A Chinese tea set, sometimes also called a gongfu tea set, is typically used for the preparation, serving, and enjoyment of Chinese tea, though they can naturally be used for any kind of tea you like. Chinese tea culture has a rich history and diverse regional traditions, so there may be variations in tea sets across different styles and regions. Here are some common components:
Gaiwan: A lidded bowl with a saucer and a lid used for brewing and drinking tea. It allows for easy observation of the tea leaves and provides flexibility in adjusting the brewing strength.
Yixing Teapot: A small clay teapot made from Yixing clay, known for its porous nature and ability to enhance the flavor of the tea. Yixing teapots are particularly popular in Chinese tea culture.
Tea Cups: Small porcelain cups used for drinking tea. Chinese tea cups can vary in size, shape, and design depending on the tea style and personal preference.
Tea Tray: A tray used for holding and draining excess water during tea preparation. It helps keep the tea area clean and organized.
Cha Hai (Tea Pitcher): A pitcher used to decant the brewed tea from the teapot or gaiwan before serving it into individual cups. It helps ensure consistent flavor and temperature across multiple servings.
Tea Strainer: A fine-mesh strainer used to filter out tea leaves or other residues while pouring tea from the teapot or gaiwan into the tea pitcher or cups.
Cha Ze (Tea Scoop): A small tool used to measure and transfer tea leaves into the teapot or gaiwan. It can be made of bamboo, wood, or other materials.
Cha Dao (Tea Utensils): A set of various tools used for handling tea leaves, such as a tea needle for unclogging the teapot spout, a tea brush for cleaning, and a tea pick for breaking apart compressed tea.
Tea Towel: A cloth used for wiping and cleaning tea utensils and surfaces.
Tea pets are typically not included in sets, but are a charming element of Chinese tea culture that may add interest and your personal taste to a set.
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