A tea set. What is included in the set for the tea ceremony?
All over the world, people drink tea. Agree that it can be more pleasant after a hard day's work, than to sit in the kitchen with your family, discussing something interesting while having a cup of flavored tea? Of course, tea can be drunk from any tableware - from fine porcelain cups to metal walking mugs. And yet, if guests are expected in the house, you need a beautiful tea set, which will add additional festive notes to cozy gatherings, during which you can tell the story of tea drinking and related traditions.
Gourmets from China
The taste of tea loved by people for a long time. The discoverers of this drink lived in one of the provinces of China. They were the ones who ventured to brew the leaves of wild-growing tea tree and taste the resulting drink, which they liked so much that the plant was “domesticated” and after some time absolutely all Chinese drank tea with might and main.
Thanks to trade, tea gradually “seeped” to the West, and one of the enterprising merchants brought tea bushes to Indonesia, planting a modest plantation. Some time passed, and Indonesia became one of the largest producers of tea. It was from here that this drink began its journey through England, Germany, France and Italy.
Tea came to Russia in 1638 - merchants brought it straight from China as a gift to Tsar Fedor Mikhailovich, who did not fail to taste this drink. Naturally, the autocrat liked him, and after a while he was drunk by all the nobility. At first, tea was a very expensive treat, and for ordinary people it became available only at the end of the 19th century.
The wealth of tea varieties, people are obliged to England - in this country for the first time tried to mix different types, getting an unusually tasty blends. In addition, residents of Albion invented and special dishes and made the authors of tea etiquette.
English tea sets, as a rule, are made of the finest porcelain, painted in the Baroque style.
Russian tea set of dishes is not much different from English, except that the appearance.Remember how our grandmothers and mothers proudly put such sets on public display behind the glass of furniture walls? Sometimes they occupied all the free space - and no wonder! For example, the well-known “Tea set (12 items)” included a teapot, 12 cups, as many saucers, 12 dessert plates, a milk jug, a sugar bowl, a bowl and a butter dish. Sometimes this service included up to 54 items! Impressive, isn't it?
The tea sets for 6 persons were much more modest and included 6 cups, 6 saucers, a kettle for brewing, a milk jug, a butter dish, a cake plate, a vase of jam and a candy bowl.
Japanese tea set
By the way, in distant Japan they also love, and - most importantly - they can! - drinking tea, but the Japanese tea set is significantly different from the traditional traditional service.
The "correct" set for the tea ceremony consists not only of objects, but also special tools. As a rule, it includes a wooden casket in which tea (chabako) is stored, a kettle or kettle made of copper (chaki), a simple ceramic cup for sharing tea, and also ceramic bowls for each guest, a spoon made of bamboo, which is poured tea , bamboo stirrer, a container for sweets or other treats (hachi) and a napkin made of natural silk (kaishi).And, of course, not a single "self-respecting" Japanese tea set is complete without a special tray made of precious wood, which is called "shepherd".
In China, which presented the taste of tea to the whole world, a tea set for a tea ceremony is no less interesting! It consists of items such as Slivnik, Gaiwan and Piala, the number of which can vary from 3 to 10 or more. The number of drinking bowls is directly proportional to the number of guests expected for tea drinking. Sometimes such a tea set can “boast” by the presence of a strainer.
By the way, gaiwan is the Chinese twin sister of our teapot. It is in it that tea is brewed, which after that is poured into a plum berry, a capacity which the Chinese themselves poeticly call the "kettle of justice."
Drinks included in the set for the tea ceremony are analogues of our cups, the only difference is that they do not have handles.
The variety of types of dishes for tea drinking directly intersects with price variations. How much does a tea set cost?
Let's start with the inexpensive and most popular set of Chinese porcelain, consisting of 6 cups and so many saucers. The color is usually white, without any pattern.This is a great option for those who love elegance and simplicity of form. In addition, such kits are often used in cafes and restaurants. The price in online stores for such a service ranges from 599 to 800 rubles. If you want to buy the same tea set, but with a teapot, a milk jug and a sugar bowl, it will cost 1190 rubles, and you will have to pay about 6000-7000 rubles for a tea set of a similar configuration, but from more durable bone china.
If you have the desire and financial opportunity, you can turn your attention to tea sets, the price of which ranges from 22,000 to 39,000 rubles and higher - they are usually made from higher quality porcelain, moreover, they have more items.
There are very modern, downright futuristic tea sets, the price for them varies from 3,000 rubles and more.
And, of course, let's not forget to mention the Chinese and Japanese sets for the tea ceremony, which have recently become fashionable and have firmly taken the place of favorites. The price of such sets is relatively low, and absolutely everyone likes their beauty and simplicity.
Chinese tea sets for the tea ceremony cost between 2,000 and 4,000, while the color range will satisfy even the most fastidious customer and will easily fit into any interior.Very convenient and the fact that each item for "tea drinking in Chinese" can be purchased separately.
Japanese tea set is more expensive than Chinese - this is due to the large number of its constituent items. With the purchase of such an exotic service, the wallet will become lighter by 5,000–15,000 rubles.
In a word, there is always a choice, and the main thing in tea drinking is good tasty tea and the ability to brew it.
Puer, Oolong and others
Do you know that tea is not only black and green? Varieties of this healing drink amazing variety! There are a great many of them - oolong teas, various puers, as well as red, yellow and even white species. And if black and green tea are familiar to us, the rest require detailed familiarization.
For example, pu-erh is a unique tea that is fermented. For this green leaves from the tea - which is very important! - the tree (and not the bush) is soaked in various infusions before drying, the recipe of which is kept in the strictest secret. The leaves treated in such liquids “ripen” in special pits for several years, after which they are formed into flat cakes and dried, “roasted” in the sun.The older the tea tree from which tea leaves were obtained, and the longer the fermentation takes place, the more valuable Pu-erh is.
Oolong tea is the category of the most fragrant teas in the world. They have a very interesting, rich taste, the content of antioxidants in them is two times more than in black!
The Mystery Of Brewing Tea
Choosing a tea set for the tea ceremony and a variety of tea, it remains only to learn how to brew it properly.
First of all, you need to keep the right proportions, and this is 1 teaspoon of tea per 250 ml of water. Tea is best brewed with soft purified water, but not boiling, but heated to 90 degrees Celsius.
Tea brewing time depends on the desired effect: if you need to cheer up a little - 2 minutes is enough, and if you need a longer wakefulness period - 5-7 minutes.
The procedure itself brewing tea is simple: the main thing - to heat the teapot. To do this, before pouring tea leaves, it is necessary to pour hot water into it and let it stand until the walls get warm. Then pour out the water, pour in the required amount of tea, pour in water, cover and wrap with a towel. After a while, tea is ready!