Cooling Water for Green Tea

An important process for brewing green tea is cooling the water to the correct temperature. I was recently asked to create a samashi / chahai or cooling bowl.

In Korean this is called an ulshikim sabal


This is a beautiful example, minimal and elegant and completely functional. I have some ideas and cant wait to get started. I think it is going to be pointless to create one vessel alone when they are to be used together in the process. I have a lot of work to do 🙂

Here is a fantastic video on brewing green tea using the Hohin and the Samashi. It is important to use the same material for both vessels.

I also found a very interesting article about oxidation firing versus reduction firing affecting the taste of the tea.


From the Wikipedia article on Japanese Aesthetics:

Yūgen (幽玄) is an important concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics. The exact translation of the word depends on the context. In the Chinese philosophical texts the term was taken from, yūgen meant “dim”, “deep” or “mysterious”. In the criticism of Japanese waka poetry, it was used to describe the subtle profundity of things that are only vaguely suggested by the poems.

This led me to trying to find the term in Korean since Buddhism traveled to Japan from Korea and China. I am told the term in Korean is yuhyeon (유현)  The concept goes very deep and I find that getting different perspectives helps me to understand the concept better.

If you notice the first Hangul character in my tattoo. This tattoo for me represents the three principals of Hapkido –

  • Yu (Flowing)
  • Won (Circle)
  • Hwa (Harmony)

You’ll see that it is the same first character – 유 Are they related? Probably on some level, but I don’t have enough experience with the language to understand it yet. Everything connects to everything in some way though 🙂

A fantastic blog post going even further in depth with this concept can be found here at CreativeSystemsThinking. A fantastic blog I stumbled across when looking into this.