讓每一樣茶具在茶席上有個家
文/許玉蓮
 
泡茶喝茶需要準備各類茶具,這是學習泡茶、要建立一個品茗興趣的基本條件,就好像當我們要建立一個作畫、攝影、彈琴或唱歌的嗜好時,也要為該項作業籌備一番,找出該有的各類道具,認識它們的名稱、功能等,把各種用具妥當準備,設置好一個泡茶席,這個嗜好的進行才會順利展開。

設置泡茶席時可將茶具分成三個區域,第一.泡茶者正前方擺置主茶器:茶壺或盖杯、茶海、茶杯。這三種茶具皆有不同材質如:瓷、陶、紫砂、玻璃等,燒結得密度較高之器物,茶湯可發揮高頻風格,相反的燒結度較低之器物,茶湯顯低頻風格,泡茶者可自由選擇使用。泡茶壺的大小可隨着茶杯大小來變動,比如小茶杯,茶壺用180cc大。中茶杯,茶壺用280cc大。大茶杯,茶壺用380cc大。

第二.泡茶者左手邊擺置煮水器,煮水器因煮開時有熱氣,為了照顧喝茶者的安心,不要擺放在同高的茶席桌面上,將之置放較低的一張小桌即可。煮水器有電煮水壺,或用酒精加熱的,裝水的壺有陶、銀、鐵、不鏽鋼、玻璃等製成,皆可用於泡茶,不必特別執着於那種款式。泡茶方法經驗豐富之後再根據茶性和水性來調整。

第三.泡茶者右手邊置放輔茶器如:茶罐、茶荷、茶匙、杯托、茶巾、水盂。

泡茶者在泡茶時要雙手並用,如此整個泡茶程序才會更加順暢顯得得心應手,故此茶具都要擺放在一個安身立命“家”,左、右方向最好可以固定下來,好比如彈琴,每次都可以在同樣部位找到我們要的音符,熟練之後才會精進。

設置茶席時注意,泡茶壺的壺把向着右方由右手提拿,煮水壺的壺把向着左方由左手提拿,壺把方向在第一時間就要擺得正確,否則開始泡茶後才發覺沒有放好,屆時手忙腳亂轉過來轉過去,不但很容易摔破茶具,而且將耽誤浸泡時間,影響茶的香味。


Tea Art Tips: Let’s assign a location to each piece of the tea utensil on the tea table
 By Hooi Yoke Lien

The basic requirement in learning tea making is getting all the necessary tea utensils in order. Tea appreciation is just like any other hobbies such as painting, photography, playing piano or singing. In order to ensure that a hobby is carried out smoothly, all the required equipment needed must be in place. On top of that, it is also important to understand the function of each and every piece of the equipment required. It is therefore important to set-up the tea table in proper order to ensure that the entire tea making process can be carried out smoothly.
 
The setting up of the tea table can be divided into three sections. First section: This refers to the tea utensils that are placed right in front of the tea brewed. Those tea utensils shall include: tea pot or cup with lid, tea pitcher and tea cups. These three tea utensils may be made of various materials such as porcelain, pottery, purple clay, glass, etc.. Higher density tea utensils with lower porosity enable tea leaves to release theirfavour fully, whereas lower density tea utensils with higher porosity will hinder the capacity of the tea leaves to fully release their aroma. The tea pot size may vary according the tea cup size used in serving tea. For example, tea pot size of 180cc is sufficient, if small tea cups are used. If medium size tea cups are used, tea pot size of 280cc is probably the right size. If big tea cups are used, tea pot size of 380cc may be required.
 
Second section: This refers to the kettle and stove that are placed on the left side of the tea brewed. For the safety of the tea drinker, this set of tea utensils shall be placed on the left side, on a smaller table, that is lower than the tea table. The stove may be an electric stove or ethanolstove. There is no particular type of kettle to be used in tea making. Kettles may be available in various materials such as pottery, silver, metal, stainless steels, glass, etc. Once you have more experience in mastering the tea making techniques, you may choose the type of kettle that suits the character of the tea and water used.

Section three: This refers to the tea utensils that are placed on the right side of the tea brewer, which include Tea leaf container, tea receptacle, scraper, saucer, towel and crucible.
 
To ensure a smooth tea making session, it is advisable that the tea brewer uses both hands while making tea. On top of that, tea utensils must be placed in a designated position that is easily accessible. Just like playing piano, each key on the piano is placed in its designated location so that pianist can locate the keys for each tune on the music note. The same theory applies for tea making. The position of the tea utensils must be on their designated location so that each step in the tea making process is carried out smoothly.
There is one thing for tea brewer to take note while setting up the tea table. As the position of the teapot is designated on the right side of the tea brewer, the teapot shall be lifted using the right hand.  The correct way to lift the kettle from the stove is using the left hand as the position of the kettle is designated on the left side of the tea brewer。 The position of the kettle must becorrect otherwise it would be awkward having to reposition the kettle after the tea making session begins. Not only will the tea brewerexpose to the risk of breaking the tea utensils but also prolong the tea making time, which in turn affects the aroma of the tea.