A friend of mine went to China to visit friends and she had a fantastic time. Of course she brought back several different kinds of, you guessed it, tea. We have loose leave tea, flower tea (I’ll explain these in another post), vacuüm packed tea and this little clay doll. The doll is about two inches tall and shaped like a little boy.
During the preparation of dinner I noticed this little clay figure submerged in water. So I asked “What is that and why is it submerged in water”. My friend Sue was very reluctant answering and not specific at all. “My Chinese friends use it for making tea”. I gave her a puzzled look and she smiled, she says “after dinner we will have tea and I will demonstrate. OK.
So we had dinner and the little clay boy remained submerged in water. We cleared the dishes and the kettle was plugged in for tea. Sue tells us about the Chinese tradition of boiling water in the morning and placing the water in a gigantic thermos for the day. This conserves the heat in the water and they have a special way of testing for the correct temperature. This little clay figure is called “the pee pee boy”. To test the water for the correct temperature you pour some water over the head of the figure and if the water is hot enough for tea the “pee pee” boy will have a nice healthy stream. The further the stream, the hotter the water. How can you live without a demonstration? The Demonstration will be coming up in another article soon.