China tea culture:Teaism (茶道 cha dao)

Pure and Lofty, Not Known to Common People –

Refined Scholar Tea文士茶

Since the ancient times, tea has indissoluble bond with refined scholars. The aura of tea drinking is related to refined scholars’ lifestyle of appreciating natural landscapes and a tranquil life indifferent to fame and wealth. Refining inclination and cultivating virtue with tea shows an internal moral practice of Chinese scholars. This set of Refined Scholar Tea originates from the hometown of Zhu Xi, the greatest Chinese scholar in the 12th century China – Wuyuan County, Jiangxi Province and what it reflects is the general style and features of refined scholars’ tea drinking in regions at the lower reaches of the Yangtze River in the late 19th century and early 20th century. 

Charm of Musical Instrument and Tea –

West Lake Tea Ceremony西湖茶礼

The West Lake Tea Ceremony performance is designed and created based on Hangzhou people’s tea drinking customs and combined with the local culture of Hangzhou. It fully presents the gentle and elegant oriental style.

Since the ancient times, the common people in the Dragon Well tea region have not only planted and made tea, but also appreciate and drink tea as well. Hangzhou people are very particular about the water used for making tea. Making West Lake Dragon Well tea with Tiger Spring water can not only make tea water clear and bright, but can fully reveal the fragrance of the tea and improve the diffusion rate of substances in the tea leaves as well. Therefore, “Dragon Well Tea and Tiger Spring” are called “two treasures in the West Lake region”.

Drink Humaneness from a Bowl of Grinding Tea -

Grinding Tea擂茶

Grinding tea is popular in Hunan, Jiangxi and Fujian provinces. Being a kind of ancient tea custom, it has not only become people’s daily drink, but also an important greeting and friendship ceremony.

The mainstream of Chinese tea culture is among people. Grinding tea, a kind of folk tea custom, is cheerful, simple, concise and clear. With its strong vitality, it has been carried on from generation to generation. Different from the elegant and deep upper tea culture, it reflects ordinary Chinese people’s pursuit of and longing for a better life, and demonstrates the outstanding spiritual qualities of Chinese working people. Involving in this kind of tea custom, people can feel not only the fragrance of the tea, but also realize the goodness of human beings and the brotherhood between each other.

Gongfu Tea and Tea Water –

Gongfu Tea 工夫茶

In Fujian, Guangdong and Taiwan, Oolong Tea is also known as “Gongfu tea”. The tea set is exquisite, the tea making technique is unique and the tea drinking process is particular. It is a kind of custom in daily life and a courtesy in interpersonal communication. Spring water and the Tieguanyin tea which is first semi-fermented and then roasted into shape are best choices of making Gongfu tea. When making tea, the teapot and teacups will be cleaned by boiling water first. Then pour the tea leaves in the teapot and fill 70% of the teapot. In addition, the main points of “pouring from a high level and spraying at a low level”, “removing foam”, “pouring cover”, “heating cups and teapot with boiling water” and “clearing tea” should be mastered.

As the saying goes like that the most delicious food throughout the Southeast is Chaozhou Cuisine; and what is more amazing is Gongfu Tea.

the principle of Zen as same as tea ceremony-

Zen tea ceremony 禅茶

Zen Buddhism gave tremendous contribution to the tea ceremony on many ways, like tea planting, tea drinking skills, tea spreading and make tea ceremony enter a higher aesthetic realm. There have a pair of famous couplet in China. ”monks resided in many famous mountains all over China. The best tea leaves were produced from the top of high mountains since old time.” (天下名山僧占多,自古高山出名茶) Tea drinking is more important to Zen Masters and Buddhists than for others."To go and drink tea" was a very meaningful story about Zhao zhou Zen Master. This story told people Buddha was just in your own heart. You need not to seek it from exterior. Anyone who comprehends this principle could grasp the intention of Zen Buddhism.So it wouldn’t be difficult to realized why Chinese people said “the principle of Zen as same as tea ceremony”. (禅茶一味)

 In tea culture, some principles should be followed. For example, people in Song Dynasty followed the rules of “three ‘Yes’” and” three ‘No’s” in tea tasting. The “three ‘Yes’” made the tea suitable for drinking: the tea is fresh, the tea water is sweet and pure and the tea- wares are clean; weather should be fine; people with good manners and sharing the same interests. While “the three ‘No’s” referred to: tea not being new, the tea water not being sweet and pure; the scenery is not beautiful; and people have no manners and are rude. In those cases, it is better not to have the tea tasting and drinking. 

Write a comment

Comments: 0