Tea is never boring! A simple bamboo mat can help bring life, color and harmony to the way your tea accessories are displayed.
First, it creates a frame, a space for your Cha Xi ; this is a place free of clutter, entirely dedicated to your tea accessories. This helps your mind focus all its attention on the tea and its preparation.
Secondly, you also realize that you are in control over all these elements: you learn to position them in a way that you find harmonious with your current state of mind. Do you feel cheerful, reflective or cold? You can express these feelings through your display and the tea you choose (especially when one complements the other).
Here are a few simple examples of display using these small bamboo mats (46x33 cm):
Plain bamboo mat: zhuni teapot on small tea competition set plate and 3 'flower' ivory cups
Black bamboo mat: 'ivory' porcelain gaiwan, cha hai (pitcher) and 3 'flower' cups
Red bamboo mat: 17 cl qingbai teapot and 3 singing cups
Blue bamboo mat: Qinghua bamboo set (Gaiwan, cha hai, 3 cups)
Purple bamboo mat: 'ivory' porcelain gaiwan, cha hai (pitcher) and 3 classic cups
Except for the plain bamboo color, a long version of these mats is also available: 182 x 25 cm. This last example shows that you can enrich your display by adding other decorative items around your central bamboo mat.
Note: The mats have been dyed by hand and their color may fade/change at the contact to water. I advise to have an absorbing cloth/paper nearby to wipe any water falling on the mat. (My Cha Bu made with cotton are more absorbing in this regard).
My name is Stéphane Erler. I live in Taiwan since 1996 and have been studying tea with Teaparker. He's a worldwide tea expert and author of over 30 tea books. The study of tea isn't just theoretical, but it's also rooted in daily practice. It's a path of continuous improvement. As my brewing technique improves I get access to better teas and better accessories. These things go hand in hand. My blog documents my learning since 2004. And I have set up an online tea boutique with my selection of top quality teas, accessories and tea culture.