Gongfu Girl is on vacation. She hopes you will enjoy this excerpt from Tea Life, Tea Mind by Soshitsu Sen XV.
“Purity” through the simple act of cleaning, is an important part of a tea gathering – in the preparation beforehand, the actual service of tea, and, after the guests have left, the storing away of the utensils and the final closing of the tearoom. Such actions as clearing the dust from the room and the dead leaves from the garden path all represent clearing the “dust of the world,” or the worldly attachments, from one’s heart and mind. It is then, after putting aside material concerns, that people and things can be perceived in their true state. The act of cleaning thus enables one to sense the pure and sacred essence of things, man and nature.
When the host is cleaning and arranging the areas that the guests will occupy, he is establishing order also within himself; this order is essential. As he attends to the details of the tearoom and garden path, he is no less attending to his own consciousness and to the state of mind in which he will serve his guests.
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As someone that has done a fair amount of content on tea, I have a lot of mixed thoughts on the way information is passed. With tea reviews or discussing a specific tea I have struggled with the question: how to talk about an individual tea or tea in general in an interesting or useful way.. Whether you like or dislike TeaDB episodes largely depends on whether you enjoy watching two particular people drink and binter. This is fine enough and it is certainly fun for Denny & I to create, but I’ll also agree with the sentiment that it’s not necessarily the most substantive way to review a tea in depth. There’s some signal but there’s also a lot of noise. Writing about a specific tea also isn’t easy and I think is actually very difficult to execute in a way that is actually consistently interesting or useful for people. Most people just want to know if you liked or didn’t like a specific tea. Making something that piques interest beyond that is a challenge and even if you don’t like them a place like Mei Leaf has succeeded in creating content that really does engage their viewers. You also have to consider that the majority of people have not had the tea or are even unfamiliar with the basic taste profile (i.e. Denny & I describing a traditionally stored pu’erh, when the audience has never had one).. Here are some phrases I dislike and hear frequently enough that I find them unhelpful and sometimes even counter-productive.
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On a business trip recently, I went with my colleagues to a fantastic little coffee shop in Silicon Valley called Chromatic Coffee. My colleagues were very excited about the way they grind, brew, and pour the coffee. It turns out there is a lot more to coffee than I ever knew. For … Continue reading