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QingHuan Chinese Tea House

QingHuan Chinese Tea House
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Monday, 29 June 2009

TEA TRAY , or SO CALLED CHAPAN IN MANDARIN (3)

Dear loving readers,


By now, you have seen a few tea trays of my collection. You may notice that each and every piece has its own value and beauty.


Reasons for keeping various type and sizes of tea tray are as follows:-


1. to cater for different situation such as number of guest at one time.


2. to enjoy the beauty of its own and enhance the environment


3. for investment purpose






ROLES AND FUNCTIONS


It is used for traditional Chinese tea brewing (Gongfu Brewing).


It serves as a basin for excess water from the tea brewing process.


It is normally used as a platform to display the teapot and cups prior to the tea ceremony.


As the tea is being prepared, water normally be poured over the teapot and tea cups in a gentle, continuous motion to wash all the pottery. This technique results in water overflowing the teapot and cups onto the tea tray, before the water being drain into either the tray underneath or the bucket.


SIZES ARE DEPENDING ON USAGE AND SITUATION


Trays come in various sizes; cater for those tea drinkers who entertain numerous guests or for small groups.


For those using a lot of water in their tea preparation, then the external water hose is more suitable. It prevents from disposing of the excess water regularly. For less frequent drinkers or those who are not constantly rinsing tea wares, then the deeper tray with its own compartment for storing water is a better option. Such a tray means that an external bucket or container is not required. It is more suitable for those having many children or space constraint.


COMPARISON OF VARIOUS TYPES


1. Zhetan wood Tea Tray
As Zhetan wood is relative hard and not suitable for craving.However, it has its value because of its rarity and unique beauty. Plain and simple design, yet elegant. To reflect its own glory you must match it with the appropriate tea pot, bowl and cups, so to speak.




2. Bamboo
Tea tray made of Bamboo are normally polished and varnished to make them waterproof. They are designed to collect tea spills, much lighter and practical and beautiful. You may have seen my travel set.




Simple, elegant, robust and resilient are just a few of the characteristics of bamboo trees. It is one of the most versatile natural materials found on our planet and is still the preferred choice.


For a versatile tea tray this is a great choice - an ideal size for general use and entertaining friends without occupying too much space. Hard wearing bamboo with an external drain pipe (you will need a bucket or some form of water storage).


3. Xiying


See photo below.







4. Rosewood


It is solid wood and its characteristics is more inclined to Zhetan wood.




5."stump" style


It is carved from a single piece of wood (similar to American hickory). See photo below to have a better grasp of it. Each small level at various corners will ultimately drains into the main tray, which then drains out via hose.







Trust I have dwelt in-depth description of tea tray. Please put forward your query or thoughts through the comment if you have any.


Thanks for your time and see you again.




James Oh

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

TEA TRAY , or SO CALLED CHAPAN IN MANDARIN ( 2)

Dear loving readers,


Since there was overwhelming response from my readers and a request from a particular reader, who wanted to know more about tea tray, therefore I decided to write more information on this subject on this post.


It is an undeniable truth that tea tray (Cha Pan) forms the focal point when preparing the Chinese Gong Fu tea. So, it is important and wise to spend some time to apprehend it before you acquire one or more for yourself.


To make thing simple and precise, I decided to show you more photos of another bigger tea tray as a picture tells a thousands words.


Again, the photos below are taken at various angles so as to give you more in-depth view of the piece I bought couple years ago via my youngest brother, who is also a tea drinker and collector.









A spigot fixed at closely near to the edge of the tray.





The bottom of the tray, showing its glory through its beautiful grain.







The tray is standing on its side, so as to give you a bird eye's view of the piece.







The spigot from the top of the tea tray







Whereas the photo below displays the host can be folded and placed at the specially designed rectangular box when it is not in use.





It is very natural to think that the above is of normal piece - simple and plain design.


Some of you may notice its value and beauty.


Please share your thoughts on this by put forward them through the comment. I will post another article in Part 3 on its value and other difference compare with other types.


Thanks for your time and see you again in Part 3.




James Oh

Saturday, 20 June 2009

TEA TRAY , or SO CALLED CHAPAN IN MANDARIN

Dear my loving readers,

Below please find the photos of my tea tray taken at various angles so as to give you a clearer picture of what I am talking about. I do so is to give you more insight of the piece I have, which I believe it will give you some assistance if you were to get one for yourself thereafter.

