• by vinux

Afternoon tea brings back memories of Yang Tongzhou.

Tang Baijuyi

Baijuyi of the Tang dynasty

Last night I drank too much and stayed drunk all night.

This morning I ate a full meal, and now I’m sleepy after the tiring time.

Close my eyes, rub them, and nothing’s in sight.

Walking around the pond, I suddenly gained a feeling of serenity.

The old trees casting green shade, the mottled mossy ground.

Place the rope bed here, with the tea washing utensils beside it.

The white porcelain bowl is very clean, the red stove charcoal is glowing.

Droplets of mist and dust, Flowers floating, Fish eyes boiling.

The coming spring is beautiful, with lingering fragrance even after it’s gone.

No one knows the taste of Yang Mu Chao, not seen?

This is written by the poet Bai Juyi after he woke up from a drunken stupor and drank tea. The environment for tea drinking was quite nice, with green shade trees juxtaposed against a green mossy ground. There were plenty of tea vessels present – white porcelain ouses should be assumed to be white porcelain cups for serving tea, but do you know that lidded bowls are also called “lidded ouses”? This is because lidded bowls can be used as infusion pots or even as teacups – anyone who has seen how people in Sichuan drink their tea would understand this.

Tea sets are an important carrier in the development of tea culture history. Tea culture reached its first peak in the Tang and Song Dynasties. Ceramic and gold and silver tea sets had a qualitative leap in both quantity and quality. Using complete tea sets became popular from the Tang Dynasty onwards. Tea utensils are beloved by object controllers, one of which is the cover bowl.

In our childhood, we often saw the bowl covers in various costumes TV dramas. The image of the scholar-bureaucrat in the “Iron Teeth and Copper Mouth Jixiaolan” was particularly impressive. Sitting on a teacher’s chair, legs crossed, one hand holding a tea tray and the other hand holding a lid, he scraped it gently on the bowl cover and then puckered his mouth to puff out air along the edge of the bowl before drinking it all up. Sometimes when the scholar-bureaucrat was angry with Jixiaolan, he threw the bowl cover hard to the ground with a loud bang – heartache!

During the reign of Qing Emperor Yongzheng, the practice of using a lid bowl for tea was prevalent. A lid bowl is a type of tea set consisting of a lid on top, a base at the bottom, and a bowl in between. It is also known as “Three Talents Bowl”, referring to the Chinese traditional concept of integration of “Heaven, Earth, and People”.

There are many types of bowl covers, which can be divided into glass bowl covers, ceramics bowl covers, bone china bowl covers according to the material. According to the craft decoration, they can be divided into hand-painted bowl covers, enameled bowl covers and plain porcelain bowl covers, such as Run Yuan Chang’s Qian Shan Bowl Cover belongs to Hand-painted White Porcelain Bowl Cover; According to the firing process, it can be divided into blue and white bowl cover and glazed red bowl cover.

It is essential to have good teaware in order to enjoy a great cup of tea. Teapots are the most frequently used items in households, big or small, because they are convenient for brewing tea. Moreover, their diverse uses make them popular among tea lovers. When you are enjoying a cup of tea all by yourself, you can savor the sweetness and bitterness of the tea; while when having a gathering with friends, drinking endless cups of tea truly makes it a joyful occasion.