If you are new to the art of tea and want to understand how to brew oolong tea or how to drink pu-erh tea in the right way, following all the traditional features of this process, we will give you some useful practical tips. Also in this article we will consider such attributes of the tea ceremony as chahai, or sea of tea, and gundaobei, or bowl of justice. Let’s talk in more detail about these widely known items of the tea ceremony and everyday life in the Celestial Empire, as well as study the benefits of pu-erh tea that are interesting for domestic consumers.
What is sea of tea and how is it used in tea ceremonies
After the tea is brewed, the Chinese pour the finished infusion from a teapot or gaiwan into another special vessel called chahai, which in Russian means a sea of tea. This procedure should be followed by anyone who wants to understand how to properly brew pu-erh tea. Often in the process of pouring infusion from one vessel to another, special tea strainers are used, which are made of various metals and their alloys. In order to make your tea drinking with oolong or pu-erh as convenient as possible, you need to use chahai every time you brew tea, because this vessel is capable of performing many of the most useful functions. Here are the most obvious ones:
- firstly, tea in the chahai can settle for some time, it is convenient to pour it into this vessel from the teapot in order to avoid too strong brewing, for example, red oolong tea;
- secondly, small tea leaves that are not caught by the strainer settle to the bottom of the bowl, from this the infusion of red oolong or pu-erh becomes cleaner and more transparent;
- thirdly, layers of oolong or red tea of different strength, which are formed during brewing, are mixed in chahai, and subsequently, when the tea is poured into bowls, each participant in the tea party receives tea of the same strength;
- fourthly, all participants in the ceremony can appreciate the color of the tea infusion when it is poured into the chahai;
- Fifthly, in a chahai, freshly poured hot tea cools down a little, it becomes more pleasant to drink it.
We can safely say that gongdaobei, chahai or the bowl of justice, is one of the most important items of the Chinese tea ceremony, without which, in principle, it is possible, but undesirable.
Gundaobei or bowl of justice and its functions
Some Chinese drink tea directly from the gaiwan, but this method is rather inconvenient for a European. The bowl of justice can be made of ceramic, porcelain, glass or metal. Some experts refer to chahai (sea of tea) or gundaobei (chalice of justice) as “open teapots”. The use of chahai in the early stages of learning Chinese tea is essential for those who want to understand how to brew oolong and other Chinese teas. It will also help you better feel the effect of pu-erh tea.
Small tea leaves are literally ubiquitous, they penetrate literally into all openings, therefore both a strainer and a chahai (“sea of tea”, or “cup of justice”) are necessary for those who want to learn how to brew Chinese tea. Use this vessel to reduce the amount of sediment in the tea you brew for yourself or your friends, as well as to properly mix the layers of tea so that each participant in the tea party receives tea that is the same in strength, taste and aroma. Such high-quality oolong tea is worth buying for every lover of fragrant and tasty Chinese tea.
Tea strainers are an indispensable tool for removing tea dust.
Tea dust is literally a ubiquitous companion of any tea, no matter how high quality it is. It is in order to separate the tea dust from the infusion when brewing oolong and other teas that the Chinese use special tea strainers, as well as such vessels as the “sea of tea” and the “cup of justice”, or “chahai” and “gundaobei”.
High-quality red oolong is especially important to brew correctly, in compliance with all traditional technologies. If you use a sea of tea, a bowl of justice and a strainer when brewing oolong, pu-erh, green and red teas, you will quickly get the best result and learn how to brew these types of tea correctly, getting a uniform and pleasant infusion at a comfortable temperature for tea drinking.