tea setArt.  Tea.  Is there a connection?  Surely tea is an art, especially when one looks at the elaborate traditional tea rituals some cultures have.  But can art relate to tea?  Most definitely.

Most people are familiar with some of the more obvious examples of tea-related art.  Tea pots and cups (especially lavishly decorated ones) are certainly art.  I have a small, decorative tea set from Washington DC that is clearly art.  After all, isn’t art anything that is decorative, beautiful, and doesn’t necessarily serve a practical purpose?  My tea set is pretty, but too small to be useful, so I suppose it fits my definition.  Not to mention that tea sets (both decorative and usable) come in a wide variety of artful patterns and designs.

What about paintings, sculptures, and drawings that depict tea in some form?  They are obviously tea-related art.  Tea, which is so lovely in and of itself, can be beautiful in art too.

Of course, there are more ways than the obvious to incorporate tea and art.  Sarah got creative when she started coming up with ways to remember all the teas she’d tried.  She began cutting off the front parts of the packages of the teas she had tried and pasting them on a large sheet of paper, creating a collage.  Although it isn’t finished yet, it is coming along well, especially considering the variety of tea she and I taste.  When finished, it will probably display a wide variety of teas, whether black or green, caffeinated or herbal, especially since we are careful not to use the same tea twice in the collage.

tea collagePhotography is also a form of visual art.  Of course, that would mean photographs of tea and tea ceremonies, which are arts themselves, are considered tea-art.  In that case, it would mean tea and art are together in every single blog post that has a photograph of tea, a tea ceremony, a tea pot, or anything else tea related.  But since a tea set is art in itself, does it become double art when you take a photograph of it?  I suppose that’s subjective.

In addition, isn’t writing a form of art?  Especially poetry, like haikus and sonnets.  Maybe my next post should be tea poetry…  Doesn’t that mean this blog could be considered tea-related art?   Does it serve a practical purpose?  I guess that’s subjective, too.

And, thinking even more outside the box, couldn’t someone paint with tea?  Granted, the painting might go bad, making for a temporary art installation.  And tea doesn’t come in that many colors (so the end result may not be as vibrant), but it is an idea.

Which begs the question: Is it art when my cat knocks over my tea cup and spills it on my napkin?