Chinese Brewing Vessels

The most traditional teapots, dating back to the 15th century, are made out of a material called Yixing Clay (also known as Purple Clay) originating from the Eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu. The clay teapots can be used with any type of tea however you have to stick to a specific tea. This is because every time a tea is brewed in the clay teapot a tiny amount is absorbed into the clay teapot, the pot retains the flavour and the colour of the tea so after a while it will give the tea a better taste to it. It is incredibly important to wash it with fresh water and air dry it instead of using soap so it doesn’t affect or corrupt the taste of future tea brewed in the teapot. Prices of the teapot can vary depending on various factors including the type of clay, artist, production methods, style and age.

purple clay tea pot3 purple clay tea pot2

 

Tea is traditionally brewed in something called a Gaiwan, this Chinese brewing vessel essentially replaces the Tea Pot. It is made up of three parts:The Lid, Cup and Saucer. It can be made from nearly any material, Glass, Porcelain or Clay, apart from Metal (due to high levels of heat absorption). Unlike Clay teapots, Glass and Porcelain are flavour neutral meaning the surfaces do not absorb any of the tea liquid. This means that as a tea drinker you can drink any tea out of it again and again.

gaiwan4

gaiwan5

gaiwan7

 

The Gong Dao Bei is the secondary vessel used in many style of Gong-Fu Cha.  It is essentially a small, open vessel, usually with a spout and often with a handle.  When the tea has been steeped to the desired concentration in the primary vessel (gaiwan, teapot, etc.), it is dispensed into the Gong Dao Bei before serving to ensure that everyone receives tea of equal strength.

gong dao bei3                    gong dao bei1

 

Gong Dao Bei may be made of glass, ceramic, or even porous Yixing clay. Glass affords the opportunity to view a full steeping’s-worth of tea liquor with light passing through it, highlighting the true color and beauty of the tea.  Gong Dao Bei made of ceramic will hold heat better than glass.

Gong Dao Bei are also very useful for cooling the water when brewing lower-temperature teas such as green, white, and yellow teas.  The open design allows heat to escape quickly, and the temperature of the water can be easily monitored visually and tactilely.

 

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