On Sunday 1st of June, 3PM, Cha Ren Ya Xin will perform a Ming dynasty Cha Xi (tea party) at the Taipei Story House (next to the Fine Arts Museum). This time, the Cha Xi is supposed to take place indoors.
Here is my latest set-up that I have thought of for the occasion. Teaparker suggested we use a green Cha Bu (so I made this new one!). The main reason for green is that we will all brew loose green tea (as fits the current spring season). I liked this green cloth, because its dark roughness has a certain 'authentic' depth that should fit an ancient Chinese dynasty quite well.
Silver would be the best fit for green tea, but we thought that silver teapots are not very particular to Ming dynasty. Ming teapots used to be big and roundish in shape. And most were made of clay. Teaparker told us that duanni clay is the best match for green tea. I thought that a harder clay would brew the light fragrances better. So, I compared brewing my San Hsia Bi Luo Chun in the zisha Chun Si and in this 20 cl duanni Yi Li Zhu. And to my surprise, the result with the duanni was nicer. It was rounder and lost less fragrance than I had feared. That's why I decided to use this teapot, the biggest duanni teapot I have (so far).
We will use an old white plate to present the dry leaves. After they are inserted in the teapot, I'm thinking of bringing my second old tetsubin on the Cha Bu.
For this practice, I could use these wonderful handmade Korean tea cups (thanks again to the dear reader who gave them to me). They are really very special with their color variations. And they fit this Cha Xi very well. Unfortunately, I won't have enough for the Story House Event. So, I still need to find other cups until then...
There's another interesting Ming dynasty habit I learned from Teaparker. In those times, each participant would have his own teapot and make his own tea! If you want to make your own Ming dynasty event, this is tradition can help it make it more interactive. But for this Story House event, we will retain the usual format of one brewer and 5-6 drinkers for more convenience with the water (and teapots) preparation.
See also my previous attempt at making a Cha Xi with Ming dynasty inspiration (in French).
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