Outdoors - let's see your tea set up

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oolongfan
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:40 am
Location: Indiana, USA

Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:54 pm

With the nicer weather comng I have been giving thought to having some outdoor tea sessions (I live on a farm). I do not have any ways to boil water outdoors at this point..heck I don't even have a tea tray ;)

Do any of you use a Chao Zhou Clay Stove Set outdoors? I love the idea but it seems to require a lot of set up...so better for he slower time (for me) mid Summer as opposed to busy Spring.

Battery operated kettle to bol water...tetsubin over a fire pit...share your methods for boiling water outdoors. Photos of entire tea set up even better for inspiriation (on my part)

How do you pre warm your teaware without risk of cracking from temperature change when it is still temperate/slightly cooler outside as opposed to hot?

Any other outdoor tips appreciated.

Mary
plamarca000
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Location: Brooklyn / Manhattan
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Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:21 pm

I have one of the clay kettles from Global Tea Hut with the coal braiser. I was also going to buy a butane or propane 1 burner camping stove.
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Baisao
Posts: 345
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Location: Austin, TX

Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:36 pm

I use a Japanese brazier with hardwood charcoal. It takes about 30 minutes to boil a liter of water. It has the advantage of being sheltered by the wind more than the typical Chinese braziers. Here's the deal with charcoal: it takes practice. You would think it would be as easy as grilling outdoors but Japanese and SE Asian hardwood charcoals need a lot of tending to keep them from dying. It also takes a lot of energy to bring a liter to a boil. There's a good Global Tea Hut article on using charcoal. It's an art.

So I recommend preheating your water and transporting it in a Thermos to the destination and pouring it into your kettle after your coals are ready. The coals will keep it warm and you don't have to worry about tending the coals as much.

I've used charcoal to heat water in a kettle about 10 times and feel that I have only made baby steps in the art of tending coals.

It's worth it for the aesthetic and elemental aspect even if it doesn't change the taste of your water.

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Rosewood Brazier with Ichikawa Kettle
41841602811_08b2bbe742_z.jpg (93.94 KiB) Viewed 604 times
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Rosewood Brazier with Ichikawa Kettle
26972998057_ed6823aee3_z.jpg (83.7 KiB) Viewed 604 times
oolongfan
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:40 am
Location: Indiana, USA

Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:54 pm

plamarca000 - I saw the braiser's on Global Tea Hut....so would love to hear more about yours when you get t use it. I leaning towards a coal stove....but butane might be easier.less time to get going.

Baisao - Thank you for sharing your experiences, advice, and beautiful photos..you have a beautiful set up. I love the Japanese rosewood brazier, especially since it shelters the coals fro m the wind. I live on a farm and wind can be a real issue cooking outdoors. Thank you for the advice on different properties of SE Asian and Japanese hardwood charcoal ..and article suggestion...sounds like more of a learning curve than I anticipated...but in a good way..as sometimes my current indoor tea sessions can get rushed or I get preoccupied with concerns and issues..loosing focus on the tea ceramony. Maybe the effort put into the preparaton of the task of boilng water willl be a good way to bring my attention.

Wher did you get the brazier? I also love what appear to be stone/clay coasters...beautiful and quite handy. The matt is also beautiful .....I really need to get some matts and a tea tray.

Thank you both for sharing....I really need the inspiration as the moderate Spring temperatures are here....and I would like to get out before the dog days of July ;)
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Baisao
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Location: Austin, TX

Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:53 am

oolongfan wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:54 pm
plamarca000 - I saw the braiser's on Global Tea Hut....so would love to hear more about yours when you get t use it. I leaning towards a coal stove....but butane might be easier.less time to get going.

Baisao - Thank you for sharing your experiences, advice, and beautiful photos..you have a beautiful set up. I love the Japanese rosewood brazier, especially since it shelters the coals fro m the wind. I live on a farm and wind can be a real issue cooking outdoors. Thank you for the advice on different properties of SE Asian and Japanese hardwood charcoal ..and article suggestion...sounds like more of a learning curve than I anticipated...but in a good way..as sometimes my current indoor tea sessions can get rushed or I get preoccupied with concerns and issues..loosing focus on the tea ceramony. Maybe the effort put into the preparaton of the task of boilng water willl be a good way to bring my attention.

Wher did you get the brazier? I also love what appear to be stone/clay coasters...beautiful and quite handy. The matt is also beautiful .....I really need to get some matts and a tea tray.

