Friday, September 18, 2009

Sunday afternoon Cha Xi

I started this week with pictures of my Saturday Cha Xi. Let's finish it with the setup I used Sunday to brew matcha tea in Sung dynasty style. It's a completely different atmosphere, fitting a very different tea. I even chose to sit facing the inside of my apartment (instead of the outside).

These are 2 good examples of why I still feel excited to blog about tea after all these years. No two teas are ever the same. Even with the same leaves, you get different results as you make small changes to the way you prepare the tea, the way you select and set up your accessories...

My tea space is a simple elevated wooden floor with drawers underneath and on the side. It looks empty when there's no Cha Xi. -This doesn't happen too often!- But the lack of clutter, of permanent decoration also means that it each Cha Xi will have a distinctive character.

Creating the setup for the Cha Xi is a first step, like a foreplay, toward the feeling I long to obtain with my tea. These minutes of preparation calm me down. It's then easier to focus on the sensations of the tea. I only brew my best teas when I'm in the mood for tea. Likewise, I produce my best brews when I'm in the mood for tea.

Another weekend is starting!...
(Shana Tova!)

8 comments:

HF said...

I always thought that each gong-fu cha is an event. And the outcome, for me as well, often varies. Indeed, the very constancy of thoughts has an effect on its success.

nikosan said...

La vue semble imprenable depuis ton petit espace dédié au thé ! Tout en sobriété, il doit s'adapter aux différents cha xi que tu réalises.

Isabella Chan said...

"Creating the setup for the Cha Xi is a first step, like a foreplay, toward the feeling I long to obtain with my tea. These minutes of preparation calm me down."

Your words inspired me to take the time to set up my teasan this afternoon. Instead of flowers, I created my Cha Xi with a page from a Chinese calligraphy book, and a poem by Cold Mountain.

It was an amazing experience. By quieting the mind, and bringing all my senses to the present, the tea —a Peony White–tasted absolutely delightful, like never before!

Here's a link to some photos:
http://sftotokyo.ning.com/

Thank you for the inspiration!

Emilie @ Infusions of Tea said...

The photos of your tea ceremonies are truly thoughtful, creative, sensitive, and artistic. I like them very much.

Your statement, that "no two teas are ever the same," and "even with the same leaves, you get different results," encompasses the very spirit and core of the Japanese tea ceremony. The most famous saying attributed to the art of the Japanese tea ceremony is "Ichigo, Ichie," meaning, "One (Tea) Encounter, One Opportunity." If you make tea for someone or some occasion, it is special, and will never occur the same way again. Even if you bring out the same utensils, make the same tea, invite the same people for another day, it won't be the same as before. Therefore, it is important to enjoy the tea in that moment. You have captured that spirit in the most beautiful way!

Stephane said...

Thanks, HF, for sharing your tea experience. I'm sure many readers will find it useful.

Nikosan, j'ai une vue de la ville dans cette direction (nord). Mais ma vue préférée est celle des montagnes du Wenshan vers le sud...

Isabella, I'm glad about the feedback. You're on the right track!

Emilie,
Thank you so much for your praise and your thoughtful words.

It's a blessing to have such readers!

Karen said...

Thanks for the "Shana Tova!" Looking forward to my order. :)

Lisa Reese said...

Savoring exquisite teas, wines or perhaps cigars is what the high life is all about. It takes style and some effort to become a master of teas or even Cuban Cigars . It also takes a lot of observation and a lifetime of passion to be adept at discerning these cigars. This doesn'y come easy, but then who said perfection was simple?

Jason Witt said...

I'm learning a lot about tea preparation from those who have studied for years, often under masters. They say similar things to what you've said here, that mood can greatly affect the way the tea tastes. And mood can determine the other factors in the preparation for one who's mindful. --Teaternity