These chrome-plated tea trays are made in Thailand specifically for the Thai Teochew community. The patterns embossed into the trays are traditional Thai motifs, but these trays are designed like the pewter tea trays that were traditionally popular in Chaozhou City and the surrounding areas of Guangdong with Teochew populations. These pewter trays were also very popular in Hong Kong, but they are a rare sight here today. I've always wanted a Teochew pewter tray, but these make an excellent alternative. These trays are much cheaper than the pewter kind, significantly lighter in weight, don't tarnish, are easy to clean up with soap and water and the exteriors of the trays feature elaborate stamped patterns that would be extremely difficult to achieve by hand on pewter. The pattern on the top of the tray reminds me of classic Thai Benjarong painting.
There is a stamp from the manufacturer in Thai on the base of the tray, as well as three little feet, like a traditional pewter tray from Chaozhou would often have. The lids are easily removable so water and tea can be poured out, and the inside of the tray can be cleaned quickly and easy with soap and warm water.
The thick chrome plating on these trays isn't quite perfect, but it is complete and protects the trays all over. The trays are quite light and malleable since they are made of aluminum. I don't recommend transporting these trays around without protection (ideally a box) to prevent dents in the metal. When not in use, the trays make great containers for bags of tea that you don't want to get crushed, or you can even store light teaware inside them. The loaded tray could then be placed into a box for transport if desired! These trays will last a lifetime if they are used with care and aren't abused. My personal tray only travels to the sink and back!
Please note the holes cut out in the top of the tray aren't quite perfectly shaped because of the plating (the plating on the top and bottom of the lid meets in the holes), but this gives them a handmade look.
Diameter: 7.5" / 19 cm
Height: 3.1" / 8 cm
Weight: 8.5 oz / 240g
The tray pictured is my own. Please note if you purchase one of these trays, your order will be delayed for a week until your tray arrives. I hope to keep these trays in stock in future! I will include a 60ml white porcelain gaiwan and three white porcelain cups with the purchase of each tray!