If you have ever seen the Gunfu Cha tea ceremony in China, you have probably noticed that almost every tea tray (Cheban) has a clay plate – “茶 宠” (tea animal). It is a small work of art made of Yixing clay, which is constantly bathed during the tea ceremony as a wish for good luck and fortune.
In China, tea figurines are revered on a par with pets, even though they are basically small objects made to decorate the tea tray.
In some Chinese families, the dragon figurine may signify the energy of the heavens and symbolise a connection with the god Tao, and in another family a talisman given by a deceased grandfather, reminding him and imparting his wisdom to the family. Tea figurines are therefore always present and have specific meanings.
“Feeding” (wetting) your tea animal.
You can wet your tea figurine with the hot water you used to heat the tea utensils before drinking it or you can use the water you washed the tea leaves with at the beginning of the ceremony.
Over time, the figurine will absorb the aroma and smell of the tea, and you will notice a colour difference in the clay.
Tea animals are many and varied, and can be small, medium or very large. They tend to be very simple, but with a sophisticated design. They can be animals, people, beetles or even mythical creatures.
Using Chinese tea figurines in meditation.
Scientists have shown that by focusing attention on an object and relaxing, the human brain begins to work at a different frequency, similar in vibration to the frequency of the brain of monks and saints.
In such a state of consciousness, a person starts from a stereotyped thought and has the opportunity to tune in to the waves needed to get an answer to a long-standing question of interest. It is this effect that is called ‘help from above’ or ‘advice from the ancestors’.
While drinking tea, it is easier to achieve this state, because tea relieves nervous and physical tension, and tea figurines help to set and focus attention.
Our tea figurines
Lu Yu’s lucky charms, who is the recognised tea saint in China.
Figurine representing the 4 faces of Buddha handmade from Yixing clay, symbolising the sensory experiences in life.
Set of hand-decorated porcelain figurines, they are three different representations of Fukurokuju, one of the Seven Gods of Fortune.
The hand-decorated porcelain monk figurine depicts the figure of a monk.
Discover all the other statuine on our website!