The photo below show a brass spigot from the bottom of the tray, which is used for attachment of a polyvinyl hose, which then drains the water into a bucket.



Whereas the photo below show a brass spigot hole at the top of the tray.



The photo taken below, with the view to give the readers the in-depth understanding of the whole piece of the tea tray. It is made from a single piece of wood and you can't find any joint at it.



This tea tray is made of rose wood, mother of pearl of moon and flowers, which I usually use to serve my guests. The tea pot, bowls and cups are displayed on the tea tray prior to the tea serving session.

No doubt it can be used as home decoration, if it is not in use.

With tea tray, it will make your life more pleasant and enjoyable. You may use them on rotation basis, if you have more than a piece, so as to enjoy the beauty of each piece. This may also serve as conversation piece with your guests. Every piece has its own distinctively uniqueness and beauty.


TWO BASIC DESIGNS

Making tea ceremony, with tea tray, is more elegant, colorful, enjoyable and pleasant. In this art of making tea, it is usually presented with the teapot, bowl, cups on tea tray.

As the tea is in the preparation, water normally be poured over the teapot and tea cups in a gentle, continuous motion to wash all the pottery. This technique results in water overflowing from all the teapot, bowls and cups onto the tea tray, before it is drain to the bucket.

Normally the trays are designed with perforated slots to allow the water and tea to drip through. All these Tea tray are normally beautifully designed and perfect for use with teapots, tea bowl and tea cups.

Tea trays normally come in a variety of sturdy, elegant, lustrous hardwoods to enhance enjoyment of tea. Most of them are made from a single piece of wood.

Bamboo tea tray, which is much lighter in weight, but is as sturdy as the wooden board.

Whereas a small yixing (zisha) tea tray is more suitable for a small to medium size teapot. A perfect fit for both home and office desk.

Tea tray makes an elegant statement that at the same time is very inviting. What better way to chat with friends or have an informal meeting than over a cup of tea? In China, many business negotiations are concluded over a cup of tea.


TWO BASIC DESIGNS

Tea tray comes in two styles. There are drainer sink types and spigot types.

1. Drainer sink types come with a slotted tray, which fits a plastic drain plate underneath. You can drain out the water and spent tea leaves from the drain plate underneath anytime. The drainer sink type has many slots or openings at the top of the tea board which allows the excess liquids to directly drain into the drain plate underneath.


2. Whereas the Spigot tea trays are gently sloped; so that all liquids drain towards the drain hole. A very convenient feature! Then, there is a brass spigot coming out of the tray, allowing for attachment of a polyvinyl hose, which then drains into a bucket. This type of tea tray is more practical for heavy, repeated tea brewing sessions. Some large tea tray can be very impressive.

Trust you enjoy reading it.

Look forward to seeing you again,

James Oh

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

MORE ABOUT PU'ER II

Dear loving readers,


You may click at the title of the post to follow my previous article on Pu'er so as to refresh your memory.


As promised, I shall discuss more about Pu'er on this post and trust it is of assistance to you.


There are several reasons why Pu'er tea cakes are selling well. It is due to health benefits, its distinctive favors and also of its appreciation of its investment value.


Its flavor and quality still can be maintained if it stored properly over a long period. This tea has becomes more popular in the US and Europe, besides the traditional markets in Tibet and Mongolia.


Its price has gone extremely high a couple of years ago. At present, its price is softening, except for those that are rarely find in the market.






CHARACTERISTICS


Pu'er tea has the most common characteristics with wine. Unlike other teas, which are ready (and best) to consume soon after production, the best pu'er is aged for years before it is used.


Pu'er tea is fermented. It may or may not be oxidized, depending on the type of pu'er.


Pu'er is sold in loose leaf or compressed form. It is compressed into many different shapes, from traditional round cakes to mushrooms, pyramids, coins and other shapes.


It is also known as black tea in China; what we know as black tea is called red tea in China.




TWO BASIC TYPES OF PU'ER


1. Sheng (also known raw or green) pu'er is not oxidized.. It is traditional type that is best to age for years before consumption.


