A fabulous evening of Beijing and Kunqu Opera, & an exhibition of the costumes, inspired me to learn about ‘tea garments’. In Chinese opera costume symbolism an embroidered phoenix represents the Empress, peonies mean beauty, waves & clouds mean a character’s important. ‘Clown’ or ‘fool’ characters in Chinese opera get the accompaniment of drums, clapper, gongs & cymbals just for them. The ‘cha yi’ or ‘tea garment’, usually blue, was worn by clowns & innkeepers in Chinese opera, with at least two main designs. In the Water Margin, Lin Chong, head of the Imperial Army, suffered betrayal, exile, a snowstorm, then attempts on his life. Tea garment-wearing characters are usually ugly but amusing; a blob of white paint over their eyes and nose symbolises quick wittedness or else ‘nature’.
Tag Archives: tea classics
A 16th century poem about teas in Fujian written by Zhou LiangGong containing a lively description of changes in Fujian tea attitudes, production and appreciation since the Song Dynasty. The 6th line of the poem can be seen inscribed on an old clay tea stand at chaya teahouse.
In Chapter 6 of Lu Yu’s Cha Jing, he wrote about the mythical ShengNong said to have crystal stomach so he could see tea cure 72 poisonous herbs at once in own belly! He describes fascinating issues about tea including history and typology. Tea was sometimes drunk with dried ginger, cinnamon and scutellaria in China far back as 2nd century AD. He said we drink alcohol to remove stress/sadness, but tea for a clear head and he advised to not use water source that’s too fast flowing or stagnant agmonst various things.
One Victorian traveller brought rhododendrons, jasmine, azaleas, peonies, magnolias, kumquat (and tea) from the far east. The story of tea thief Robert Fortune, a botanist who served the British Empire by snatching tea to India. Robert Fortune (the Scot who stole tea from China) travelled in Chinese dress (& pigtail) to avoid unwelcome attention. How tea thrived in India/SriLanka only after Robert Fortune stole 20,000 teaplants and all the secret knowhow. Download Robert Fortune’s book ‘Journey to the Tea Countries of China’ free of charge.
Chachan Yiwei 茶禅一味 (tea zen one flavour) is the motto of teahouses like teanamu Chaya, now open Sat/Sun 12-6. At our new Chaya teahouse, we’re using the Gongfu Cha ritual – it lends a Zen quality to our tea drinking. Fill the tea cup, empty the mind and getting out of your own way. Restoring the natural function of mindfulness, imagining swaying bamboo in a gentle breeze, tea-drinking for the soul! ‘Let our tea cup be an extension of our hand’: a touch of Zen mindfulness.
Ancient legend of teaseller accused of being witch! She flew from her cell in dead of night tkg her tea urns with! The Tang dynasty capital was chockfull of teahouses, tea pavilions, tea societies. A wonderful era! The Song dynasty saw beautifully decorated tea houses with calligraphy hangings & bonsai plants. Singers & storytellers in Ming teahouses told gripping tales of the 108 heroes from the Water Margin. Some Qing teahouses reserved a table 4 a wise old sage to whom people wd bring grievances & disputes.
teanamu chaya tea house is opening on 26 February. Every table at the Chaya Teahouse will have its own gongfu cha tea set to allow you to have a meditative tea drinking experience – a little time to heal and to restore. As humble as I can be, I hope Chaya Teahouse will allow my tea friends to visibly enter the timeless time of tea where they can forget their problems and be enveloped in the slow, depthless moments of the Way of Tea.
Raise a respectful cup to Lao She’s play “Cha Guan” Teahouse serialised on Phoenix TV Europe! A moving, hilarious epic tale of Beijing life centred on a teahouse. The panorama of China in the decades before communism, in Lao She’s “Cha Guan” Teahouse. “Cha Guan” Teahouse: a Chinese drama about adapting in dangerous, ever-shifting times.
Revolution, pigtails, westernisation, wisecracks and Chinese tea ritual: a true epic drama
Gaiwan – the quintessential tea-drinking utensil in Chinese tea culture. The Chinese use the gaiwan teacup to symbolise “Man standing firmly on the Earth and holding up the Heaven”. Learn how to use a gaiwan tea cup and find out how the gaiwan tea cup was invented!