Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cheap Gongfu Tea Table - Puerhshop

I just got my first real gongfu tea table from Puerhshop. Gongfu tables are small table-top tables that have some way of catching water for making tea gongfu-style. For a while I'd been looking through all the choices. At first I wanted one that was like a box, then I decided against it because I didn't want water sitting directly on the wood for extended periods. So then I decided I wanted one with a drain tube so that I could have the excess water go directly into a small container seperate from the tea table. Realizing that all the ones I wanted would have to be shipped from China put me off from buying for a while. I didn't want to have to pay $20 or more for shipping that could take around a month.

Eventually, I found a small table being sold for $16 from a shop in the U.S. When I noticed that it would only cost an extra couple of dollars to ship it, I decided to buy the table. The picture on the site wasn't far from horrific, so I wasn't expecting much. But when it came, I was pleasantly surprised. At first glance, it looked an order of magnitude better than I thought it would.

The table has a nice, dark stain that really enhances its looks. Removing the tray showed me that I had lucked out. I found that it was (kind of) hooked up for a drain tube!

Well, on closer inspection, I found that it wasn't ready for the drain tube at all!

Thinking of all the ways to cut up that plastic tray scared me because it would prove next to impossible to find a replacement if I messed up. I decided to play it safe(r) and send an email to Puershop to see if they had the wisdom on how to do it right. I'll wait it out and see what they say, and I welcome any suggestions on what you think is the best way to go about this.

On closer scrutinization, I did find some small imperfections. Mostly just things to do with the glazing. Not every single inch being covered, and a very small glob of glaze left on. None of these really matter as I scored this tray for about $18 total instead of spending $50-$100 on a nicer one.


Overall Impressions: Gongfu Tea Table
For $16, and little extra for shipping, this is probably the best tea-table deal on the net. For anyone looking for a table, and not looking to spend too much, I strongly recommend this cheap Gongfu Tea Table. It can either be used with a removable tray, or a drain tube (hopefully!), and has a removable top for easy cleaning and any other reasons.


Anonymous said...

I just found your blog, so my apologies for posting on such an old entry. I have the exact same tray table you do and was able to modify it to work with the drain tube with some modest Dremel skills.

Initially I just drilled a small hole through the drain port, but that didn't seem to drain well until the tray was almost full.

Then I took the Dremel tool and gradually cut back the inside molding to reveal the inner hole molding and fully open up the drain.

Not content with the loose right-angle fitting I lopped off the end that fit to the tray and super glued it half-way onto the drain port. This allows the tubing (or the longer tubing I picked up at the local hardware store) to fit snugly onto the tray and allow for less kinks in the drain assembly.

Now it starts draining right away and I haven't noticed any leaks. :)

Hobbes said...

That's a pretty tea-tray indeed. Please, never spend more than $40-50 on a tray - you can get the nicest out there for round about that price (some nice Hengfu ones at Dragon Tea House, for example) - or just grab one from a China-bound teachum. One of us is always going there sooner or later. :)



Mindful Roots said...

That is a beautiful tray, looks like they're sold out at puerhshop...
too bad I would have purchased one myself. The search continues...