• by vinux

Cover bowl, also known as “Three Talents Bowl” and “Three Talents Cup”, with the lid representing heaven, the base representing earth and the bowl representing man, implying the harmony between heaven, earth and man. In folk culture, cover bowl also refers to a hairstyle of bangs that looks like a bowl covering one’s head when tied up.

A teapot lid bowl, formerly used to brew flower tea and Tieguanyin, is no longer restricted. It can be used to brew tea and divide the drink, or one person can use it as a teacup to drink directly. The materials for making pot lids are porcelain, purple sand and glass, with many floral lid bowls.

In his article “Drinking Tea”, Mr. Lu Xun wrote: “To drink good tea, one needs to use a covered bowl. So use a covered bowl. After brewing, the color is clear and the taste is sweet and fragrant with a slight bitterness, truly it is good tea leaves.” Among many bowls, cups, pots, and glasses, why did Mr. Lu Xun only appreciate the covered bowl? There must be a reason for this.

It is also said in the tea culture that teacup lids have a “universal usage”, because all kinds of tea can be brewed with them. The reason why people around us who love to drink tea are not accustomed to using teacup lids is mostly because they feel that it will be hot and slightly out of control, and it will spill (I once saw a girl who was using a teacup lid for the first time, she got scalded, panicked and threw it on the ground).

Here are some tips when buying and using tea cups: If you usually drink the tea mentioned above, it is recommended that you ask the shopkeeper about the capacity of the cup when purchasing a lid.

Generally, the gram weight of red tea is 5-6 grams. For rock tea, Tieguanyin and Phoenix single bush, 8 grams are used. These gram weights are standard weights for tea packages (in bags) on the market, and also the gram weights used to assess teas in the industry. Therefore, a lid cup with 130CC to 145CC capacity is most suitable (120cc can also be used, but if it is a tea drinker who drinks relatively strong tea, such as people from Chaoshan region, they usually use 12 grams of tea when making the drink, so 130cc lid cup can be more flexible in brewing the tea).

With a small capacity, one can’t be sure of the soaking time and the tea ends up being too thick. With a big capacity, if one pours too much water, the tea will be too weak. Furthermore, if it is a female with smaller hands, she won’t be able to hold it properly.

Now that we have discussed capacity, let’s talk about appearance. In fact, any lid will be hot to the touch, even for experts; however, as long as the right lid is chosen, it can be avoided as much as possible.

The following diagram shows several features of the lid that are easy to burn:

The distance between the mouth of the bowl and the edge of the lid is narrow, making it easy for tea to spill over and scald hands. A wide-mouthed bowl or cup will not have this problem.

From this perspective, is the bowl’s opening relatively flat? The entire bowl looks relatively low. When using this shaped cover to steep tea, not only will the tea water easily overflow but also the temperature around the bowl’s opening will increase.

Another one is the lid, which is labeled on the left picture. The knob is sunken in and close to the lid. Even if your fingers press on it, it’s still hot. On the right picture, however, it’s different – the knob is considerably higher. No need for more descriptions here; you can certainly tell from a glance.

Above is a discussion about personal experience in purchasing a bowl cover, feel free to add. Regarding the selection of material for bowl covers, let’s talk more about it when there is an opportunity.

Next, let’s discuss the technique of brewing tea using a lid cup:

The benefit of covering the bowl is good control, since it pours out quickly, making it easy to wash and remove the foam. After pouring, the bottom of the leaf can be seen and an intuitive representation of its scent can be smelled.

Actually, it’s not hard to keep the lid on the bowl if you choose the correct one, which has been mentioned before.

Then, after the tea leaves are put into the lid bowl, just pour water over them until it covers them. Don’t be too excessive. Some people like to fill up the lid bowl with water when pouring it in. It’s strange if it doesn’t burn, and too much water makes for a weak-tasting tea.

Using a picture to visually explain how to pick up a bowl without getting burned is still the simplest way (as seen in the figure below).

In the left picture, the gesture of holding the bowl is neither oblique nor crooked, and the tea flows slowly along the fair cup. It can be clearly seen that the tea does not touch the hand. In the right picture, it is obvious that the bowl is tilted and the tea will flow along a slanted position, which is very easy to burn. And when pouring tea, it has to be stopped when being scalded. After stopping for a while, the tea not poured out will soak in the lid of the bowl again, and its taste will change. Therefore, the correct posture of pouring tea with a lid bowl is like in the left picture – perpendicular to the fair cup. Don’t be nervous. Fingers don’t need to hold too tightly on edges of lid bowl, as actual tighter you are more nervous you become – just relax. We all have been burned before and get used to it after several burns – maybe this can be called “pain and pleasure”. Haha!

Now that we are talking about brewing tea with a lid, it is worth mentioning that good tea does not fear boring. If you encounter a cup of tea and you can’t tell if it’s good or bad, let it sit for a while. If only the concentration increases and there is no other deficiency (such as bitterness or astringency), then this tea will not go wrong. Experienced tea brewers will mask the shortcomings of the tea leaves by controlling the water temperature, amount of water entering and time to extract the soup, so good tea must endure boredom.

If you like using lids for your bowl, but are afraid of getting burned when taking it off, why not try this gesture? Put your thumb on the lid and press down on the bottom with your index finger. No more burns. However, it may not be as graceful as when you take it off from the rim.