We’re going back into the archives to revisit these classic posts by James Norwood Pratt. This post includes two different multi-part sequences: “The Lexicographer” and “Porcelain Ballast”. We have added a link to the end of each one to take you to the next if you would like to read them as a sequence, or you can choose which you want to peruse below. Enjoy!
The old philosopher is still among us in the brown coat with the metal buttons and the shirt which ought to be at the wash, blinking, puffing,Thomas Babington Macauley (1800-59), The Life of Johnson
rolling his head, drumming with his fingers, tearing his meat like a tiger, and swallowing his tea in oceans.
Even so brief a history as this one, however, must linger a little over the story of the age’s greatest devotee of tea and coffeehouse talk, Dr. Samuel Johnson. Although revered for his Dictionary, he…(Read more)
Johnson was a man of kind heart and great common sense but he never allowed these to get in the way of his outspoken prejudices. He affected to hate…(Read more)
…if he took it into his head…he without the least ceremony overset the table. The first time he practiced this, I was very angry at such a quantity of handsome China being thus mischievously demolished, and expressed my displeasure thereat. ‘Why, zounds!’ said he, ‘You surely forget where you are. I never suffer the servants to have the trouble of removing a tea equipage, always throwing the whole out the window or downstairs. They easily procure another batch….An Englishman’s recollections of Canton in 1770, “Memoirs of William Hickey“
Second only to tea, perhaps the most important contribution China made to European life was “china” itself – the hard translucent glazed pottery the Chinese had invented under the Tang dynasty and which we also know as porcelain. China had long since…(Read more)
To keep up with this demand, Jingdezhen, China’s main porcelain-making center since the Song dynasty, as early as 1712 needed to keep three thousand kilns fired day and night. The prices fell to…(Read more)
When he was nineteen, Böttger met the mysterious alchemist Lascaris in Berlin and received a present of some two ounces of transmutation powder from him. If you refuse to believe in alchemists and transmutation, you may as well assume…(Read more)
Completely restored to favor, the young man admitted he had never possessed the secret of transmutation; he was…(Read more)
Photo “Vintage teacups…” is copyright under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License to the photographer Jenni Douglas and is being posted unaltered (source)
The post Tuesdays With Norwood, Re-Steeped: The Lexicographer and Porcelain Ballast appeared first on T Ching.
Freelance contribution by: Lucy Wyndham All tea leaves will eventually lose flavor, but properly stored dried tea leaves can keep their flavor for up to two years, depending on how fermented and intact the leaves are. Black tea leaves, for example, are more fermented than green or white teas, and will stay … Continue reading
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If you follow what gets said about prices each year, you would end up with the impression that the average price of tea has gone up. But more specifically the price at the most sought after regions (say Lao Banzhang, Bingdao) have gone completely through the roof. A lot of this narrative is anecdotal. Tales of rich Chinese buying up all the top-end product from X area. Part of it can also be seen when someone in the Sinosphere posts the maocha prices per location. These lists come with all sorts of contextual caveats, but the trend seems real. I don’t see any red flags to really doubt this storyline, but I was curious if it’d show up by looking at some of the data of prices on production by western facing vendors.