Tea in Literature header

Over 160 articles to celebrate tea in classic and contemporary literature

Throw Back Friday: no need for armor

Throw Back Friday: no need for armor

You and I are great souls.
And we come together for a time.
We meet over a cup of tea here on earth.
Shall we leave our shell and join with each other?

Bowl Two:  Mastered mind; meditation

Bowl Two: Mastered mind; meditation

Without mastery of the mind we shall never walk upright, no matter how wonderful our intentions. The mind is a strong and powerful elephant, able to serve or destroy the city equally. For that reason, our centers and schools will always be places of meditation,

Flashback: alphabet of teas

Flashback: alphabet of teas

One of the most fascinating aspects of the marvelous world of tea is the vast opportunity to pun our favorite beverage. How many of you tea drinkers find your “creativi – tea” and your “generosi-tea” aided for the better by the “availabili- tea” of the good brew? Yep. Thought so.

Eight bowls of a life of tea – part 1

Eight bowls of a life of tea – part 1

Our tradition is based on a life of tea, and whether as tea monks who are committed full time or householders who may only devote a portion of their energies to this Way of Tea, the goal is the same: awakening and presence through tea. This life and practice is to help cultivate our own inner wisdom, and to then share our inner peace with others in the true spirit of tea—leaves and water offered freely in recognition of the oneness of Being, and the healing power in commune with Nature and each other.

Birthdays

Birthdays

Wu De is fond of saying that with the medicine of one plant, it is possible to tap into the medicines of all plants. I wholeheartedly believe this to be true. I’ve also found that my interactions with various medicinal plants has fueled my dialogue with Tea and that, conversely, my interactions

Eight bowls of a life of tea – part 1

The Seeker

There have always been seekers. People dissatisfied with the normal view. People searching for more meaningful vantage points. Wandering down the same worn paths looking for teachers, looking for answers. It was like that long ago too.

Teabags: the gateway brew

Teabags: the gateway brew

Whole leaf enthusiasts know the exquisite difference between a cup of carefully steeped whole leaf – part ritual, part alchemy, part spirituality – and half careful attention to detail. We also know how convenient tea bags are. In desperate circumstances, we will buy a

Tea and the art of being present

Tea and the art of being present

As a good friend of mine recently discovered, competing with the allure of a smartphone or tablet can be a losing proposition. She had looked forward to a friend’s visit only to find that friend hooked on one of the many addictive online games…

Back seven: green badge of courage

Back seven: green badge of courage

Some of the most neurotic people I know are regular tea drinkers (they also happen to be some of the greatest people I know.) So which came first: The “mentally-fit” tea drinkers, or the neurotics? Is tea-drinking becoming a badge of health, or an acknowledgment that you’re “medicating” or trying to lose weight?

Humble beginnings: my tea story, part one

Humble beginnings: my tea story, part one

My story begins where all good stories should, the beginning. My story begins with Hornepayne were I was born and raised. Hornepayne is a town of less than one thousand people located in northern Ontario. People in Hornepayne like to say that it snows eight months of year and rains the other four. One would think that good warm tea would

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

There are many perks associated with having a successful tea blog. I think my favorite is the often requested inquiry to review teas or tea related products. When I got the inquiry from Table Rose, I was delighted.

Mom, me, and tea

Mom, me, and tea

My mom passed away recently. She is on my mind every day. How does that relate to a tea blog? It’s an important part of my personal tea story. It was the end of a very long adventure the two of us lived together.

Hello kitty con 2014

Hello kitty con 2014

During this past holiday season, a handful of my friends asked me if I was aware of certain facts about Hello Kitty: Hello Kitty is not a cat, but a girl. Hello Kitty was born in London and is 100% British.

A day in Alishan – revisited

A day in Alishan – revisited

My friend and I arrive in the town of Shihzhuo, Taiwan by bus. The sky is clear and the mountain air tastes sweet on my lips. A small downtown commercial district is situated along the main highway. Across the street I see a western style mini-mart

Are you a PROBLEM tea drinker?

Are you a PROBLEM tea drinker?

It’s not easy being a tea drinker. Most people think that all we ever do is tilt pretty little cups over pretty little saucers, with our pinkies poised like little ballerinas over the impossibly tiny cup handles. There exists a reverse discrimination of sorts . . . tea drinkers are banal, mild creatures. Yawn.

