Question:

What is the Tea Ceremony?

The History of the Way of Tea

Murato Shuko (1422-1503) lived during the brilliant culture of the Muromachi period (1392-1573). Shuko was from Nara and had probably participated in tea gatherings that included popular amusement such as bathing. Later he came in contact with Noami, an artistic advisor of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa who was versed in the procedures of tea as it was served in Kyoto............

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An Explanation by Sen Soshitsu in Tea Life, Tea Mind

An Explanation by Sen Soshitsu in Tea Life, Tea Mind

"The simple act of serving tea and receiving it with gratitude is the basis for a way of life called Chado, the Way of Tea. When serving a bowl of tea in conformity with Tea etiquette, a cultural synthesis of wide scope and high ideals, is brought into play with aspects of religion, morality, aesthetics, philosophy, discipline, and social relations.
The student of Tea learns to arrange things, to understand timing and interludes, to appreciate social graces, and to apply all of these to daily experience. These things are all brought to bear in the simple process of serving and receiving a bowl of tea, and are done with a single purpose - to realize tranquility of mind in communion with one's fellow men within our world. It is in this that the Way of Tea has meaning for today.
With a bowl of tea, peace can truly spread. The peacefulness from a bowl of tea may be shared and become the foundation of a way of life."

Seno on the Spirit of Rikyu. The tea ceremony

Passage leading to the Rikyudo.
This tearoom
was built by Seno to
enshrine the spirit of Rikyu.

Hideyoshi, after an important military victory in 1578, received permission from Nobunaga to serve tea. A record of a tea gathering at an earlier date mentions that Hideyoshi served tea to Rikyu.

Read this entire article 'Tea Ceremony - Seno on the Spirit of Rikyu. The tea ceremony' in the Articles section of this site
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Yixing Teapots

Yixing Teapots
(pronounced EE SHING)
http://www.theteahouse.com/yixing.htm
Teapots Galore!

A History of Teapots
The Need for Teapots
The story of teapots begins with their necessity -- the development of tea and its regular consumption required an efficient, and later an aesthetically pleasing, vessel for brewing and drinking.

There are two legends about the invention of tea.......

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Chinese wedding tea ceremony

Chinese wedding tea ceremony

China consists of around 84 ethnic groups by some estimates. However, it is 80% Han Chinese. In many parts of China, Chinese tea ceremony for weddings still exists. However, they are slowly dying out as more and more Chinese opt for modernity.

One of the ceremonies that is still being practiced by the Han Chinese is found in the south. Before the wedding, the bride and the bridegroom would gather before the parents and the immediate relatives. They would then kneel in front of these important guests and offer a cup of hot Chinese tea. The type of tea that can be used range from oolong tea to jasmine tea. This ceremony usually take place on the day of the wedding itself. The guests (usually the parents first) would then give their approval to the couple and they would respond by giving them red packets. These red packets contain money to wish the couple a blissful life ahead.

When presenting the tea, one should always present it with both hands and from a kneeling position. The groom would do the honour first, presenting the red packet to the father followed by the mother. The sequence is always male first followed by the female. The guests would be seated on chairs usually draped in red. When the guests receive the tea, they would also receive with both hands.

Chinese Teapots

How To Choose Chinese Teapots

1. The cap must be firm and should not move around easily.
2. The body must not feel grainy.
3. The knob on the cap must be ergonomic and in sync with the rest of the body.
4. The body should be able to hold substantial water.
5. The teapot which is artistic and valuable USUALLY but not always contain enough tea to serve 2-3 persons and not masses
6. TeoChew teapots are generally not valuable except for a few teapots that were made in the early postwar years.
7. When water is poured out of the teapot, it should come out in a beautiful stream
8. The handle should be erogonomic and enable one to hold the teapot firmly.
9. The mouth may have a net to catch unwanted tea leaves.
10. The hardness of the body should be just right. If too hard , that means that the teapot artist has used too much metallic elements and may be brittle and break easily.
11. The colour should not be dyed.
12. The shape should be flowing and there should not be awkward proportions.
13. Expert collectors do not collect 1990s teapots. They like those that are made in Qing Dynasty, Republic of China 1911-1949,early postwar, teapots made in the cultural revolution 1970s and in the 1980s.
14. Unusual shapes usually indicate high craftsmanship
15. Teapot should be made of purple clay or zhu ni clay.
16. Be careful of those with high lead content.
17. Usually, the bottom of the teapot cap would have the name of the artist engraved or moulded onto it.
18. Good teapots tend to have skin that feel brittle and its walls are usually thinner than the inferior or imitation pots.

Chinese Tea Teremony

The Chinese Tea Teremony

There are many types of Chinese tea cups in Chinese tea ceremony:
Firstly, there is the gaibei - or lidded cup.
There is the wen xiang bei - for smelling the fragrance of the tea.
There is also the cha bei, which is the cup for drinking tea from.
And there is the chawan which is the bowl used for drinking tea.

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