Mao Cha is the young sheng pu'er, which requires proper storage and aging. This is relatively cheaper than naturally aged sheng pu'er, which can be consumed immediately or allowed to age.


Sheng Pu'er is made from wild Mao Cha. After drying, the un-fermented tea is lightly steamed and then pressed into one of the traditional moulds. The most common cake-shaped or ‘Ping’ in Mandarin. Its sizes normally have diameter range from 18 to 24 cm, are about 2 cm thick and weigh, ranges from 340 to 450 grams per piece.


It gradually transform from its natural bacterial flora that is from an initially un-fermented green tea to a fully fermented dark tea over time.


This process usually takes between eight to ten years. While Sheng Pu'er is still fresh and young, it has a pleasant earthy taste with has a tendency to become astringent and bitter. As it grows older, it develops a milder and more balanced bouquet.




2. Shou (ripe) pu'er is made to be enjoyed immediately. Invented by enterprising tea artisans in the 1970s due to huge growing demands for ready-to-drink pu'er. It is oxidized (thus, it is also known as “black” or “cooked” pu'er) to accelerate the aging process. Shou pu'er is generally not as complex as sheng pu'er, but it is much more affordable and can be drink within two or three years. This type is created to fill the vacuum caused by the demand which is far exceedingly over the supply for the Sheng Pu'er. You can also see have an opportunity to enjoy the appreciation in value of investment.




This brick is unusual,wrapped in bamboo .The tea has wonderful deep, extremely smooth and delicate taste.The chi affects the tongue,the upper mouth and the hands and fingers.The tea can be infused 8 to 10 times.


HEALTH BENEFITS


Some believe that this tea is good for people with hypertension and arteriosclerosis. It also helps to lose weight and facilitates digestion. Pu'er tea cake is of moderate taste, not as strong as the black tea.


It can decrease grease, help digestion, warm stomach, produce saliva and slake thirst to dispel the effects of alcohols in order to refresh minds, in addition to the functions of decreasing triglyceride, cholesterol and hyperuricaemia in the body.


Trust you enjoy this post.


Cheers and have a great day,


James Oh


To read other related article, please click at the link below:-


http://teaartblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/puer-tea.html

Monday, 15 June 2009

TEA WARE AND UTENSILS

Dear loving readers,


As promised in my earlier post, I will brief you on other tea utensils used for preparing tea.


Always remember that having your favorite tea is only half the battle. To enjoy this delightful beverage at its best, you also need the appropriate tea wares and utensils.


STRAINERS


Tea strainers are made of variety of materials such as earthenware, porcelain, aluminum and stainless steel. The most crucial point to note when choosing it is that it should have a very fine mesh so as to prevent you from getting a murky cup of tea.




STAINLESS STEEL STRAINER


Stainless steel strainer with handler is used to catch leaves when pouring tea.





GLASS KETTLE


To get the most out of your tea, you need a tea kettle to boil the water. Tea kettles are used to boil water only. The pot that you steep the tea in is called a tea pot, and generally you don’t put tea pots on the stove like you do with kettles.


Glass kettle with wooden handler at the marble top. A very important handy feature to have on a tea kettle is a heat-resistant handle. It is much easier to pour water to your tea pot because you don’t have to worry about hurting yourself when you pick up the handle.


For the benefit of everyone, I opted for the glass kettle for easy monitoring of the boiling water so as to prevent the water from being over boiled.



A complete set comprises of tea pot, tea cup, Pu'er tea cake (Elephant brand from Yunnan Province, China) , glass kettle and rosewood tea utensil as follow:-


Tea Shuffle - shuffles tea leaves
Tea Digger - digs expended tea leaves from teapots
Tea Needle - prevents spout blockage
Vase - provides home for all tools .



Trust you find it useful and of assistance. Make sure you spread the word to your friends.  Don't forget to leave your comments ...thanks for the support. Hope you guys enjoy.


James Oh

Saturday, 13 June 2009

MY PERSONAL TEA WARES COLLECTION

Dear loving readers,


When appropriate tea wares are used, not only does it improve the tea quality but it also adds to the charm of the art. As such, it is not surprising to find lots of Chinese people believe that different teas should be brewed by specific different tea wares so as to fully reflect their distinctive characteristics and quality. For example, green tea prefers glass tea ware, porcelain ware for scented tea, while Oolong tea performs best in purple clay tea ware.


