It is the time for drinking spring tea again. When the snow melts, the green and tender tea leaf tips are beginning to dance in the spring breeze. As the saying “A good horse with a good saddle wins instant success” goes, a good teacup is quite necessary for good tea. Some delicate tea culture will definitely make the spring tea more worthwhile.
Chinese teaism is a kind of life etiquette with tea as the media as well as a way to foster the personality. In such a harmonious and elegant ceremony, people promote their friendship, improve morality standard and acquire rites just by making tea, appreciating tea and drinking tea. Teaism is originated in China. There was such recording “The teaism is so prevalent that people from the royal families to the grassroots all drink tea.” in the Recordings of Mr. Feng of Tang Dynasty of China. This is the earliest record about teaism of all present documents. At that time, tea feast was a popular social activity.
Kungfu tea originated in Song Dynasty of China, the most prevalent in Chaozhou Government (present Chaozhou-Shantou region) in GuangdongProvince. That was the inheritance and profound development of tea art since Tang and Song Dynasties. The making of Kungfu tea requires a certain amount of art, both in brewing and tasting. The meaning of the name “Kungfu” lies in the art in water, fire and pouring. As for water and fire, the secret to good tea is flexibility. Kungfu tea is famous for high level of concentration. It tastes bitter for the first time, but when people get used to the taste, they will feel all other tea not tasteful enough. The major tea set of Kungfu tea includes teapot, teacup, tea wash, tea tray, tea pad, bottle, water bowl, Loong urn, fireplace, Sha Diao, feather fan and steel chopstick.
Teaism originated in China, but prevailed in Japan. The royal family has their own teaism, and so do common people. There are all kinds of teaism, worldly, Dhyana and Taoist. In one word, the appreciation of tea is dependent on aesthetics of every individual.
At the end of the 9th century, the Matcha brought by Japanese missions to Tang Dynasty back to Japan was enormously developed there. Japanese people integrated tea appreciation with religious philosophy, social morality, conduct and self-cultivation, elevating the tea drinking to a kind of teaism. The unique Japanese teaism now has become the Japanese Quintessence and put on the list of records of Japan, often used in treating state guests.
The integration of mellow and exquisite taste and plain Japanese tea set contributes to the lingering charm of the Matcha. While appreciating the tea, the soul, purified by the tea fragrance, will soar in the sky though the body still remains in the tearoom.
From the perspective of origin of tea drinking culture, the first people to drink tea in the afternoon should be ancient Chinese who are famous for tea culture. However, with the development of times, it is the British that developed afternoon tea into a kind of established custom.
Speaking of afternoon tea, we must mention the well-known British afternoon tea in Victorian Times in Britain, which was generally appreciated between 3 pm and 5 pm in the afternoon. As a product of the 17th century Britain, afternoon tea has gradually developed into a kind of leisure habit for modern people. People can sit in the tall buildings or beside the glass wall. They drink the tea with western cake, and at the same time watch people rush on the street, whether sit alone, or chat with one or two good friends. They will feel warmth surrounding them, and that’s where the meaning of Victorian afternoon tea lies.
Since afternoon tea is a kind of leisure, then both the taste of tea and the appreciation value of tea ware matter a lot. The scenes of European aristocrats drinking afternoon tea frequently appear in many films. The mere sight of the delicate patterns on the tea ware dazzles people’s eyes, not to mention the cups and saucers with delicate categories of functions. People must prepare fully in order to be able to drink afternoon tea like a real aristocrat, in case not to become the laughing stock.
One sentence of Jay Chou’s song Tea Made by Grandpa goes like this: The tea made by Grandpa has the taste of home; the tea made by Lu Yu (a famous tea master in China) is like a landscape painting. Different art forms are always related to each other. If the tea set is as beautiful as a painting, then the tea soup of top quality can be regarded as the magical pen. When people drink tea with delicate tea set, appreciate the exquisite tea set craftsmanship and feel the tea fragrance, it is just like the leisure in paradise.
Is drinking tea only the habit of old men? Definitely not. Many young people who realize the importance of health and the urban white collars that discover tea leaves can effectively combat oxidation and help lose weight all join the group of drinking tea in China. Also, the teacups and teapots can pile up and be combined into various kinds of cute designing, which adds vivid color into boring work. Who won’t love it?