Thank you both for sharing....I really need the inspiration as the moderate Spring temperatures are here....and I would like to get out before the dog days of July ;)
I’m glad you found it helpful. I was really surprised by how difficult their charcoal is to use. The upside is that it is mostly odorless. Even the local mesquite charcoal, which burns very hot, has an odor. That’s nice for grilling but not boiling water for tea.

I got the brazier off eBay. There was another one on there for about 6 months for $100 but I think the seller eventually pulled it down. So the exterior is rosewood and the interior has a copper box that holds the bed of ash, trivet, and your charcoal. They were used as portable braziers in pre-war Japanese homes. Of course, don’t use this inside as their homes were designed differently (and even small amounts of carbon monoxide is unhealthy).

There’s a Thai charcoal that’s worth trying but it burns quickly. It’s Thaan brand charcoal. You can get it on Amazon and various places. It’s easier than Japanese charcoal but is still a challenge. I suggest beginning with it and working your way up to the more challenging stuff.

The coasters are Japanese wicker coasters for tea service. The black one was dyed black with leather dye as the black ones from Japan are inexplicably expensive. I don’t recall where I got them (maybe Amazon) but they come in various sizes.

Cheers!
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debunix
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:14 pm

So far, my outdoor tea sessions are limited to taking a teacup and walking outdoors....

Image

Or I bring a thermos.
Last edited by debunix on Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
oolongfan
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:40 am
Location: Indiana, USA

Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:55 am

Baisao - Thanks for the info on where you got the brazier..I will keep an eye on E-bayl. Could have sworn I saw a uesed one on Etsy, replete with a square possibly Yixing teapot.

Thank you for the suggestion of the Thai charcoal.....I like the idea of starting off with the easier stuff and working my way up as I gain experience. Thank you so much for sa=haring your experiences..you are saving me loads of trouble and headaches ;)

Debunix - i love your outdoor set up! I especially love what loks like a CA poppy in the foreground...but now the picture is gone. Thank yu for sharing..especially as or now, I will probably be limited to drinkinong on my porch and running hot water back and forth from the kitchen ;)
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debunix
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:56 pm

So surprised to see a problem with the photo in my post above--I have relinked it. Please let me know if it disappears again.
oolongfan
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:40 am
Location: Indiana, USA

Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:12 pm

Debunix - Your lovely photo is back :)

Is that a California poppy?

I love the cup too...who made it? I love your cups....I a suffering from a bout of cup envy actaully since my cup collection is meagre at best ;)
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wave_code
Posts: 49
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Location: Vienna

Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:51 am

I keep it simple since I am either usually going somewhere by bicycle with a very small backpack, or if I'm outdoors for the day there is already plenty of other stuff taking up room like climbing gear. Usually just a thermos of something brewed at home that isn't picky, usually either shu or roast oolong. Or if I want something else like black or green I'll bring hot water, an enamel mug, and some loose leaves for grandpa brewing. Cheap and effective. Might be nice to get one of those enamel mugs with a lid at some point.
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debunix
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:05 pm

oolongfan wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:12 pm
Is that a California poppy?
Yes, they're doing better than usual in my yard this year.

Image
oolongfan wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:12 pm
I love the cup too...who made it?
A Seigan sansai terbineri large yunomi or small chawan....from a teaChat Hagi special offer

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oolongfan
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:40 am
Location: Indiana, USA

Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:57 pm

I love that crackle glaze on the cup, thanks for the close up :)

I half contemplating having tea on my porch tomorrow...if we don't get the forecast lightening ;)
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debunix
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:24 am

Lightening would not be conducive to a relaxing tea session outdoors.
oolongfan
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:40 am
Location: Indiana, USA

Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:01 pm

Well no lightening or rain today. Started out hot and sunny..then cooled way down 3pm and the wind picked up. I decided to stay indoors becuase of the wind..all I have is one of those tall klutzy propane bottle attached to a burner. I could just see the whole set up topping over with one big gust ;)
LuckyMe
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu May 02, 2019 3:17 pm
Location: Chicago

Sat May 11, 2019 8:30 am

I just drag my kettle and induction burner outside with me whenever I'm having tea in the backyard but at some point I'd like to be able to travel and do proper gongfu. I'd love to have tea by the lake or at the Japanese garden. However I need to figure out the hot water situation.

A thermos is the obvious option but my problem is it retains heat only while full. Once you start pouring from it, the water temperature drops.
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