• by vinux

Originating from an ancient Eastern country, the Douli (also known as Straw Rain Hat) is a woven hat used to block out the sun and rain. When it first appeared is unknown, but it was already mentioned in The Book of Songs with the phrase “he mou he li”. It can still be seen everywhere in mountain villages and riverside towns today.

Wearing a bamboo hat and carrying a basket on the waist, shielding from the sun and sheltering from the rain. When the occasional breeze blows, taking off the hat, that moment seems to have captured all of nature.

Tea led me to find another bamboo hat–the bamboo hat cup.

The DouLi Cup, shaped like an old man’s straw raincoat, has a large mouth and a small bottom. The lines on the body of the cup are extremely simple and elegant, expressing the coarse and rustic folk customs. The style is simple, but there are rich materials such as celadon, colored porcelain, coarse pottery, purple sand, etc.

The DouLi Bowl originated from the Song Dynasty, containing thousands of years of Chinese history. It is the oldest teacup in history. Holding a DouLi Bowl to taste tea is like Jiang Shang fishing in the Wei River and having a world in mind among the mountains and rivers to see the way of wisdom in mediocrity. Whenever drinking with good friends, using that rouge DouLi Bowl to drink tea, there will be some feelings inside, how could it be that the spiritual tea has lost its spirit when came to me? After reading pastoral poetry and watching landscape paintings, I understood that compared with them, I was still learning language from scratch and owed too much.

In the pastoral poem, “Blue bamboo hat, green rush coat, oblique wind and drizzle do not need to return”, “A lonely boatman with a bamboo hat and coat, fishing alone in the cold river and snow”, “Bamboo hat and clothes with lotus leaves, no worries for fishing”… They, the protagonists in the poem are already contented without material things, indifferent to personal sadness. Between movements their natural composure is revealed. As for me, I must still stoop for five pecks of rice, labouring my body and starving my skin; when will such a great task be bestowed upon me? Nevertheless, I firmly believe that one day I can enjoy a cup of tea amongst the grass and trees like those men in poems.

In a landscape painting, the fisherman who fishes by the river is always wearing a wide straw hat. The straw hat is a symbol of rural life, peaceful and calm, conveying a feeling of freedom and leisure, making one feel tranquil and full of longing.

For centuries, the exquisite DouLi Cup and Bowl has been touched by the light of DouLi and been endowed with a sense of serenity and a poetic charm beyond this world. Even many literati deemed that using SanCai lid bowl for tea brewing and DouLi Cup for tasting tea can fully appreciate the rhyme of Tea Art. Many existing Tea Art Schools still have deep affection for the DouLi Cup.