Tea Ceremony - Using Utensils.
As tea ceremonies became more sophisticated, people had higher aesthetic demands for tea utensils. The saying "famous tea with exquisite utensils" highlights the importance of a refined and elegant tea utensil, which not only enhances the taste and flavor of tea, but also has artistic and aesthetic value, becoming an independent object of appreciation.
In the previous two sections, we talked about how tea and teaware have already been pursued to the extreme. Therefore, teapots and covered tea bowls, which are closely related to tea, have become another indulgence and obsession in tea ceremonies. A few years ago, tea enthusiasts tirelessly pursued a good teapot, but the high prices of good teapots have caused them to become less popular in recent years, especially with the rising popularity of rock tea (which has its own unique characteristics). As a result, purple clay teapots have gradually faded out of the sight of tea enthusiasts.
Using a covered tea bowl to brew tea satisfies all aspects of tea appreciation, including observing the color, smelling the aroma, tasting the flavor, and admiring the shape. Additionally, cleaning a covered tea bowl is more convenient than cleaning a teapot, which is probably another reason why many tea enthusiasts prefer to use covered tea bowls to brew tea.
As a result, a set of well-designed and unique covered tea bowls has become the pursuit of many tea enthusiasts. Don't underestimate the importance of covered tea bowls as a tea utensil - while it is easy to find covered tea bowls that are aesthetically pleasing, it is much more challenging to find those that are both beautiful and functional.
Although there are many benefits to using covered tea bowls, many non-professionals find them difficult to use, citing issues such as burning their hands and spilling water. Perhaps these issues stem from either choosing the wrong covered tea bowl or using it improperly. Even the best covered tea bowl will burn your hands and spill water if too much water is added, but if the water is added appropriately, a good covered tea bowl can be used frequently without burning hands or spilling water.
Tea Ceremony - Finding Water.
In addition to good tea requiring good utensils, it's also important to consider the water used when brewing tea. So why settle for just any water? As one tea enthusiast said, "I love drinking tea and carrying a heavy backpack while hiking. It's enjoyable to walk until reaching the end of the water source and sit down to watch the clouds rise. However, even if you don't climb famous mountains, there are still great springs to be found. When you're exhausted, sit down on the spot and take some clear and clean water nearby. Use an outdoor stove to boil a pot of water and brew some of your favorite tea. When ten parts of water meets eight parts of tea, it's a blessing for tea drinkers! Enjoy the fresh air, admire the bright moon, look at the sea of clouds, and listen to the sound of pine trees. Sleeping under the sky and on the ground is the ultimate pleasure in life. What else could you ask for?" - Cai Bingjian on Jianzhan tea bowl prices.
In search of good water for brewing good tea, carrying a set of tea utensils on your back, sitting on the ground between mountain springs, and brewing a cup of your favorite tea is the ultimate pleasure in life. As he said, "What else could you ask for?"
Everyone talks about how tea ceremonies are a trap, and the deeper you get, the harder it is to get out. But when it comes to tea appreciation, we can't help but jump into the trap because we enjoy the process. Tea ceremonies give us another way to enjoy life and make us more attentive to the details of life. Settling or not settling is a relative attitude towards life, and it's within our financial capacity. A good life doesn't have to be expensive, and having a not-settling attitude can enrich our lives. Tea enthusiasts, tea ceremonies are a trap, the more you drink, the deeper you fall. Since you've fallen into it, then let's not settle and enjoy it to the fullest. I won't settle, I'll enjoy it!