A fellow blog reader recently asked me to look for a medium sized bamboo tea tray. Since she was interested in my pu er, I readily agreed to explore Taiwan's market for bamboo trays. They are mostly produced in NanTou County in a place -wouldn’t you know it?- called Zhu Shan, bamboo mountain. But, like for every thing, there are also lots of Chinese made trays of lesser quality. By the way, last weekend, Taiwan TV news reported that in China even chicken eggs are copied!!! They cost half less to produce!
So, as I looked for a nice, Taiwan made, tray, I stumbled upon this beautiful 3 in 1 bamboo artifact.
1. It can be used as a solid basket to carry your tea set (teapot, cups, tea) on a trip. It would be perfect to brew tea, like I did Saturday (this yesterday's post), on top of a mountain or during a picnic.
2. You can use it as a box to gather a few teapots and cups. With its nice carvings, you may even want to display the box in your home. It will be very difficult to resist opening it up!
3. And of course, it can be used as a normal tray with filter to brew your tea and with the top to use it as a tray for the guest's cups.
The dimensions are 32 cm long x 22 cm large x 24 cm high. It weighs 2 kg.
Updated on November 24, 2006: The above tray is replaced by this improved version:
A green cloth with handles makes it easier to transport it around and to protect it against shocks:
The carving is a little different, and a black rectangular line has been added on top of the box.
The cover can be used as a service tray when you flip it upside down:
You can use it to display your teaware on top of the box:
And, of course, you can also use it as a regular tea tray to perform your gongfu cha: