With its long and complex history, Chinese tea culture has evolved its own unique cultural characteristics. And traditional Chinese tea sets play a significant role in the forming of Chinese tea culture. Different equipment and tools may be used in Chinese tea service.
Components of Chinese Tea Sets
Teapots, which are used to steep the tea leaves in hot water.
Teacups, which are vessels from which to drink the hot tea out of which the leaves have been strained. There are many different kinds of tea cups.
Tea strainers, for extracting leaves from tea solutions.
Tea trays, or draining trays, which are used to keep the tea or hot water from spilling onto the table.
Tea bags and tea balls, which are used to hold tea leaves in water for removal after steeping.
Tea caddies, for storing tea when not being consumed.
Materials of Chinese Tea Sets
The history of China's tea sets can be traced back to Han Dynasty. At that time, tea ware was made of porcelain and consisted of two styles: northern white porcelain and southern light blue porcelain. Gradually, more materials are available for Chinese tea sets, such as metal, purple sand, lacquer, wood and bamboo etc.
Renowned Chinese Tea Sets
There are many types of renowned Chinese tea sets, including some precious treasure. The gilded tea set possessed by Emperor Xizong of the Tang Dynasty unearthed from the Famen Temple in Shaanxi Province is a rare treasure of metal tea sets. Purple sand sets are believed to be most suitable for tea brewing. The purple sand tea sets produced in Yixing have proved the favorite among tea drinkers. The Yixing tea sets are characterized by their diverse styles, different forms and high cultural taste. These features made the tea sets stand out among all others in the world in ancient times. Later generations summarized the top three features of the tea sets as 'retaining flavor in brewing, keeping color in storing and maintaining taste in hot summer'.
Many Chinese people like to collect the good tea set, because it embodies the beauty of ancient Chinese sculptures, paintings and colors. At the same time, it’s an ideal carrier of culture. Tea drinking is a leisurely lifestyle and mindset. It’s great fun to get together, drinking tea and appreciating tea sets. In addition, people’s special interest in tea sets reflected their pursuit of casual and quality life.