Cha Hai or Gong Dao Bei means ‘sea of tea’ or ‘bowl of impartiality’. It is an essential part of Gong Fu that serves to control the strength of the brew. After brewing the tea for a certain amount of time, either in a Yixing Teapot or in a Gaiwan, the tea should be decanted into a cha hai, from which it gets poured into individual cups. Such a method ensures that the tea leaves do not continue to steep between each pour. In Chinese, Cha Hai is also called ‘Gong Dao Bei’ or ‘Bowl of Impartiality’, for it lets each participant enjoy the same brew.
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