Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cha Xi - Mandala, by Teaparker

Last Saturday, I purchased Teaparker's new book.

Erratum: When I spoke about it in December, I said that "it's about tea mats". There are a lot of tea mats featured in the book, but the main subject is not the tea mat itself. The subject is the art and culture of brewing tea. The translation Babelfish gives for 茶席 is tea mat. But here, 席 (Xi) does not mean mat, but a measure or counting word for theater plays or sessions. A Cha Xi, therefore, is a tea brewing session or a tea performance

The second word, Mandala, is wonderfully explained in Wikipedia. Teaparker shows how a a gongfu cha session can also be a way to express ourselves with an artistic and harmonious setup of our accessories.

But it's not just about visual beauty. Understanding tea culture and its history is also important to organize the right setup. It must also remain functional and aimed at improving the taste of the tea. And the feelings we express are very personal.
Here is an overview of the different chapters:
1. The beauty of Tea Mandala,
2. The deeper meaning of drinking tea
3. Tang dynasty Cha Xi
4. Sung dynasty Cha Xi
5. Yuan dynasty Cha Xi
6. Ming dynasty Cha Xi
7. Modern times Cha Xi
8. Life Cha Xi (brewing advice)
9. My Cha Xi (adding your personal note)

Because it focuses a lot on the visual aspect of brewing tea, this book features a lot of beautiful pictures of old and new tea accessories on glossy paper. They make up approximately 50% of the book. These illustrations alone make this book very interesting already for advanced tea drinkers outside Taiwan.

Therefore, I would like to add it to my selection of items that can be ordered from me. It costs 10 USD (8.5 Euros), has 167 pages and it weighs 500 grams. I will write a 1 page summary in English (et en français) to translate the main ideas for the people who purchase this book.
Note: I would appretiate if those interested in purchasing this book with their next order would drop me an e-mail to tell me so in advance to let me estimate the number of books I should order. (I can always drink unsold tea, but I don't need more than 1 book for myself!)

3 comments:

Tan said...

Stephane, does all of his books written in chinese? It's very difficult to find a decent tea book in english

Stephane said...

Tan,
Yes. Teaparker's books are all in Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Stephane,

Please fill the following order:

Teaparker's new book
one copy

Wen Shan Baozhong 2007 spring semi-wild baozhong
100 grams

Oolong 2007 winter Da Yu Ling
Luanze oolong
100 grams

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Steven D. Owyoung
sdowyoung@sbcglobal.net