Back Seven: A tea song

Back Seven: A tea song

Dan Chiu was an Immortal
Who cared nothing for rich foods.
But, after picking some tea & drinking it,
he sprouted wings,
And flew to the Abode of The Immortals,

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I am reminded of New Years’ 2013: I had resolved to lose fifteen pounds (just 18 to go)! And, I made a list of foods I would give up to achieve that goal: haggis, kimchi, and tripe topped my list.

Birthdays

Tea in Estonia

One thing I’ve learned about love is that it transcends time. When you meet someone that you’ve known from another incarnation, you also know that...

Happy Holiday – a T Ching toast!

Happy Holiday – a T Ching toast!

May your tea be planted, propagated, plucked, and processed with love for the Earth and all her creatures. May the water for your brew remember its time among the airy clouds, falling as fresh rain, and rushing down a mountain as a merry babbling brook.

How Oolong Tea Got Its Name; A Tea Legend

How Oolong Tea Got Its Name; A Tea Legend

The old man sipped his tea. He had never grown weary of that flavor. His father had picked Oolong tea, as had his father’s father and grandfather. And his young grandsons would also one day pick tea just like his daughter did now. It all made sense in a

Tea

Tea

When the elephant’s-ear in the park
Shrivelled in frost,
And the leaves on the paths
Ran like rats,

Appreciating teacups – reprise

Appreciating teacups – reprise

My earliest memory regarding the design of teaware comes from one of my chores as a young boy in the 1960’s. I don’t remember how old I was when Mom decided that my brother and I were going to help with housework (alas, no girls in the household).

Dongdasong

Dongdasong

Dongdasong東茶頌 Translation and Analysis(1): Song頌, is a type of poem in praise of things such as nations, people or natural things. It might be translated as a Eulogy or Hymn. Thus, this title could be translated as Hymn in Praise of Eastern Tea.

Bowl Two:  Mastered mind; meditation

November gongfu tea-brewing tips

As your sensitivity increases, you will begin to recognize the smoothness, or lack thereof, not just in the teaware you use, but one degree further: in what your teaware rests upon. It actually matters quite a bit what kind of coaster a cup sits upon,

Back seven: not quite caught in the act

Back seven: not quite caught in the act

It was 6:00 A.M. on July 5. I was on my knees on the ground between a large RV (mine) and about eleven ceramic garden figurines. Including, but not limited to: a puppy; a voluptuous frog in a bathing

Tea poetry: radio’s contribution

Tea poetry: radio’s contribution

One long summer in Honolulu, Oahu, I spent the morning hours watching old movies on a local television channel. In addition to adaptations of literary works such as David Copperfield and The Count of Monte-Cristo,

Time for repose

Time for repose

To the Chinese, the heart is the central life image, and a source of thought and intelligence. A healthy life includes essential time-taking activities, such as repose.

Back seven: tea and tomlike

Back seven: tea and tomlike

It was a crisp clear morning toward the end of September. All were properly attired in layered outerwear and with backpacks packed with food and beverage as well as the requisite all purpose knife, thermos, and traveling tea set.

Fire and water for tea

Fire and water for tea

Fire is a masculine energy force and water is known as a feminine energy force. Much of our universe is either one or the other of these forces. When it comes to making tea – tea brings these forces together.

Back Seven: On tea

Back Seven: On tea

Venus her myrtle, Phoebus has her bays;
Tea both excels, which she vouchsafes to praise.

Back seven: the princess and the tea

Back seven: the princess and the tea

Well, I have just about heard it all now. We all know that there has been growing research about the relaxing and soothing effects of tea, something those of us who drink tea have anecdotally known for a long time.

Global Tea Hut: Taiwan state of mind

Global Tea Hut: Taiwan state of mind

I would venture a guess that many T Ching readers would list personal growth pretty high up on their list of life priorities. Serious tea drinkers just tend to be ‘that way.’ The leafy path of Cha Dao has many resting places along its way for activities

Back seven: entertaining guests with tea

Back seven: entertaining guests with tea

When my wife and I have guests at our home, serving tea is a part of our tradition and something that requires a bit of thinking ahead. As overzealous hosts we often prepare meals in courses (and always too much). It is usually right before desserts