Traditionally, Chinese gongfu brewing sessions are generally performed on very large wooden trays. While this may look spectacular, many tea lovers don’t have sufficient space for such a large item at home. As a result, modern small trays are often used as an alternative, which are also often known as a ‘tea boat’.
Why a Tea Boat is Needed
When you make traditional Chinese tea based on the gongfu method, one requires a tray that can catch spilled tea. This can be for instance, when you pour hot water over your teapot to isolate heat or when you want to scrape away the tea scum from the surface using the lid.
Requires less space
A tray is also convenient when you’ve just started practicing gongfu brewing, to catch the tea that you might spill while practicing. Hence, a tea boat is a central piece for modern gongfu brewing. If you don’t have a large tea tray simply because of a lack of space, a tea boat may be the perfect solution! Modern tea trays are smaller and more affordable at the same time.
Great for travel
As tea is becoming a life style, tea enthusiasts love to bring their favourite teas along their journeys together with portable teaware. Large tea trays aren’t practical. In contrast, this wooden tea boat easily fits in a small backpack!
At last, tea trays (or ‘tea boats’) are some times simply beautiful to use as a teapot stand. Such display stands can give your tea brewing vessel, whether it’s a teapot or gaiwan, a beautiful home. Hence, trays are nowadays part one’s overall home interior or dedicated tea spaces.
Why Walnut Wood & Walnut Shells?
Walnut wood is used for the base of the gongfu tea boat. Walnut wood is stiff, hard, dense and also shock resistant. This mades it the perfect material for this wooden tea boat.
Sliced, polished, and square-cut walnut shells are then applied on the top to offer a beautiful cross-sectional view of its natural patterns. What a wonderful idea of re-using walnut shells that are normally just discarded! The space between walnut shells can catch the spilled tea liquor.
Due to the use of natural materials, every tray is different, and you will own your own unique handcrafted tea boat.
Maintaining your wooden Tea Boat
- After using the wooden tea tray, you may rinse it, and dry it with a cloth.
- The wood materials are water resistant, but do not leave it wet for a long time to avoid mold.
- Do not wash this gongfu tea boat in a dishwater.
- Maintain the natural look of the wood and avoid it drying out, by applying olive or vegetable oil on the wooden surface once in a while. This will bring out its natural colours.
- Do not expose the wooden tea tray to the sun for a long time to avoid the wood becoming too dry.
- You may use a brush to clean space between the walnut shells if rinsing isn’t enough.