Tea Customs and Teawares
Tea Storage Utensil
As bulk tea became very popular in the Ming Dynasty, it required a higher standard of tea storage. Compared with the situation in the Tang and Song Dynasty, tea storage utensils were more vital then. A mild and dry environment was the best place to keep bulk tea while cold and wet would damage the tea. Generally speaking, people used porcelain pots or purple clay pots to keep bulk tea. People would put dried tea leaves into the pot and cover with an indocalamus leaf made of thin bamboo. Then the pot mouth would be covered with six or seven pieces of paper, white board and put in a clean place. When needed, people would take some tea from the big pot into small dry bottle for further use. Tea storage bottle and jars varied a lot in shape among those discovered or passed down from the Ming Dynasty. Tea storage had more kinds of forms, round or square, made of porcelain or tin.
Tea Holder/Tea Weighting Scoop
tea holder serves as a measuring tool, to measure the amount when tea leaves is put into the boiler.
"six things" for Chinese tea ceremony
Tea Caddy(茶筒）: Container used for hold the other 5 tea kits or to store tea leaves.
Teaspoon(茶勺）：used for ladling out dry teas from tea containers into the tea holder, or into teapot before making tea.
Tea needle(茶针）：dredge the teapot connection (hives) to keep the water smoothly spout when blocked, or stir the tea leaves in the teapot.
tea digger(茶匙）：used for transfer tea leaves from the tea holder to the teapot or gaiwan, generally is carved from a single piece of bamboo .
Tea Tongs(茶夹）：carry tea leaves out of teapot after finishing a tea ceremony, or picking small tea cup after cleaning cups with boiling water.
Tea Funnel(茶漏）：help to pour tea leaves into small teapot to avoid falling out of it before making tea
Tea Cup (aroma cup and drinking cup)
In Chinese tea ceremony, Using aroma cup to smell the tea before sipping tea water. Smelling is very important because most of the taste of tea is in the smell.
Using drinking to take sips of the tea and savor the taste. Connoisseurs often loudly slurp the tea and swish it around in their cheeks to be sure all taste buds are engaged.