Two plants that are associated with China in people’s minds are tea plants and bamboo. The former is used to steep up the second most popular beverage in the world (after water); the latter is the main munchable for another icon of this vast country — the panda. It’s small wonder that their paths intertwine. Time to take a look at that bamboo tea connection.
|Bamboo Tea Accessories Set with Saucers|
Bamboo finds its way into tea time in a couple of ways. One is as implements and the other is as part of the tea.
Teas Made with and Associated with Bamboo
It’s very natural for tea and bamboo to be combined, sometimes only by the name of the tea.
- 2011 Imperial Handmade Traditional Dai Minority Bamboo Raw Pu-erh – 15 grams or 100 grams — See all about it in our previous article.
- 2011 Spring Handmade Imperial Zhu Ye Qing (Bamboo Leaf) Green Tea — This green tea variety, coming directly from the local Chinese farmer on Emei mountain, has become popular for many green tea lovers in the last few years. It has a mellow, sweet taste and a wonderful sugarcane aroma. The leaves are said to look like bamboo leaves when steeped.
- 2005 Nannuo Mountain Old Tree Raw Pu-erh — Its very sweet taste (even for the new raw pu-erh) and rich honey aroma have made this tea extremely sought after by pu-erh lovers. Nannuo mountain in eastern Menghai County of Yunnan Province’s Xishuangbanna Prefecture, is covered in shaded forests of green bamboo and other trees. This shade keeps the tea leaves mild and sweet.
Tea Implements Made of Bamboo
- Bamboo tea tables in Mid-size and Large Size — Constructed entirely of bamboo and having two parts (the upper for your tea things and the lower for the overflow liquid). (Both out of stock as of the posting of this article.)
- Rectangular Shape Bamboo Serving Tray — A simple tray made of mold-proof bamboo and having a raised edge. Large enough to serve several cups of tea.
- Bamboo Tea Accessories Set with Saucers — Contains a tea spoon to get tea from your canister or bags, tweezers to pick up hot washed tea cups, a funnel for sliding tea leaves into the teapot, a pick for poking tea leaves out of the spout, and a scraper to slide leaves into the pot or get stubborn leaves clinging to the inside of the teapot.
- Whisk (chasen), scoops (chashaku), and ladles — The scoops are carved from a single piece of bamboo but some are made of ivory or wood. You use them to scoop tea from the storage container into the tea bowl. The scoop for matcha is usually long and thin used to take some of the matcha powder out of its storage jar and put it in the cup. The whisk is used to stir the powder with the water into a frothy mix. The ladles are little bamboo cups with long handles and are used to move water from bucket to teapot. They are an important part of tea preparations, especially during tea ceremonies.
- Bamboo baskets — Large round deep baskets for toting leaves from the field to the factory and shallow concave baskets used during the processes of those tea leaves.
- Tong wrappers — A stack of pu-erh cakes is wrapped sometimes in a bamboo shell. See our previous article.
Also, the image of bamboo is used on teawares as symbolic decoration. Bamboo grows wild and fairly rapidly, making it rather important to the Chinese and earning it the status of one of the Four Noble Ones (the other three being orchids, chrysanthemums, and plum blossoms). Also, bamboo is a symbol of perseverance, being able to withstand harsh weather in Winter, and a symbol of good luck, especially financially. You will see bamboo used on cups, teapots, and other items.
These are some ways bamboo connects with tea. We wanted to present just a few to pique your interest and encourage you to find out more.