infusion turns out to be softer and has a deeper taste. There is a huge amount of different types of clay used to make tea utensils.
As you noticed, very often we recommend making tea in teapots made from Yixing clay . This is the name given to teapots made from a special clay mined in the city of Yixing, Jiangsu province, China. This is due to the fact that this clay is almost the noblest medium for brewing tea leaves. This clay has a rich chemical composition and high porosity. Teapots made of such clay keep heat well, and will grow over time. The fact is that over time, such teapots begin to brew tea better. In such dishes, the taste of the tea infusion is softer and deeper. As a result of this peculiarity, it is recommended to brew one type of tea in such teapots. Yixing teapots are a real work of art, made entirely by hand, without the use of a potter's wheel. The form and details are impeccable, which makes the process of brewing tea a pleasure. The quality of such dishes depends on the quality of the clay and the work of the master, that is, the correctness and convenience of the form. There are a huge number of classic forms of Yixing teapots, the shape and ergonomics of which have been tested by time.
There are also Jian Shui, Qin Zhou and Chaozhou teapots. These teapots are also made from quality local clays and are not glazed. This is also a very high quality tea-brewing utensil. We will definitely write an article about them in the future.
TYPES AND SHAPES
Gaiwan is a literal translation of "a bowl with a lid". A versatile and convenient item for brewing tea. Gaiwan allows you to monitor the gradual opening of tea leaves and control the brewing process. Allows you to quickly drain the infusion, which in some cases is very important. All the essential oils of the infusion remain on the gaiwan lids, which allows you to enjoy the aroma of the tea better. Gaiwan is easy to use and does not require any special skills.
Cha Hai, the second name of Gun Dao Bei, literally translates as "sea of tea" or "cup of justice." It is a very important item for brewing Ping Cha or Gongfu Cha tea for two or more people. The main purpose of such dishes is to ensure that all participants in the ceremony receive a lonely infused infusion.
Cha He, a special container for familiarizing with dry tea leaves during the tea ceremony. This intermediate stage, between the teapot where the tea is kept and the teapot where it is brewed, is very important from the point of view of the Gongfu Cha tea ceremony.
We recommend reading our article "5 qualities of tea", according to which tea should be judged during its brewing.
Cha Bei is a small tea bowl designed for enjoying a drink. As a rule, the size of such a bowl does not exceed 50 ml. This, in accordance with the small size of the teapot and the rules of ceremonial brewing, allows you to enjoy quality, not quantity.
Tea pairs consists of two bowls and is intended for better enjoyment of both the taste and aroma of tea. Wen Xiang Bei, a tall bowl, is intended for tasting the aroma of tea, while Pin Ming Bei is for tasting tea infusion. Tea pairs are used during the Gongfu Cha tea ceremony to brew highly fermented oolong tea. This tea of the lonely is strong both in its taste and aroma, and tea pairs give us the opportunity to follow the changes in these characteristics during the tea ceremony.
Hōhin is a Japanese "handleless teapot" used to brew large-leaf Japanese teas like Sencha, Gyokuro, etc. As a rule, there is a wide ceramic strainer and a spout inside, which allow you to filter the infusion and accurately and quickly pour it into bowls. We recommend avoiding metal strainers, as this can affect, not for the better, the taste and aroma of the tea.
Shiboridashi is a Japanese bowl with a lid designed for making green tea, like Sencha, Gyokuro, etc. Its main feature is that it is flat and wide, which allows the tea leaves to open better, which makes the infusion more saturated. It is very pleasant to watch the opening of a tea leaf in such dishes.
Kyūsu is a shape of a Japanese teapot with a side handle. Traditional utensils for brewing large leaf tea. The side handle allows you to very conveniently and quickly drain the tea infusion. Such teapots can be quite large, which is associated with a longer method of infusion of tea leaves.
Yunomi, this is a tea bowl. Unlike the Chinese, Cha Bei has a larger volume, from 50 to 350 ml.
Hōhin, Shiboridashi or Kyūsu can be either glazed or unglazed. In Japan, there is a huge variety of styles of teapot, depending on the place of production, type of clay, glaze and firing method. Shudei red clay is one of the most widespread in Japan. It is believed that less astringent and softer tea is brewed in such clay.
Tea utensils are a huge part of tea culture. On our site, you can find authentic tea ware for the tea ceremony from different countries of the world. All items are completely handcrafted from quality materials by experienced craftsmen. These utensils will raise the level of brewing and tea consumption to a whole new level. We plan to talk about each of these types of ceramics in more detail in the near future.