In a sense I’m not the right person to be writing about tea gear; I just stick to the basics...Read More
You can tell a lot about artisans by how they care for their tools. The same can be said of a musician and her instruments, or a chef and his knives. Just as a master of any skill or craft can be distinguished from an amateur by that singular, effortless grace known to the Chinese as gong fu,
The art of gong fu cha, the Chinese tea service, is generally practiced using a specialized tea set. Collectively called cha ju (or equipage by people who insist on using French), the instruments of gong fu cha encompass a whole spectrum of diminutive, elegant, precisely-crafted little bits and bobs.
A recent discussion on T Ching has inspired me to explain the basic concepts of the Chinese tea ceremony – “gongfu cha.”
The language of tea is beautiful and multicultural, but not always easily accessible for new enthusiasts.
A few months ago, a Christian retreat center contacted me, asking if I was interested in giving a one-day tea retreat since I seemed to be so into tea, and I had also co-authored a book, Quiet Journeys, which is about the value of guided silent retreats.
Tea can be as complicated as you want it to be – what with its rituals and myriad details to handle. At the same time, it can be a simple delight. Being of Chaozhou (home of gongfu tea) descent, I fuss over the little details and…
On a recent trip to California, I decided to stop in Santa Cruz and enjoy the sea air for the afternoon. After some time wandering about on the cliff paths and taking photos of the wildflowers, I headed into town to check out a new tea shop…