How to Enjoy an Asian Tea Ceremony
Lin Yutang once said “There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life”. It warms you up when you are cold, it cools you down when you are hot, it cheers you up when you are depressed and calms you in times of hardship. It is the religion of art of life. A cup of tea is a cup of health. Tea has been a very important part of the Asian culture for many years. In the beginning, it was mainly regarded as a herbal medicine mostly within temples. Monks used it because of its peaceful and calming effects and as a sign of both humility and respect towards nature.
When it comes to tea ceremony, Asian cultures are perfectionists, so everything needs to be pure perfection. Each ceremony starts in advance preparing and cleaning the unique Asian bowl and all of the additional tools and most importantly preparing the spirit and soul for the entire ritual that follows.
There are different styles of unique tea ceremonies and the host can choose which one to perform. So, while preparing for a traditional Asian tea ceremony consider a few important aspects:
Asians believe that a person's attitude and state of mind can be easily passed on to others. So, it is of utmost importance to relax and think of positive things, be at peace with yourself, others and the whole Universe before the beginning of the Asian tea ceremony. It is crucial that the atmosphere is relaxed and peaceful.
For the traditional tea ceremony, Asians usually use an oolong tea variety and sometimes more rarely pu-erh can be used. The tea variety has to be carefully selected, taking into consideration the both physical and spiritual characteristics. Physical characteristics refer to taste, fragrance and shape, while spiritual to the history of the tea, origin and name.
The best quality tea leaves prepared with inappropriate water give a bad taste to the tea. That is exactly why in order to get the perfect tea, it needs to be prepared with the perfect water in the perfect Asian bowl. This means that for the traditional Asian tea ceremony, Asians use only the cleanest and purest water to ensure both highest quality of tea as well as a tribute of admiration and respect to mother nature.
To fully enjoy an Asian tea ceremony, good techniques while serving are crucial. The manner of serving should be graceful and relaxed, reflected mainly through facial expressions, hand movements, graceful operation with the Asian bowl and the traditional ceremonial clothing.