Friday, August 28, 2009


Last Group for the tea utensils posts is these tea scoops.
(Clockwise from Top)
1. Early Rep. Zitan wood scoop with jade inlay 5-7g
2. Silver spoon 1890s 2-4g
3. Cow horn scoop 8-12g
4. Bamboo scoop 6-8 g
5. Modern Rosewood scoop 6-9 g

Very simple but useful tools these are, I realized there is such a history behind them besides going further to Chinese, Japanese or Western tea culture. These Chinese scoops' shapes, widths, and sizes were all pre-calculated.

What do I mean by that? For example, while scooping loose wiry oolong one supposed to roll the tea onto the scoop, rather than digging into the delicate leaves, this rolling action will position the long leaves for easy entry to a yixing pot. Also, a full scoop equals to one tea session in general, around 6-8 grams for 120 ml brewing vessel. Depending of the sizes of the pot, we can then use different sized scoop.

Something so simple, yet following the basic design principle of form follows function.

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