Nowadays, when I want to brew with a beautiful tea set up, I use a Cha Bu (a tea table cloth). This is also how my Cha Ren Ya Xin friends and I make gongfu cha in public. A Cha Bu is like the background in a play. Its colors and patterns are powerful tools to convey a certain mood when drinking tea. For a long time, I wanted to add this unique tea accessory to my selection. Since I couldn't find it anywhere, I felt I had to create some myself. I have now realized this dream -with the help and advice of my mother (who came to visit us 2 weeks ago)-.
The first Cha Bu I wish to introduce is made with this red, flowery, exuberant fabric. This is how I feel as I'm about to show these creations in my blog. Blooming flowers are a celebration of life and beauty like art and design. Its red background is a call for passion as well as the most traditional Chinese color.
Each of my Cha Bu can be used on both sides. The second side of my first 4 Cha Bu is black. This color will match almost all types of tea sets. Having a black background makes most items stand out. This is also a good choice if you brew a dark tea that stains easily.
Here you can see the friendly and experienced Taiwanese seamstress who helped me sew these sets. (She has been sewing cloths for 30 years already and is a happy 46 years young grandmother!) To make them suitable to brew tea on them, she has sewn a third thick fabric in the middle of the Cha Bu. It will absorb the water that is bound to get spilled when making gongfu cha on it.
(You can see a glimpse of the other Cha Bu on her arm).
Each Cha Bu measures approximately 60 x 45 cm. This red one costs as much as the small bamboo tray I used to have in my selection. Both sides are made with 100% cotton fabrics made in Taiwan.