- Tea Knowledge
It is the middle of the growing season: the sun shines at a low angle, illuminating the greenness of the new leaves; a spray of flowers has just begun to open, blown by a gentle breeze; a butterfly approaches, perhaps desiring to take a sip of nectar, just like the tea drinker, holding this cup in the palm. The image rendered here in hand-painted shades of blue, with a watercolour-like quality, suggests such vernal images, as does the bell shape of the cup they are painted on, like that of an upturned flower.
Why is the cup so small?
This cup is designed for the traditional Chinese tea preparation (gong fu cha). The tea is steeped for a short time in a small teapot and served in the tiny cups (cha bei).
The same leaves are infused multiple times, and the flavour changes with each infusion. This procedure maximises the aroma of the tea, revealing the subtle nuances.