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Perfectionism is a key-value when it comes to the art or way of tea. For the required level of perfection, you must not only be good in the process of tea brewing itself but also work to keep your brewing environment as clean as possible.  Traditionally, methods of tea brewing such as Gongfu always result in a lot of mess. As a result, there are specific measures that are taken to curb the mess.

More About Tea Trays ▼

Tea traysalso called the Chaxi or the Chachuan, refers to wares used to carry other common items such as the pitcher, teapot and teacups. They form an integral part of the Chinese Gongfu ceremony.  For sustainability and durability, these item feature wood, metal, stainless steel, ceramic, melamine, acrylic, purple clay and marble.

 

Historical records of tea trays

The Chinese tea legends say that tea trays have long historical records that date back to the Tang Dynasty. They were first made of wood or bamboo exclusively for traditional tea ceremonies. However, the first tea tray to be put in formal records was during the 1970s when the way of tea had become more established and defined. This is when the formalities of the Chinese ceremonies were in official books. Up to now, tea trays remain iconic items when it comes to brewing and savouring the Chinese tea in the traditional Gongfu ways. 

As the use of the tea trays spread across the world, its functions also devolved. The functions advanced from basic tea draining to almost all chores. The effects of this devolution were the invention of the popular serving trays, common in most home places. 

Contemporarily, the trays feature various sizes and shape. Classical and modern designed serving trays are used in almost every room just from the kitchen, to dining, to living, to bedroom and even to the outdoor patios. 

 

Uses of tea trays 

Tea trays fit in almost all aspects of tea drinking. Down the line, their functions have evolved from the basic role—transportation of the tea sets—to a plethora of other benefits. Here are some of the ways that you can effectively put the gems into practical use:

1. Holding the tea sets 

The primary role of a tea tray is to hold other tea wares such as the cups, pitcher and even the teapot. By integrating the use of tea tray in your dining room or Gongfu tea ceremony, you will be able to conveniently carry around the tea sets most modestly and safely. Trays also keep the basic wares at hand. They allow for easy access to the basic resources without the need to move by an inch. You can easily bring several items that work together in the same spot using the tray.

2. Showing off the drink

Preparing the tea in Gongfu style demands that you expose everything to the full glare of the visitors. Through this, you will not onlybe hiking their appetite for the drink but also creating a good image. Tea trays organize the working surface. They bring elegance and create tone in the ceremonial brewing and drinking sessions. For classic beauty, you can merge the modern designs and colours of both the trays and other antiques.

3. Collecting the spilling liquids

Any spillage during the tea preparation and drinking is treated as a mess.  They are not only able to taint the image of the host but also key in spoiling the fun and morale to savour the tasty herb. Most tea trays feature box-shapes with grate like surface at the top.  They come handy with a drain tube and impermeable bottom surfaces to hold the spilling liquid. The drain tube can be connected to a draining bucket for convenient collection and dumping.

4. Air drying the used tea sets

As simple as it may seem, drying the used tea sets can be an uphill task. Many people prefer the use of tea towels to wipe the used teaware since they are not only convenient but also time-saving. However, tea towels can easily transmit germs if previously used on dirty or infected surfaces.  Tea trays provide excellent air-drying surfaces. By placing the cleaned wares on the tray you will give them an adequate amount of time for draining the accumulated water.

 

How to use tea trays

Whether you are using a double or single deck, you don’t need to have a technical knowledge to use the tea trays. The tray is just there to spice up the Gong Fu tea brewing and drinking session to a more enjoyable and memorable one.

1. Place the tea wares on the tray 

There are several antiques that you are going to use during the Gong Fu style of tea preparation. These items include the teapot, teacups, pitcher and the mat. Having made sure that the items are spotless, place them on top of the tray in a systematic manner excluding the mat. 

2. Wet the tray

Pour some warm water on top of the tray until every of its part is wet. This is mainly to prevent drying during the brewing process. This also serves to enhance the durability of the tray by enabling even expansion and contraction.

3. Rinse the tea 

Gongfu tea ceremonies follow systematic rinsing. The first rinsing is usually poured down through the openings in the tea tray.  You can also use it to warm the other tea wares. Usually, the main role of the tray manifests during the rinsing process. During the successive rinsing, a lot is poured in terms of liquid. The liquid ends up in the layer beneath for collection.

4. Serve the tea

Once you are through with the steeping process, filter the tea and add it to the pitcher. You can then use the pitcher to proportionally serve the tea in different Gongfu cups. Since the process of Gong Fu tea brewing is usually repetitive, make sure that the tray’s surface is wet.

5. Wash, dry and store

Once you are through with the tea-drinking session, wash and rinse the teaware together. It is advisable to allow the teawares to air dry. You can then go ahead and store the antiques in their respective safe homes awaiting for next use.

 

Conclusion

Gong Fu tea sets are not full without the integration of the tea tray. Not only does the tray make the whole process of tea brewing healthy and easier but also enhances intriguing convenience at any time of the day. It is a must feature for any tea brewing session.

Start your day right with a cup of tea