Saturday, May 28, 2011

Portable Tea Set

 With the end of the rainy season I decided to buy a portable teaset so my wife and I could enjoy tea in the parks that can be found in and around Busan. You can see it in the picture as I demonstrate its level of 'portability'.
This kind of teaset was common to medieval Japan and China and it holds everything except the hot water. When we go for a tea picnic we bring the water in a thermos.
For a good pot of tea the water should be 70-80C and never 90 so a thermos is excellent for this.
The box itself is called a 차탁Chatak or teaboard. (At the bottom of this article I'll have all the shopping information for you).
As you can see here once you remove the lid you can see that it holds the teapot, teabowl and 4 cups on the first level of the teaset. The lid and the frame can both be removed to be used as a small serving table. Great for picnics when you're sitting on a rock in a park and need a flatter space.
As you can see here the bottom level is where you can put your tea. I use small tupperware I got at the 'dollar store' 1000 won mart to hold the tea. It is large enough for a small box of tea. 지혜선/JiHyeSun Teashop sells several teas in small boxes that will fit. As you can see, the teabowl, teapot and cups come wrapped in cloth dust wrappers. I bought these cloth wrappers for 3000-4000 won each at 고물들의 미팅/GoMulDulUi Meeting but you can also get them at a small shop called
이은수도예공방 (Lee Eun Soo DoYeaKongBang). Mentioned later in this article.
As you can see here the lid for the bottom level has a several slits cut into it. This is what makes a chatak: it has a bottom level beneath the grating to catch the water that might be spilled when pouring. Teaboards can come looking like tables and some are just like flat boards. Most have a bottom tray to catch the spill. There are others that are like flat boards with edges to keep the tea on the board. On these ones the tea runs downhill to one end of the board where it disappears down a tube and into a refuse bowl. These ones tend to be rather ornate and expensive.  GoMulDulUi Meeting specializes in teaboards although you can find some at other stores and teahouses as well.
Some Zen or Daoist schools of tea advise that when pouring the tea it should be spilled. There's one teahouse & Teashop in Nampo where the owner loves pouring her tea all over. It is actually quite fun watching her so excitedly playing with her tea. Personally I find that a watery mess and aim to pour all in the cup although it is fun spilling tea for the guests. After all, what is a teaboard for, right? 

GoMulDulUi Meeting (pictured here) specializes in Teaboards. Just ask the staff to see their many  차탁ChaTak. They have many on the first floor and alot more on the 2nd floor. They are THE place for portable teasets.
Directions to there shop can be found on my previous post tea tour part one (repost).

이은수 (Lee Eun Soo)'s tea and pottery shop can is near to GolMulDulUi's Meeting. Lee Eun Soo's shop is a great place to find all kinds of floral teas as well as the traditional Pu'er. I reviewed this shop in my  tea tour part 2 real live horses posting. Later I'll do a report on the Chinese tea thermos which in my opinion is the best way to have Pu'er tea.  Till next time, stay steeped.


  1. Thanks! I've always wanted to know where to find tea in Pusan, now I know.

  2. Always a pleasure to be of service. So far the best tea I've had was white tea at YongjangDawon: 1 flight of escalator stairs heading up towards Nampo Tower. Its on your right hand side. Just tell the lady "Bekcha jewsayoh" (Bekcha is white tea). Happy hunting & sipping!