Chapter Two Cha Jing
The square bamboo chest(籯, yíng): is also called basket(篮), another name is cage-like basket(笼, long), another is round bamboo basket (筥), it is made of woven bamboo. Its volume is 5 sheng (measurement unit in Tang Dynasty, app. 594.4 cc), or 1 to 3 dou ((measurement unit, ten liters). Tea farmers carry it on their backs during tea picking.
When the stove has no chimney. Then use an edged pot.
Boiler(甑,zèng): is either made of wood or clay. Its waist is sealed with earth. A bamboo basket is fastened into the boiler with bamboo strips functioning as a grate. Raw tea leaves are put into this bamboo basket and taken out when they are steamed. When water in the pot is drying out, pour water into boiler and stir the tea leaves with a three-forked branch so as to evaporate moisture in tea buds and leaves and to avoid the lose of tea essence.
Pestle and mortar: also called pestle, are better when frequently used.
Gauge: also called as mold or bowl, is made of iron. Shape can be either square, round or flower-like.
Bearing: also called board or block, is made of stone. Stone can be replaced by pagoda tree or mulberry tree. Half of it is buried in the ground so as it can stay steady.
Apron: also called jacket. It is made of silky textile, broken raincoat or unlined dress. Apron is put upon bearing and gauge is put upon apron so as to mold the tea and to take out tea easily.
Bamboo tray: also called “Lei zi” or “Pang Lang”. Is made of two pieces of three-feet-long bamboo poles. Total length of the tray is two and a half feet. Length of its handles are half a foot. Make a square-holed mesh to be placed in between two bamboo poles, similar to the soil screener used by farmers. The length is two feet. It is for laying tea leaves.
Knife: also called awl. The handle is made of hard wood. It is for piercing through tea cakes.
Pu(撲, pū): also called as pointer. It is made of bamboo for the usage of holding pierced tea cakes during transportation.
Roaster(焙, bèi): a 2-foot-deep pit whose width is 2.5 feet and length is 1 zhang.A 2 feet high wall is built along its edges. It is pasted smooth with earth.
String: It is made of sharpened bamboo. Its length is 2.5 feet. Its usage is to go through tea cakes for roasting.
Shed: also called stack. It is made of wooden frame and put upon the roaster. There are two decks, the distance between them is 1 foot. It is for laying tea cakes during roasting. When tea cake is half dry, it is moved from bottom to the lower deck. When it is completely dry, it is moved from lower deck to higher deck.
Thread(穿, chuan): It is made of chopped bamboo in Jiangdong and Huainan area while it is made of paper mulberry tree bark. In Jiangdong, a big thread holds 1 jing tea; medium thread holds 0.5 jing tea and a small thread holds four to five ounces. In Xiazhong, big thread holds 120 jing tea; medium thread holds 80 jing and small thread holds 40 to 50 jing. Thread, once was charactered “釧” from “釵釧”, or串(chuan, string) in the past time, however this is not the case now. Same as the example of “磨、扇、彈、鑽、縫”, they are written according to even-tone characters(meaning verb), yet they mean noun when they are read with falling-rising tone. 穿 hereby means a measurement unit.
Tea preserver: It is woven with bamboo and framed with wood. It is covered by paper. A space-stop rack is installed in the middle. Lid is put on the top and tray on the bottom. An opening is at one side. A door is installed besides opening. An utensil is placed inside the preserver where coal is buried in so as to heat tea at low fire. In mould rain season, it burns big fire to dry and preserve tea.