“VIETNAMESE WOMEN DRINK TEA” PAINTING
QUAI BRANLY MUSEUM
THE VIETNAM TRADITION
PROFESSIONAL TEA SKILLS
The style of tea brewing known as “Chuyên trà” first appeared during the Later Lê Restoration period (1533 – 1789) and was perfected in the Nguyễn dynasty (1802 – 1945). Tea drinkers were very picky about selecting tea pots, tea cups, kettles, and stoves, and made an effort to improve their understanding of various types of tea. They particularly focused on the skill of brewing a delicious cup of tea. It seemed to be a practice of upright individuals and was a comfortable way to relax – spirit nourishment.
It is called: “Chuyên trà”.
“VŨ TRUNG TUỲ BÚT” BOOK
PHẠM ĐÌNH HỔ (1768 – 1839) – AUTHOR
“MÍNH ẨM” – DRINKING TEA
“Chuyên trà” tea set
The basic tea ware is used for Chuyên Trà
“NHẬT DỤNG THƯỜNG ĐÀM”
LÀ CHUYÊN TRÀ 【專茶】
FOUR MAIN TEA UTENSILS
There are four most important tea utensils of Chuyên Trà:
- Ấm chuyên trà: special teapot of chuyên trà.
- Chén Tống, Chén quân: big teacup (Capital teacup) as serving pitcher and small teacups (Soldier teacups).
- Siêu: special terracotta/bronze kettle of chuyên trà.
- Lò: tea bazier .
Small teapot, thin teacups, boiled water, lots of tea, brewing quickly for making a delicious cup of tea which has strong taste, many layers, mouthful and long aftertaste.
“NGUYỄN VĂN SIÊU IS TEACHING”
Nguyễn Văn Siêu
“THE WAY OF CHUYÊN TRÀ”
“Thanh nhàn” spirit
The old people loved tea because it has rich taste but elegant. In the early morning and evening, they brewed tea to be enjoyable, improved their understanding of professional skill of brewing tea. Finally, they got experiences how to be in spirit nourishment.
ANNAMITES ET EXTRÊME-OCCIDENTAUX
16 tea utensils of Chuyên Trà tea set
Perfect tea set of Chuyên Trà includes sixteen tea utensils, it helps for drinking tea elegantly and conveniently.
Ấm chuyên teapot
The special teapot uses for Chuyên Trà is called “ấm chuyên trà”. Normally, it is made from Yixing clay without enamel, thin, fixed lid, small capacity (60ml – 160ml)
Chén quân teacup
There are three small teacups (in Cochinchina) or four small teacups ( in Tonkin) called “Chén quân”: Soldier teacups. It is thin as eggshell, white color to be outstanding the color of tea water after brewing.
Chén tống teacup
There is a big teacup called “chén Tống” (Captain cup): serving pitcher, firstlly pouring out all water from teapot into serving pitcher, then tea water from the serving pitcher is poured into each small teacups evently.
This kettle has the special handle, quickly boiling water, is made from terracotta or bronze material. The capacity is from 350ml to 550ml, convex and thin bottom surface. It’s also called “siêu kettle”.
Lò than brazier
Small tea brazier, skillfully crafted that fits into the Terracotta/ bronze kettle. Fire box of tea brazier is deep enough to keep charcoal fire. Furthermore, the tea brazier with thick base and spare holes to keep the fire not be getting too hot.
A plate is used for putting small teapot “ấm chuyên trà” above to avoid pouring water outsite the tea table during tea brewing. It is called “Dầm plate”.
There are 2 plates are used for putting big and small teacups “chén tống, chén quân” above to avoid pouring water outside tea tray during tea brewing. And the tea plate should be flat to stop the cup from inclining. It is called “Bàn plate”.
Khay trà tea tray
Tea tray is used for putting captain teacup and small teacups and tea plates above for serving tea easily. It is also a venerable traditional service way before.
Ống nhổ bowl
This bowl is used for pouring dirty water from Dầm plate, Bàn plate and tea dregs of teacups during teatime.
Lọ trà tea jar
Dried tea leaves are stored in tea jar which is made from ceramic/pottery/bronze, especially by tin with tight lid. The neck of tea jar is small to avoid moisture, air, light and odors.
Đũa tea clips
This utensil is used for bringing tea leaves which opening tightly inside small teapot and unclog spout of the teapot (old teapot has no filter).
Ang nước water pot
Using water pot for pouring water into kettle, it’s always ready beside the tea brazier.
Lồng than charcoal container
This utensil is used to put charcoal, bronze chopsticks and small handmade fan with long handle (it’s useful for burning charcoal). The charcoal is the special type for Chuyên trà: flammable, smokeless, odorless, long burning.
Bình hoa tiny vase
Tiny vase for flowers is used often for decorating of Chuyên Trà tea set.
Vuông Điều cloth
After finishing teatime, teapot and teacups will be cleaned, dried and put above the tea tray again carefully. Then using the cloth to cover the tea tray to keep away dirty. This utensil is called “Vuông điều cloth”.
Chậu hand washing basin
Before drinking tea, washing hands to be clean for enjoying tea flavor and drinking tea.
UNDERSTANDING THE OLD PEOPLE
“bác cổ” wide knowlegde
“We believe that History is worth to be a Teacher, ancient experiences contains the valuable knowledge as a reward for the people who are ready to learn seriously. Underestimating history will make us to be arrogant, braggart, confusion”.