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The Origins of Tea

It is said that tea we know today was first discovered almost 3000 years ago by the Chinese ancestor Shennon. The legend of discovery tells us that he preferred drinking boiled to ensure it wouldn’t make him ill, and while on a trip to a distant region, a dead leaf from a wild tea bush fell into his boiling drinking water, Shennon drank it and found it very refreshing, and so cha (tea) came into being.

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Tea in China

Originating in China, today tea has spread around the world, and what began as a preferred drink for a single emperor has become one of the most popular beverages for millions. Traditional Chinese tea is generally classified into six categories: white, green, oolong, yellow, black and post- fermented, with additional categories for scented and compressed teas, but due to the variations of the Camellia Sinensis plant, researchers estimate there are over a 1000 variations of these categories.

Pu’Er tea: One of China’s great treasures

Grown and produced in the Yunnan province, Pu'Er or Pu-Erh tea is also often called vintage or aged tea and is one of China's great treasures. While other teas have become widely known, Pu'Er tea has only risen to prominence in recent years. Unlike other teas, high-quality Pu’Erh not only offers distinctive flavours, many avid drinkers say it provides an overall sense of well-being that they call “Qi”, which means “the flow of energy."

The Sunzen
Tea Collection

Clay Teapots

Metal Teapots

Tea

Along with metallic and clay teapots, our collection of tea related pieces includes some of the finest vintage Pu’Er teas. With an extensive history of discovering, experiencing, and collecting teas, we can help you find some of the most highly sought-after Pu’Er teas in the world.

Discover our full collection at the Sunzen Gallery

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Clay Teapots

Metal Teapots

Tea

Chinese Drum Tea Pot

One view holds that it was originally created by Shao Daheng in Qing Dynasty; it originally means that the pot body is modelled after the shape of a drum; people in later generations modelled after the shape of this pot, thus its name meaning imitating the shape of antique pot. Another view holds that it was created by Zhao Songting under the instruction of Wu Dazheng. This pot has a flat body, bulged abdomen, tall neck and smooth lid plate; its lid matches tightly with the mouth along the standard line; they constitute a full round line; the flowing at the second bending is natural and unblocked. The circular handle is created in balance, and the lobe under it increases the vividness of this work; the whole pot is in an even and harmonious structure; the self-indented bottom highlights the wholeness of this pot.

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Overview of a

Gongfu Tea Ceremony

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Clean the set

Put in the Tea Leaves

Boil Water

Pour Hot Water

Scrape off

Tea Pot Showering

Cup Warming

Tea Pouring

Clean the set

The traditional tea set contains 1 serving cup, multiple tea cups and 1 tea pot. The tea sets need to be thoroughly cleaned, so the scent from the previous batch will not carry over.

Select One

Clean the set

The traditional tea set contains 1 serving cup, multiple tea cups and 1 tea pot. The tea sets need to be thoroughly cleaned, so the scent from the previous batch will not carry over.

Put in the Tea Leaves

Tea Leaves could easily absorb the scent from anything they are in contact with, therefore the leaves need to be put into the tea cups with a tea spoon. The finer tea leaves should be put at the bottom of the tea pot for easy pouring.

Boil Water

For the best result, the tea master will need to bring the water to a precise temperature. There are also three stages when it coming to water boiling; only using the hot water at the right stage can bring out the best taste in the tea leaves.

Pour Hot Water

When the hot water is finally ready, it needs to be poured into the pot. This process needs to be done carefully. The hot water needs to be poured into the pot not directly on to the tea leaves but along the edge of the pot.

Scrape off

When pouring the water into the pot, bubbles and some small tea leave chips will make their ways to the surface of the water. They will affect the taste of the tea, and the tea master will often use a special utensil to scrape them off.

Tea Pot Showering

After closing the lid, the tea master will pour more hot water on top to the entire tea pot. The purpose of this step is to bring up the temperature again, allowing the tea leaves to release the scent to the extent.

Cup Warming

The cups need to be at the right temperature before the tea gets pour into them, this is very important as the tea needs to be serve at the best condition. Tea master will use the reminder of the hot water to give tea cups a good rinse.

Tea Pouring

Finally, the perfectly made tea will be ready for pouring and to be enjoyed. The technique here is to “pour in circles”. Tea master will put the cups together and go around them in motions of circles when pouring, typically 7 to 8 rounds. Filling up a cup in one-time pour is generally not allowed.

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