- by vinux
Kung Fu tea is a traditional Chinese tea ceremony with a long history. In order to appreciate the deep cultural connotations contained in the ceremony, we need to pay attention not only to the method of brewing tea and the taste of tea, but also to the aesthetics of Kung Fu tea utensils.
Kung Fu tea set has gentle curves, exquisite shape and elegant colors, which can give people a feeling of peace and solemnity. Generally composed of several pieces: teapot, teacup, teacup cushion and other necessary ornaments. The design of each piece is exquisite. Under the simple lines and colors, it reveals a rich artistic conception.
Kung Fu tea sets come in many materials such as porcelain, pottery, brass and bronze. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. In terms of color matching and texture design, it is full of classical charm and modern beauty. Therefore, it is not only practical but also full of artistry.
The appreciation of Kung Fu tea set needs to be studied slowly from all aspects so as to truly appreciate its unique charm.
Kung Fu tea has a certain history in China, and there are many Kung Fu tea sets. It is a famous Chinese proverb “Where there is Kung Fu, there are many subtleties.”
The way of drinking tea in China is probably the most particular in Gongfu Tea. “The Great View of Wild History in the Qing Dynasty” recorded that “China pays attention to cooking tea, with Fujian’s Ting, Quan and Zhang three prefectures, and Chaozhou Prefecture of Guangdong Province being the best for Gongfu Tea.” Gongfu Tea is mostly used for leisurely brewing or as a courtesy to visitors, so there is a saying: “Leisurely appreciate fine Gongfu Tea”, “No tea, No courtesy”.
In recent years, I was fortunate to go to East Guangdong. Everywhere I went, the hospitable hosts greeted me with Kung Fu tea that was full of color, fragrance, flavor and artistry. To this day, I still remember the lingering aroma of the tea and thus wrote this article to commemorate it.
The “kung fu” in this Kung Fu tea is first of all about the saying “water as friend, fire as master”, with spring water being the best and strong fire being the highest quality. Oolong tea should be used for this purpose. Only one third of dry tea leaves should be put into the pot, for too little leaves would not produce the desired aroma and too many would be bitter. The brewing technique involves such steps as “high mountain flow water”, “Guan Gong patrolling city” and “Han Xin recruiting troops”. Moreover, a set of southern-style tea ware should also be present. Seeing these marvelous Kung Fu tea sets, I am willing to spend my hard-earned money to purchase them.
Although there are many Kung Fu tea sets, tea drinkers consider the “Four Treasures” as essential: Mengchen Gongguan (small purple sand pottery kettle), Ruoshen Oupen (small thin porcelain cup), Yushuwei (water boiling pottery kettle) and Chaoshan Honglu. Tea drinkers from Min, Yue and Taiwan have a proverb about the ranking of teapots and kettles: “One Nameless, Two Shiting, Three Epu, Four Mengchen, Five Yigong”. It is unknown why “Mengchen” ranks fourth but it is beloved by tea drinkers. According to history, Mengchen was a famous pot maker in the Ming Dynasty named Hui Mengchen. He first made pots during the Tianqi period of the Ming Dynasty and initially wrote on the bottom of the pot “Da Ming Tianqi Dingmao Jingxi Hui Mengchen Making”. According to Taoxi Guest Language, “Meng Chen’s brushwork is unique and excellent.” Mengchen’s kettles have the advantages of not losing flavor when brewing tea, not changing color when storing tea and not changed in summer. The standard for choosing it is “three mountains in line”, that is to put the pot away on a flat table without lid, dripping mouth and kettle handle must be three points into a line which is true article. The more frequent tea brewing, the thicker thetea rust on the walls of kettles can save tea leaves. Even if boiling water is poured into an empty kettle with thick Mengchen rust will still have tea scent and color; this often serves as evidence for hosts to show off their long “tea age”. Ruoshen Oupen was a masterpiece by Raoshen who was an excellent porcelain master in Jingdezhen City of Jiangxi Province in Qing dynasty; at present such cups are rarely seen with words written on its bottom “Ruoshen Collection”.
One of the two wonders of Kung Fu tea, Yushuwei made by Chaozhou’s hundred-year-old store “Tao Shengju” is particularly excellent with its good resistance to cold and hot changes. In winter, it can be taken out for insulation for a long time. Kung Fu tea emphasizes that the water should not be overheated, and Yushuwei is easy to observe fire and not easy to generate scale. The Chaoshan oven is a red clay small furnace made of high-quality old soil from the east of Guangdong Province.This kind of stove was famous as early as the Tang and Song Dynasties. It is characterized by its long shape, over one foot high, very elegant. The furnace heart is deep and small, which can make the fire hot and uniform to save coal. The furnace has a lid and a door with good ventilation performance. It is worth mentioning that in the overflowing stove, “the fire is still burning, but the stove does not crack”. Some craftsmen also like to match a pair of tea couplets on both sides of the furnace door.