Bodhidharma Tea Pet (ZiSha Clay)

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If you’ve taken part in a Gong Fu tea ceremony before, you might’ve noticed a small ceramic entity or animal sitting on the tea tray, slowly slurping tea alongside you.


This Yixing clay tea pet right here is none other than a meditating Bodhidharma. Bodhidharma was a 5th-6th century Indian monk who brought Chan Buddhism to China and inspired the creation of Shaolin Kungfu. He has popularly become known in Japan as "Daruma".

 

Bodhidharma, by Yoshitoshi, 1887.
"The moon through a crumbling window". Bodhidharma, by Yoshitoshi, 1887.

 

What is a tea pet?

A tea pet is a small clay figure that is used during gong fu cha for various purposes; most often decoration, but also used by tea lovers for good luck. They can also be used to get a perfect tea water temperature.

 

How to use a tea pet:

Some tea masters believe that initially, a tea pet has no soul. Pouring hot tea over it, which has a soul, in turn, gives the tea pet a soul.

During your tea ceremony, continuously hydrate the tea pet by pouring leftover tea over it. It can also be the hot water used for warming up the teaware, water used to rinse the tea leaves or any leftover tea after the teacups have been filled — just make sure your pet gets served too! 

We suggest using only one type of tea with a yixing clay tea pet. Yixing clay is very porous and easily absorbs the aroma and oils of tea. With time, notice how your gongfu Bodhidharma tea pet becomes shiny from the tea oils. 

 

Material: Yixing ZiSha Clay

Dimensions: 2.3 x 2.6 in / 5.7 x 7 cm

 

NOTE: Avoid using detergents when cleaning.


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