What is a tea pet?
A tea pet is a traditional craft from China, which is usually made from Yi Xing clay (also known as 'Zi Sha') and ceramic. It's a tea lover's practice in China to nourish the tea pets by rinsing them with tea liquor. This is a part of a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and that's why they are usually placed on tea trays when one is making tea.
How to nourish a Yi Xing tea pet?
- You should consistently use one tea type when taking care of the pet.
- Pour regularly tea soup 'Cha Tang' on the pet. Don't use plain water! Over time your tea pet will slowly develop a scent of the tea that you drink.
- Clean your tea pet with a soft brush and rub it with a soft cloth. When you do this, the pet the hand-feel of the pet will slowly change from rough to smooth and it will become shiny.
- The above is the most natural way to raise a pet. However, a shortcut is to leave your pet for a 2-4 days in tea liquor to obtain faster effect. However, like many things in life, there are no shortcuts to perfection. If you consider this approach, raising a tea pet probably isn't something for you.
Why raise a Chinese tea pet?
Chinese tea pet symbolize luck and fortune and this is one reason why tea lovers raise them. Besides this, Yi Xing tea pets (like Yi Xing tea pots) also slowly increase in price over time well they are well taken care of.
Improving your luck and making money, however, is usually not the reason why tea lover have pets. The main reason is that raising a tea pet is a meditative practice and a form of art that is part of the whole traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Imagine whenever you drink tea you involve your pet, it will slowly develop a scent of your favorite tea. And as you involve your pet in your daily tea practice, it will slowly become a part of you.