The word "chaban (Tea Tray)" is usually used to describe a tray or a table on which all the necessary utensils and tea tools are located. Chaban greatly simplifies tea drinking. You can pour water on it thanks to a pallet or a special tube for draining water. So spilled liquid will not interfere with tea drinking.

Tea lovers have long been accustomed to this item of tea utensils, although in fact 3 different items are often hidden under the "chaban (Tea Tray)".

The most convenient option is a tea tray with a tray Chapan (kit.茶盘, pinyin chápán). During the first brewing or after warming the dishes, the water simply flows down the chapan.

Why with a "p"? Because the chaban (kit. 茶板, pinyin chábǎn) is more correct to call it a plank without a pallet/drain.

A practical version of the chaban (Tea Tray) may look like this. Thanks to the slots, the board will retain a small amount of moisture and will not allow it to spread on the table.

Another stylish option is Hucheng (壶承 húchéng). A hollow stand with a small hole, usually small in size, is suitable for an office or a small tea table. The most common variants are made of ceramic or pressed stone.

For simplicity, we (and many other tea enthusiasts) always use the spelling "chaban (Tea Tray)".

Chapan, chaban (Tea Tray), hucheng. Don't mix it up!

Learn more about materials and care

Chabans (Tea trays) are usually made of bamboo, wood, or ceramic/stone. Let's look at each of them in more detail.

The most common variants are made of bamboo. This material has quite a lot of advantages:

Light in weight, the bamboo Chaban (Tea Tray) is easy to take with you on trips;

Easy to care for: after a tea party, it is enough to pour water out of the tray, wash off the tea stains and wipe dry;

There are a large number of colors due to various varnishes;

Inexpensive in price.

The main disadvantage of bamboo is that it is almost always made from prefabricated materials. Therefore, with frequent use, the glue can leak, especially if the pallet also consists of bamboo. When buying bamboo Chabans (Tea Trays), be sure to check the evenness of the joints and the quality of the assembly.

Options made of wood have a lot of advantages:

Durability especially models made of a single piece of wood. With proper care, they will last for many years.

A variety of colors that will not wash off and will not be erased, unlike the lacquer coating of bamboo;

Wooden Chaban (Tea Tray) is slightly heavier than bamboo ones, but still quite light.

Yes, such Chabans (Tea Trays) are significantly more expensive than bamboo ones, but they are much stronger and more durable. Care is similar: after tea, pour water out of the tray, wash off the tea stains, and wipe dry. Chabans (Tea Trays) should drain well and completely, along with the quality of the connections.

Sometimes there are Chaban (Tea Tray) made of porcelain or clay:

A wide variety of colors and decoration options;

The ceramic version will not spoil if you accidentally forget to put water in it or do not have time to wipe it after tea;

There are very small models only for the kettle. They are suitable for a small table;

With a wide range of prices, you can find an option for any budget.

It is imperative to remember that such Chabans (Tea Trays) are very fragile and easily split off. They are more suitable for home tea parties.

There are also combined options, for example, bamboo top + ceramic pallet.

Chaban (Tea tray) with a ceramic pallet and a bamboo top.

The most reliable option is stone. It is stylish, reliable, and durable. Such a Chaban (Tea tray) will not crack and will not chip. A Chaban (Tea tray) can be used for decades, but its disadvantages include rarity, weight, and price. If the stone Chaban (Tea tray) has wooden / metal inserts, make sure they dry after tea. Use soda if you can't wipe off the tea stain with a wet cloth. Besides effectively removing the stain, it leaves no foreign odor on the Chaban (tea tray).

We will also mention models made entirely of metal or with a metal pallet. Yes, they are simple, inexpensive, and reliable, but they have one significant disadvantage: noise. Remember the sound of rain drumming on the metallic tint of the window? If such a roar can confuse you, then give up your metal Chaban (Tea tray).

Shapes and designs

The Chaban (Tea Tray) can be found in a variety of shapes, including rectangular, square, and round. Choose the one you like there. Even for the smallest office desk, you can find a compact option.

A miniature Chaban (Tea Tray) made of bamboo measuring 33 x 12 cm. With a drain in the pallet.

Water from the Chaban (Tea Tray) can be drained in two ways.

The first way is to drain it on a pallet. To do this, the upper surface of the board is equipped with holes or a grid through which water easily enters the pallet. Sometimes it is a pull-out, most often a plastic pallet. In some Chabans (Tea Trays), the base itself serves as a pallet. The first option is easier to care for, since the base made of wood/bamboo may crack if used incorrectly.


This board is quite autonomous and does not require additional devices.

The tray is durable and airtight. You do not need to worry about draining water during tea drinking.

The Chaban (Tea Tray) is clean and dry.


The downside is the need to periodically drain the water from the tray if it is small in volume.

Chaban (Tea Tray) with a small pallet and the ability to connect a drain pipe.

The second option for draining is a tube.

A special hole has been made in the Chaban (Tea Tray), into which a tube is inserted to drain the water. The second end of the hole is lowered into the tank, into which the water will flow during the tea party.


The invisibility of draining water for tea ceremony guests.

If you have chosen a large tank for draining or brought it outside, then you will not need to worry about whether the water tank has filled up.

There will not be water in the Chaban (Tea Tray) itself for a long time, so it will last longer.


The tea pipe may become clogged with tea leaves, and then the water will not leave.

Typical gurgling sounds may be produced during draining.

It is necessary to check whether the tube has jumped out of the tank.

There are also options with pallets, into which, if desired, you can insert a drain tube.

We figured out the different types of Chaban (Tea Tray) and other tea trays. Choose what suits you the most, and have an enjoyable tea party!

Reading next

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.