Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Things to avoid when drinking tea

許次紓 wrote 茶疏 during Ming Dynasty. He listed circumstances which one should not drink tea: writing, watching a play, writing letter, rain and snow storms, dinner Banquet, reading, busy schedule. When drinking tea, one should not near: cold dark room, kitchen, busy street, crying baby, wild temperamental people, arguing maids, hot humid room. Things should not be used: bad water, cracked/broken tea wares, copper spoon, copper 金兆 (I finally found out what this is, a kettle for boiling water only), wooden bucket, firewood, inexperienced servant, mean maid, dirty cloth, various fruits nuts, incense, medicine.

While this reflected the writer's preference of an ideal setting for tea drinking, how practical is this for modern day people, or even common people back in the days. Some suggested copper wares enhance water taste and quality, in turn makes better tea? Some people prefer drinking tea when raining, I love drinking tea when snowing! The young crowd likes little munchies when drinking tea. Japanese light up incense before tea ceremonies, although I concur that is a bad practice. If I had a servant, would I let him brew my tea? Making tea is a big part of the fun which I prefer not done by others.

Well, one man's ideal is an other man's impracticality?!

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