Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Chinese Art Of Tea

I came across this book at a used book store (such shops are a rarity in Singapore) and I purchased this book to add to my collection. "The Chinese Art Of Tea" is written by John Blofeld and published Shambhala Publications Inc in 1985.

This book deals with the various Chinese teas, history of tea, tea gardens and houses, poems and songs of tea, and tea and health. The book even devotes a chapter on a "manual for practicing the Artless Tea" which the author describes "The art of tea is artless in that it is practised with the maximum of informality and freedom from restriction. There are no rules to be observed other than those pertaining to making fine tea in such a manner that its flavour and aroma are at their best........Getting the fullest satisfaction from the tea requires special state of mind analogous to what the Buddhists mean by awareness. This is achieved by attending to the responses of all the six senses: hearing, smelling, tasting, seeing, touching and consciousness. Once it has become habitual, there is no need to bestow further thought on it."

The 2nd pix shows a tea brewing setup called "tea boat style" where the teapot is placed in a bowl. I am using this method to brew my pu erh teas. This dispenses the use of a tea tray to brew tea. I will pour out the 1st two infusions into this bowl before throwing out the tea. Moreover the tea bowl will collect any spillage when I pour too much hot water into the teapot.

This book is out of print and a new copy fetches about US$90(I checked today) on Amazon. I personally found the writing style a little tedious to read. Click pix 3 for enlarged views. Anyway, I did not have any regrets having this book in my collection.

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