Tea wares also called tea sets, mainly comprises of of teapots, tea cups, tea bowls, tea trays and other utensils used for drinking tea nowadays. The unglazed earthenware, commonly used in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces for baking tea today, reminds us of the earliest utensils used in ancient China.


A teapot is a kind of bottle used for infusing teas. Sand pot is considered as the best, because it doesn't absorb the fragrance of the tea but preserve its original tea color. Both tea bowls and cups are used to drink teas. Chinese people began to pay attention to the matching of the color of the tea cups and the tea since the Song Dynasty (960-1279). For instance, they use black cups to drink white tea to better present the color and fragrance. A tea tray is a dish used to hold the tea cups. It originated in the Southern Dynasties (420-589), and became popular in the Tang Dynasty (618-907).


Tea wares in China are made of various materials such as metal, porcelain, pottery, purple clay, lacquer, wood, bamboo and glass. Tea wares made of metals were served to the noble scholar class whereas porcelain and earthenware are commonly used to serve the civilians in the Tang Dynasty. In the Song Dynasty glazed tea bowls of various colors were used commonly, while porcelain tea wares predominated in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).


Metal tea wares, made of gold, silver, bronze, iron and tin, appeared to be used in the earliest period. They were in existence for a long period of time in Chinese people's lives. However, the tea tastes will not be preserved if tea brewing is in the metal wares. As a result, the metal tea wares were gradually disappeared from the market and substituted by the rising of the porcelain and pottery wares.

Pottery, porcelain, purple clay and lacquer tea wares are always popularly used since their introduction because of their charming appearance and special properties.


Tea wares made of wood and bamboo are usually used for collections and displays.


In the modern times, glass utensils are popularly used because of its transparent texture and dazzling luster. Making tea in a glass cup, you can clearly see the real color of the tea water and the softness of the tea leaves. But, glass tea cups break easily, and they are often too hot to touch.


I also have my personal tea wares. I would like to share with you the photos together with some description of my personal tea ware collection.



Below please find some of my collections


Glass kettle with wooden handle on the marble top and it is mainly used to boil water.










Porcelain Tea set, comprises of tea cup, tea bowl, tea pot and tea jug on the rosewood tea board with mother of Pearl so as to reflect its charm and class.







Trust you enjoy it.


James Oh

Monday, 8 June 2009

TEA IN MALAYSIA

Dear loving readers,

No doubt that serving and drinking tea is very much a Chinese culture, not only in China but other parts of the world. This is especially true for those who still want to preserve this healthy and centuries old culture.

In Malaysia, you would not have much difficulty finding tea house in practically every corner of the country’s cities. For tea lovers, this is a place where people meet friends, exchange news about family members and also conduct business.

The Chinese tea ceremony is not a ritual as some may think. It is not related to any religion, but rather a ceremony. The whole exercise is concentrate on its taste and smell. The taste of the tea is compared to the previous tea through several rounds of drinking. The tea leaves can go for 8 to 10 rounds depending on the quality of the tea. Each round is said to have a different sensory exploration that is to be appreciated.

In the making of tea, what is most important is how it is infused. To add more colors to this, various type of tea utensil are used especially the tea pots. Tea pot comprises of various shape, color, size, different raw materials reflecting its style and its historical value.

Normally about three to five grams of tea are put in a cup with boiled water. The first cup is poured away and only subsequent cups of tea are drunk, but it does not apply to Pu'er. Tea drinking is said to help reduce weight, is good for the digestive system and will lower your cholesterol.

Basically, there are five main kinds of tea; categorized according to the techniques of making tea as follow:-

1. Longjing of Hangzhou,
2. Wulong from Fujian
3. Jasmine tea,
4. Black tea and
5. Compressed tea.

In Malaysia, we have our local tea plantation at Cameron Highland in Pahang State of the Peninsular Malaysia. It is the biggest tea plantation in Malaysia, there is even a small museum dedicated to it at the plantation.

Malaysia’s largest producer of premium black teas and the country’s No.1 preferred brand! To follow the website, please click at the title of the post.

Below is the brief description of the tea in Cameron Highland for your quick reference."

