泡好茶的涵义-What we mean by Brewing a Good Pot
(2002.01《茶艺》月刊社论Published in “Tea Art”monthly magazine)
If I say, to get the most out of life you’ve got to drink good tea, listen to good music and wear good clothes, what do you think? Is this your cup of tea? To some, a little difference in the tea leaves will not make or break a cup, and clothes being branded or not does not affect its fundamental function of providing protection and warmth. We look at this differently, though.
In the last chapter, the Tea Brewing Master’s1 Motto, we brought up the idea of brewing a good pot2. You may wonder what that exactly means. Would it mean brewing tea with masterful (good) technique, or brewing tea of premium (good) quality? We think both apply; and yet, in the context of the Tea Brewing Master’s Motto, it may be more of the former – brewing a good pot is the physical training of a Tea Brewer, the pursuit of the Way of Tea, and the essence to experiencing the World of Tea. However, when taking it out form this particular context, the understanding of it as ‘brewing tea of premium quality’ is also relevant.
Good tea, in general, refers to tea that is appealing in terms of colour, aroma and taste. Its tea infusion3 has a certain character that makes it a delight to drink. Tea drinker will be delighted by the pleasant feeling of satisfaction when they put their cups down. This is translated into health-enhancing benefits, an edge over mediocre tea that promises very little other than being a thirst-quencher. On the scientific ground, the so-called good tea is rich in compounds which are simply better and more appreciated. The combination of these compounds makes it a delight and adds to its rich flavor and content. As such, the impact is so much more enjoyable both physically and psychologically. This is similar to clothes – a fabulously-designed and well-tailored dress made of premium materials will work wonders on our physical well-being because of the feel-good elements it brings, as compared to a poorly-made dress of sub-standard fabric and sloppy tailoring.
The above proposition is a possible subject of ridicule on two grounds. First, what is the definition of ‘good’? Second, will this lead to extravagance? To begin with, we must listen to experts as to how good the tea leaves or clothes are – this requires us to put aside our personal preference and prejudices. For things that are ‘good’, they are usually higher-priced, and this calls for a balance between one’s own income and level of awareness. It will not lead to extravagance as long as we do not go beyond our means.
以下为文內之编码Coding in the text:
泡茶师 1 Tea Brewing Master1
泡好茶2 brewing a good pot2
茶汤3 tea infusion3
The aesthetics, character and the state of mind created are not to be undermined in the understanding and enjoyment of tea; and yet, they are the hardest to express. Writings on the thoughts pertaining to tea, regardless of languages used, remain scarce. We have attempted to express them in Chinese, with accompanying English translation(Translator:Katherine Yip.2010.01), to elaborate our thoughts as they are. What we want is to share the knowledge of tea alongside tea drinking. This is, in our opinion, an important contemporary task in promoting the tea culture (Coding in the text is for cross-referencing of the academic terms of tea).