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Subject:Chinese mortar
Posted By: Monique van Bolhuis/Heffelaar Sat, Nov 30, 2019 IP: 2001:980:57ae:1:9c65

Best forum,

I bought this mortar at an auction. It is made of stone. There is a wooden handle through the ring. I expect it to be new, considering the wheel of the ring. But maybe I'm wrong. Are these objects often sold at tourist markets? Thank you for your opinion.


Subject:Re: Chinese mortar
Posted By: mikeoz Sun, Dec 01, 2019

This is a tea grinder. During the Tang dynasty, the custom was to grind the dried tea leaves to a fine powder in a mill like this. The powder would then be mixed with boiling water and 'beaten' with a wooden stick to thoroughly mx the powder in the water.

Among the literati, there were serious competitions in the art of 'beating' the tea.

This process and system is the origin of the Japanese tea ceremony, which uses finely powdered green tea, which is 'beaten' with a delicately carved bamboo whisk.

Subject:Re: Chinese mortar
Posted By: Moon Sun, Dec 08, 2019


Thank you very much for the good explanation. It is a special device, especially the history. I tried to find such tea grinders on the internet. But come across only one of silver. It is very heavy, so I don't think it is a touristic souvenir. Do you know until what time they were used?

Many thanks,

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