The black teas museum in Cameron Highland was opened in 1991, and is the only one of its kind in the country, that is dedicated to tea. Here visitors will be able to discover the impact of tea on the lives of various Chinese groups. On display are 300 kinds of tea along with information which traces the historical background and development of tea in China. Also within the museum is a research institute which often holds conferences on tea and tea culture.

Today, tea drinking has culminated into an art form that stresses on the types of tea, brewing and tasting of tea. There is a famous phrase in China,"ke lai jin cha" which means when a guest arrives, tea will be brewed. So don’t be surprised when you will be served with a cup of tea by your Chinese host.

Trust you enjoy it.

Cheers and have a lovely day,

James Oh

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

BAMBOO SLIP - PREFACE TO THE POEMS COMPOSED AT THE ORCHID PAVILION

Dear loving readers,


This post I am going to brief you the historical background of the bamboo slip, that is hanging at my present tea corner. To view previous post of my present tea corner, please click at the title of the post and look at photo No. 4




Bamboo slip was a writing material that was initially used in ancient times in China, from the Zhou Dynasty and Warring States Period to the Wei and the Jin Dynasties. It was widely used in the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period.


Paper was already used extensively around the 4th century and replaced Bamboo slip as the primary writing material. To form a bamboo slip, an article is written with a brush on several long, narrow, pared slices of bamboo. Only one line of words is written on each slice. The slices are then tied together to form what is called the "bamboo slip."


This book form was typically used for writing essays. Nowadays, bamboo slip written with Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion has high artistic and decorative value, so it is an excellent choice to be a collection or present.


Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion is written by Wangxizhi, a great calligrapher in the Jin Dynasty. The preface describes the writer and his friends gather here at the orchid pavilion in Shanyin County, Guiji Prefecture (modern day Shaoxing) for the Spring Purification Festival, at the beginning of March in the ninth year of the reign of the Emperor Mu of Jin Dynasty (353).


All of the prominent people ranging from old to young here to talk about painting, calligraphy, and literature. This is an area of high mountains and lofty peaks, with an exuberant growth of trees and bamboos and clear running streams reflecting the sunlight as the water flows past both sides of the pavilion.


If you are a Chinese culture lover, like me. Then you may have great interests in collecting bamboo slips written with Chinese classical works.


I bought this piece of the collection in China a couple of years ago.


You will definitely have more fun and appreciation of your collection especially when you know of its historical value.


Have a lovely day,


James Oh

Monday, 1 June 2009

SMALL TEA POTS FOR DISPLAY PURPOSES ONLY

Dear loving readers,

Just imagine having such a wonderful life when you are relaxing in a place, surrounded with decorative beautiful hand craft artifacts displaying at various corners and spots, and when you are having good sips of good quality tea with your loved ones.

To view my future tea corner, please click at the title of the post.

Below are some of my personal collections displaying items at the marble top, which I intend to display at my future tea corners.



Various shape of small tea pots for display purposes, made of different type of clay and colors - So unique and colorful.



Which is your preferred shape of tea pot?



Below are three jade tea pots also held for display purposes. I am sure you notice the different quality of jade judging from the color of the jade. May someone tell me more in this area.




What amaze me is of the quality and fine workmanship of the craft.


Trust you enjoy the beauty of these crafts.

Cheers and have a fruitful day,

James Oh

AVIANCE - A LUXURY DIVISION OF UNILEVER

AVIANCE - A LUXURY DIVISION OF UNILEVER
"WORLD CLASS PRODUCTS" FROM UNILEVER AVIANCE

TO MALAYSIAN AND THAIS

To read about this new business unit, please click at the above image itself. It is a luxury division of beauty and wellness products of top quality at fair price using multi-channel business solution.

As such, you are cordially invited to join me by pre registering at the above website. Just click at sign up, enter my details of mobile: 0192133728, postcode:47800 & birthdate: 2502, click agree and submit. You will then get your own website like mine and do networking online.

However, if you have done so. I like to congratulate you on board.

Please note that the official sales of Aviance products on 18th October. If you want to know more, please let me know and I can make the necessary arrangement for you.

For those who want to register directly at Aviance Office, please quote my ID number MY 0000302

To your success,

Your Chief Servant,


James Oh