• by vinux

Tea utensils are all the equipment used to prepare and serve tea. These include teapots, cups, strainers, trays, and other necessary items. Tea utensils come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on their function and type of tea they are used to make. They can be made from materials such as porcelain, clay, bamboo, glass, or metal. The selection of teaware should reflect both personal preference and the types of tea being served.
Tea utensils, its definition is not the same in ancient and modern times. In ancient times, tea utensils referred to various tools for picking, making, storing and drinking tea, which was summarized in Lu Yu’s “Tea Classic”. Now it refers to special utensils related to brewing tea. In ancient times, it was called tea ware. Since the Song Dynasty, tea utensils and tea ware have gradually merged into one. At present, it mainly refers to drinking tea utensils. The “Tea Classic” lists 28 kinds of tools related to brewing tea and eight major categories. The overall requirement of the teaware is practicality and artistry. It strives to be beneficial to the soup quality of tea and strives for ancient elegance and beauty.

The main influence of tea sets on tea soup lies in two aspects. Firstly, the color of tea sets set off the color of tea soup. Lu Yu’s “Tea Classic” praises celadon, saying that “green makes tea better”. Celadon tea sets make the tea soup turn green (at that time the color of tea was biased towards red). With the development of tea- making technology and planting techniques for tea trees, the original color of the tea has changed, and so does the color of the teaware. Secondly, it is influenced by the material of teaware on both taste and aroma of the soup. Not only should it be durable enough, but it must not diminish the quality of tea either.

Chinese tea sets, with their numerous varieties and beautiful shapes, are both practical and aesthetically pleasing and have been favored by tea lovers throughout the ages. The use, maintenance, appreciation and collection of tea sets has become a specialized knowledge that remains in each generation. This paper will briefly introduce the history of tea sets, their kinds and places of origin, selection and usage as well as what kind of tea sets should be used for each kind of tea. Among them, Yixing purple sand pots and Jingdezhen porcelain ware due to their widespread use will receive more space.

If the tea leaves sink quickly when brewed, the fragrance is strong and lasting with a mellow taste; the green tea soup has a yellowish green color; the red tea soup has a bright red color with golden rings; the bottom of the tea is soft and thick, and its veins are dense, while its edges are not obvious, indicating it is spring tea. When brewed, if the tea leaves sink slowly, the fragrance is persistent and sharp, while green tea tastes astringent and its soup is bluish green. There are copper-green colored leaves in the bottom of the leaf and it looks red and bright. Whether it’s red or green tea, the bottom of the leaf appears thin and hard with more mixed leaves, coarse veins and obvious saw-toothed edges, indicating that it is summer tea.

Broadly speaking, tea sets, also known as tea utensils and tea vessels, refer to all the equipment, utensils, supplies and tea room accessories needed to complete the process of making and drinking tea. Narrowly speaking, they refer only to the utensils used for making and drinking tea, i.e. the main tea sets.